Friday, July 3, 2009

Harry Potter and the Hollywood Curse

“I just play him as myself, I don’t ease myself into any role really. I stick a beard on and play me. Every part I play is just a variant of my own personality.” –Michael Gambon

Ugh. This is the textbook example of how Hollywood can take a near-perfect book and make a mess of it. There is some question if people who don’t read the books even watch the films, but if they do there is no way they could make sense of this story. It is a mess. On the other hand, if you are familiar with the book, this film serves as a sort of visual taste of what parts of the story could have looked like—aside from the parts they changed, cut, rewrote, and butchered.

Without going into too much detail, here are a few things they got wrong:

The first fourth of the book (about 50,000 words) are condensed into ten minutes.

Michael Gambon completely missed the mark of Dumbledore’s character in this entry. Of course, he admits that he hasn’t read any of the books and simply plays Dumbledore as himself. (See above)

They changed major plot points and dumbed the overall plot down. Apparently movie goers are not as smart as the average 12 year-old.

They cut major characters important to this story and the overall series.

All the characters they didn’t cut, aside from Harry, Ron and Hermione are reduced to mere mentions. Rita Skeeter in particular was just a tease of the great character she is in the book.

Barty Crouch’s annoying tongue-tic. This is another testament to Hollywood’s opinion of its audience. Do we have to have some visual clue for the reveal later on? It is unfortunate because normally David Tennant and Brendan Gleeson are brilliant.

The last fourth of the book is severely watered down by: making the maze lame, eliminating Serius’s involvement, and cutting the amazing scenes of Dumbledore confronting Fudge and setting the war in motion.

On a personal note… everyone needs a haircut.

Thankfully, this did not signal the complete crash of the series. They hired a new director for parts five and six and with five at least, things improved a (little) bit.

1 comment:

  1. I know. I know. It made me sick. I think it is a testament to the genius of Rowling's series that the movies continued to be popular at all.


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