46: Damn You, Daniel Radcliffe

So the trailers and posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are starting to come out and pretty soon we’ll be bombarded with TV commercials and tie in promotions with Burger King or whatever. I can already feel myself starting to get a little excited, even though I’ve been thoroughly disappointed with the entire Harry Potter film franchise.

I should probably disclose that I am a massive Harry Potter fan. Seriously, I made fanart, started writing multiple fanfictions, had a huge crush on Ron Weasley….. I’m not a purist when it comes to the movies though; some avid fans of any book series will never like a film adaption because it doesn’t adhere exactly to every page of the novels. In addition to being a Harry Potter fanatic, I also really appreciate good movies, and understand filmmakers’ authority to take liberties in order to make a film more entertaining.

What bums me out the most about the movies is the incredible waste of potential. Obviously, the most heinous instance of this is just the dumbing (and numbing) down of the source material. I always associated the books with an imaginative spirit and humor, and the movies have always been dark, bloated, too serious, and anti-climatic.

But also, in the movies themselves, there is so much effort and talent that just gets wasted on a mediocre product. The Harry Potter movies have access to the very best. Millions of dollars have been spent in the movies on the best computer animation by the best artists. The art directors, costume designers, actors (mostly the adult ones), and music are top notch. For comparison reasons, I’m totally gonna bad mouth the Twilight franchise. I actually haven’t seen any of the Twilight movies, I did read the first book, but from the trailers and posters, you can tell that the level of effort put into those movies is subpar. One just needs to look at the terrible wigs on the movie posters. For that reason, the expectation is lessened.

The best Harry Potter movie has been the Prisoner of Azkaban because it embodied the spirit of JK Rowling despite taking the biggest liberties with the story. It also had the most competent director, who was able to get the best performances out of the kid actors and create a film that felt whole instead of feeling cobbled together from a bunch of disparate scenes.

I always knew that the movies were never going to top the richness of the books. “Azkaban” gave me a lot of hope for the series, enough to last through 3 letdowns. I kinda know already that Deathly Hallows will be a disappointment. My guess is that the acting won’t be very effective, especially since this is suppose to be the most dramatic of the series. Realistically, the most I can expect is that it will be good, for a Harry Potter movie.

-Tanya

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