Saturday, 18 July 2009

My best friend Laura has always tickled me pink with her adulation of the Harry Potter books and fillums. Over at her blog today there's a review of the latest film, with an analytical explanation of why she rated it eight out of ten.
Harry is something I cannot get into at all. I thought the first book was brilliant. After that, I was bored to tears. I couldn't even tell you what happened in book three, or five, or eleven. It was all immediately forgettable and wiped itself from my memory as I closed each book. Yes, I did read them all!
But I doubt I could even tell you the title of each book, even less what order they were in after the first one. I am full of admiration for the way Laura can recall and even tell you who delivered what lines and when the film got it wrong!
I have tried to love the whole Harry phenomenon, as my two youngest kids have been, like Laura, h-u-g-e fans, and through them I have found myself caught up in all the excitement and hype as each book was launched; and I thrilled to see them so absorbed in book after book.
But I have failed to love any of it since book one.
I particularly failed to love any of the three main characters as portrayed in the films. All three are profoundly irritating, Hermione especially.
A review in today's NY Times actually homed in on what has so annoyed and disappointed me about the previous films when it described Harry as "... a callow student with prodigious wizard gifts and little discernible personality."
And: "Mr Radcliffe in particular proves incapable of the most crucial cinematic magic. Namely the alchemical transformation of dialogue into something that feels like passion, something that feels real and true and makes you as wild for Harry as for all those enticingly dark forces."
I won't go to see the film, but if I happen to notice it on Foxtel, I'll probably drop in for a look.


Laura Jane said...

Philistine! Did you like the Twilight series?

I am constantly surprised at how you don't re-read books either! For such a literary person I am very puzzled by that.

I'm glad you liked the review, it was hard to review it without giving away the details. I don't think I've given too much away...
I think we're planning to see a grown-up movie tomorrow, maybe the new John Malkovich.

Frogdancer said...

Book number Eleven.

You twit! Made me laugh...

Anonymous said...

I think of Ashy and her friends as the HP generation. She was the perfect age for each of the books. I consider that Ms Rowling has a lot of influence amongst Ashy and her peers. When I reflect on the books/movies like that I am impressed with them and what they offer.

Jennifer said...

I've kept the Potter books and films in very different categories in my mind -- the books being the real thing and the films being these strange, elaborately produced but (primarily) poorly acted representations. I honestly believe that a person could not make heads or tails of the story if they ONLY saw the movies. Really the movies were just made to feed the frenzy of the books' lovers (or perhaps I guess to coerce the viewers into reading the books so they could make some sense of what they had seen). I refuse to accept the actors as 'my' visions of who these characters are. Dean and I talk about that a lot -- about how you own your own vision of a story and of characters, and how sometimes seeing a film of a beloved book can be such a disturbing experience. I couldn't watch the Lord of the Ring movies, to be honest, because of they way they messed with the pictures in my head....