So, this morning Connie and I both got up early and went to see the new Harry Potter movie, along with seemingly everybody else in Taipei. But, by virtue of living within a 5 minute walk of the theatre we were able to get a good spot in line, and only had to wait a half hour to buy tickets for a showing 3 hours after the time we stood in line to buy tickets! Like I said, everyone in this town wants to see this movie, and I think it will be the topic of my classes for the week. (Which is why it’s important I see it, doing research for work after all! 😉 )
Regardless, I have to say that this, the fourth Harry Potter film, is by far 70% of the strongest and best Harry Potter movie to date. I say 70% because like the film Seven Swords I saw earlier this year, it feels like you’re watching the 2 hour 40 minute version of a movie that’s at least 4 hours long. The result of this is that all the major scenes are there (I would assume, I haven’t read the books) but almost all the character material seems to have ended up being chopped out of the film. The characters in the movie are completely undeveloped and pretty much just there to push the plot along. Characters come and go, and to give something away, when one of the movie’s “major” characters dies, you feel….absolutely nothing because he’s not even a name! He’s only been in a few scenes, and mostly background in them. The same with all the cool “rivals” from other schools, they get a big introduction and then ignored for the rest of the story!
I know that each Harry Potter book has been bigger than the last, and I think they’ve truely reached the point where they can’t fit a single book into a single movie. Either something has got to give, or they’d be better off turn it into 2 two or more hour long movies released a few months appart instead of trying to cram it all into a single film. I mean, this isn’t the greatest character drama ever put on film, but it deserves better than what this film gave it.
Also, I kept running into the “Poor Harry Potter Syndrome” which seems to pop up in each of these films, which is that whenever Harry is in trouble nobody lifts a finger to help him. The school is a deathtrap, and events occur which nothing prevents the adults from interfering in, but they don’t, because that would prevent Harry from nearly being killed…again…and again…and again…. I don’t care if my children are wizards, there’s no way in hell they’d set foot at Hogwarts considering the degree of care that the teachers show for students at that place! And with friends like Harry has, who needs enemies?
Oh, and everything but the character stuff is amazing, especially the cinematography, it borders on asounding at some points.