Sunday, November 21, 2010

HP 7.1

I watched the social network last week. HP 7.1 the day before yesterday. I will write in detail about the social network experience shortly but right now about HP 7.1. I really wasn’t much looking forward to it. It has been widely acknowledged that the HP movies have been disappointing. The trend which started since prisoner of Azkaban has been disrupted only in goblet of fire. I think movies 3, 5 and 6 have been terribly disappointing. I wish someone did to HP films what Jason reitman did for up in the air. Characters seem soulless. They all seem to be following a trajectory dictated probably by the producers or movie studios. There seemed to be magic in the script only to amuse the 6 year olds.
But 7.1 finally has a bit of soul. Not all. It was the very first film with a really soulful beginning. And I took it seriously. After looking at all three of main characters reminiscing in their homes, I became hopeful and it promised to be a good film. In the film David Yates used handheld camera for close ups, sepecially for Daniel radcliffe giving a really nice and intimate connection to that character. Or so it felt to me. Now most important reason why hp movies succeed or fail is how they are written. And the movie is faithful to the book. What set this fil apart from others is the photography. I am sure everyone was looking forward to how the three would be picturised in the wilderness. I was hoping for more green, dark, damp and mountainous woods. But that’s just me. The job done in open areas here is admirable too. It looks beautiful. The director succeeds in depicting the void among the friends. He has succeeded in inducing realism in this fantasy movie.
I was begging in my mind, please tell us the story of the three brothers. And they did. By Hermione no less. Her voice is amazing I really enjoyed the little animated sequence. The pace is a tad slow. Using a slow pace he has succeeded in making it realistinc but it just climbed a couple of notches for me. Insead they sacrificed detailed accounts of e Gregorovich and the elder wand. Most of the viewers were obviously baffled by such subplots. In the ministry of magic they did not show how ron solved the raining problem in the minister’s office. The movie could have been more dense and detailed and yet slow in the places where it needed to be. It deserved to e slow when they are in the woods. Now audience will always crave for more screen presence of many beloved characters. Director and writer cant always fulfill such wishes but they do have to work hard. We know its hard to squeeze in more time for ginny, snape, bellatrix, draco, lupin and his wife. But you have to! Just look at aaron sorkin’s beautiful work in the social network. All the characters are not only well developed but also deliver a coherent account of the story. Each adds a dimension which is unique. Each has a color and flavour. But we have ginny just asking to zip her dress and snogging. Off you go. Snape with his measured quivers of lips and dead straight eyes delivers two dialogues. Draco reluctant of the dark side is simple terrified to open his mouth. Lupin is in the “save Harry Potter” party hardly speaks apart from shoving want in people’s faces to detect imposters.
Writing j k rowling’s books into 2 hour movie is a tough task. But they signed up for it and they got paid too. So we the fans should be angry for such a shallow job.
One line I liked the most was by ron. The three are preparing to gulp polyjuice potion
“this is barking mad”
“absolutely mad”
Ron: “the whole world’s gone mad….”

A very observation which should resonate in muggle world too. Things hitherto considered crazy are happening daily and that has nothing to do with magic. A very wise quip made me happy.

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