November 21st, 2010
|09:33 pm - Deathly Hallows 1|
I went to see the new Harry Potter film. Critical opinion seems to be divided. I liked it. I liked it better than any other HP film, except The Prisoner of Azkaban. If you really don't like Harry Potter I guess this won't convert you, but it appealed to me. I used to like the rare bits in the previous films and books which presented magic as an intrusion into the mundane, and the shabby old rooms, and a bit of violence and evil. I like to get away from the idea that the magical world is rather nice. I was pretty bored with Hogwarts. You know the excellent scene in Order of the Phoenix, where he glimpses grown-up people making serious plans behind a door, which is slammed shut. I feel in this we are allowed to go behind the door. Alan Rickman in particular conveys a great deal of hinterland with almost nothing but his suffering eyes. Exemplary.
So, this film suited me pretty well. It had quite a lot of evil ruling class in it - let me not get started on any political analogy - lots of grubby interiors and unpleasant types. I thought it integrated emergent sexuality into the story quite well, not too explicitly, but not too domestic either. We also see the wicked death-eaters responding to the attraction of the heroes, which I thought was bold. Specially Belatrix rubbing herself all over Hermione.
I thought the story was more interesting than in the book, which had its longeurs. Having said that there was some gabbling through verbal explanations of what was happening next, I suppose on the assumption that every viewer knows the story, but expects the overall plot to be ticked through. I've said before, I'd scrap the explanations altogether.
On the whole I would say Rupert Grint was the least pretty of the three, but the most sexy and grown-up seeming, and the best actor - though unfortunately he really gabbled through the plot-tokens - but apart from that he was a lot more affecting than the other two chums.
The style was more naturalistic than the previous films. Stylised naturalism: shots up through grass stalks, some of those Private Ryan type clots of earth flying about, a lot of grubby skin and acne. Good, I like that. Some people will find the lengthy tent-sequence slow, very slow. I was quite bored by it in the book, but I felt it was fine in the film, and it was here that the naturalism was used the most. Good presentation of the physicality of nature, which makes the magic much more interesting. Perhaps not very much fun for the youngsters in the audience.
I wish that Rowling had followed through the pulling apart of her world that she was doing in this book, and that it had ended with a revolutionary overthrow of the whole apparatus of houses and Hogwarts.
I haven't read the books and can take or leave the films (the cosy tweeness annoys me, although the general trend has been of improvement) but I really enjoyed this one for its grimness and maturity, particularly in allowing the main characters some independence and what felt like genuine peril.
Yes, the relative lack of tweeness was a very welcome development, and the nasty murders and tortures. That gathering at the start was genuinely horrible, almost like a horror film.
I thought it was great as a mood piece. I liked the slow pacing, the atmosphere, the tension. The locations and visuals were gorgeous. I actually think the stylised naturalism you talk about was found in earlier films, particularly Prisoner of Azkaban by Cuaron.
As a story/plot it was pretty aimless, but I'm happy to lay the blame for that with the source material.
I must re-watch the Cuaron film, because I don't remember the style very well. I just remember I liked it a lot. I think this film worked much better than the book it was based on, and may reconcile people to the book, which I may now read again.
|Date:||November 22nd, 2010 09:02 am (UTC)|| |
By this stage my only interest in the films is HOW MUCH SONGVID MATERIAL WILL THEY GIVE ME, but this sounds highly promising:
Alan Rickman in particular conveys a great deal of hinterland with almost nothing but his suffering eyes.
Hooray! I was worried they might have LEFT SNAPE OUT like they did of the last film even though its TITLE is in fact HARRY AND SNAPE. But eyes, eyes I can work with.
He's only in one scene - the first one - but he is very good in it
|Date:||November 22nd, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)|| |
DAMN THEM. But hooray for knowing, so I can stop looking out for him after the first scene...
first scene or a very early scene, I forget the sequence, but you can't miss it with all the death-eaters
|Date:||November 24th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)|| |
You can nip out once it's over.
|Date:||November 24th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Nah, I want to see the snog!
Agree with very much of this, though I think sometimes the static wordless bits lingered for a little too long (I'm kind of sensitive to this because I do it a lot myself; "Look at my composition, it's great isn't it? Feel the moment!").
The animated sequence was so good it makes me wonder if someone could improve on the whole series by doing it as a series of fully animated features. (Drawn, but of course.)
The animation was very good. It's an interesting question: the Harry Potter we would make if we had the power. For me it would be impressionistic, with very little explanation of what was going on, and quite a lot of violence :-)
|Date:||November 22nd, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)|| |
Yes, we had that conversation after seeing it. I loved the style of the animated section.
What type of Harry Potter would you make - animation?
|Date:||November 24th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)|| |
Yes I think so. I have been impressed over the years with some of the visual effects but still think animation would give more freedom, especially as it's not just for kids anymore!