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The Potter movie

I saw it this afternoon with my brother-in-law, my son, two nephews, and three nieces. I had roughly the same experience I’d had with the other movies, none of which has particularly moved me.

The books aren’t great literature, but the plots are interesting and complicated enough to hold my attention, and I think, as I’ve said before, that Rowling is edifying in a good way.

The problem with filming book #5 (and with subsequent books as well) is that, for the most part, the settings have been envisioned already, and it’s hard to depart in a way that’s both novel and pleasing to the viewers. And the plots are way too complicated (or, if you will, convoluted) to be captured adequately in ordinary movie length. So you get a movie whose narrative is inevitably less gripping than the book and a cinematic experience that’s beginning to feel like "been there, done that." I have to confess also that I didn’t come away from this film thinking that any of the actors had really deepened his or her portrayal of the character. Let me state it more pointedly: this was a film that Daniel Radcliffe really had to carry (his friends don’t get that much attention), and he doesn’t.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I also saw the movie with a familial crowd. They spent the whole minivan-full ride home complaining about the interesting aspects of the book that had been dropped from the movie. Those are true fans. They liked the movie, especially the fight scene at the end. They said it was the telling and interesting details which had been dropped for simplicity or were hinted at but not developed in anyway that would have made the difference. I felt a hollowness at the center and perhaps it is your point about Daniel Radcliffe.

Another problem, I think, is that the actors are too old for the main characters. They do not look like school kids and seem silly in the Hogwarts context. This is not going to get any batter for subsequent movies.

I agree with the too old comment.

I hate to repeat the same old argument, but Dan Radcliffe is 17 playing 15 in "Phoenix." When "Deathly Hallows" comes out in 2010, he'll be 20 playing 17. (Whether he can act by then may still be an issue). For Hollywood, that's pretty reasonable.

In my experience, most who complain the actors look too old still think of the characters as the children in the first couple of books. That's what Rowling has done most successfully in "Phoenix", "Prince", and "Hallows": the boy becomes the man.

Eh, my two cents. You have to love these here internets.

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