Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank Goodness that's Over With

I can't remember the last Harry Potter movie I watched, but I'd seen several of them in the hopes that the 'next one' would be worth sitting through.  I realized all too late though that there's nothing in those movies for people who didn't read at least one of the books.  It was always hard to put my finger on as to why though. 

I know one aspect was that it never felt like I was watching a Harry Potter movie, but a Harry Potter documentary.  I can easily believe that if they peppered occasional transitions to J. K. Rowling interview snippets throughout the films that it wouldn't have detracted from them at all (except for the fact that the already horrid length would be padded out even further).  I did, however, finally put my thumb on the main issue with the movies.  It only took me so long because I never bothered to think about it, but:

The Harry Potter character is an awful movie character.

After talking with Mrs. Sandmich my suspicions were confirmed.  In the books Harry Potter is a bit of an empty vessel that the reader is allowed to project into.  This style, I suspect, is pulled off to perfection by Rowling who uses the device to draw readers deep into the novels.  As a non-reader though, this makes for bad cinema.  I have to admit I noticed this within the first few seconds of the first Potter film but was slow to put the puzzle together.  Instead I saw Potter film after Potter film in the hope that the magic of the Potterverse books would be relayed across and I would discover what all the fuss was about.  Alas, there is no 'there' there in the Potter movies for non-readers; the readers never notice this fault as they're watching their Harry Potter movie through the Harry Potter character that they themselves half put together in the books.

(P.S. This is an oldie that was sitting in the 'draft' bin for some reason.  I think that I meant to actually watch the Potter films that I hadn't seen before posting this, but I'm here to tell you, that's not going to happen.)

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