Ploy was out yesterday evening so I made a sandwich, opened a bottle of wine, (Semillon/Chardonnay), and before sitting down trawled through our old VCDs to find some movie I hadn't watched in a while. I found a few unmarked DVDs there and put them into the player to see what they were. Yogi Bear, Narnia and finally Harry Potter.
Now I had partially watched Harry Potter 6 the other day and found it so boring I fell asleep in it. This was Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 which offered me the prospect of being left on a cliff hanger finish but with no second DVD. I understand how that works with a TV serial when you have a week to wait, but how does it work when you have months between movies.
I received some criticism from a reader before for perhaps not giving Harry Potter a chance so I sat down with my tuna sandwich determined to make more of an effort. However, if Ploy had not returned mid-movie, I admit I would have given in again, and would have missed our two main protagonists cavorting naked in front of me, although all bits were covered by mist anyway, regrettably in the case of Hermione as she was a huge improvement on the other Harry Potter movie I watched.
I found the whole movie tiresome. Harry Potter is a sort of anti-hero. I would have thought by now his friends and the friends of those protecting him who have died would have realised that he is an imposter. I don't think there was an instance in the movie where he instigated the next move or came up with an idea. Most of the initiative came from Hermione. Ron is the only one who seems to actually be putting any effort in. Those two seem the only ones who care.
I thought about the movie after it finished. I think the reason I didn't warm to it is it is like watching street gangs fight but with wooden sticks instead of knives and guns. Normally my heroes are fighting to save the planet. Superman or Batman or James Bond can be flawed, indeed they should be, but they are fighting for me. Even individuals like John Q who are fighting their own fight are indirectly helping me, (not a great movie, I just wanted to use it to reinforce my point). So I care about them, to a greater or lesser degree. I don't care about Harry Potter and his friends. There is only one real character in the movie I can remember and that is the girl in the coffee shop. She is suitably portrayed as slightly fat and slightly ignorant, (although she can make coffee which I doubt any of our heroes can). Hermione shouts at her to get out of here. I wanted to go to. Yes they are fighting in their own world, a world of vacuous characters with silly names, and I don't care.
The baddies don't seem bad to me. The special effects are repetitive, they run away from those Death Eaters when they appear to be able to just transport themselves wherever they wish. The film is grey and completely lacking in colour as if that is supposed to add to the 'atmosphere'. It has a who's who of British acting talent but even they seemed constrained by the material. Maybe because it is a children's book (and therefore movie) we are not allowing the characters to give full vent to their emotions. But not a single baddie even pulls the wings off a butterfly. People die in the movie in the same way the coyote 'dies' in Road Runner. There is a scene in which Bellatrix appears to 'eat' Hermione's arm, for some time, but when we see her again she has a mark on her arm that looks no more severe than a love bite, (and not one from Harry because he kisses the same as you might kiss your slightly smelly old aunt at Christmas).
One thing I did get from the movie is the male characters are weak. Any interest in the characters comes from Hermione, the only one with any gumption on the goodie side, and Bellatrix (I guess a play on Dominatrix judging by her attire), on the baddie side. The men/boys are portrayed as pathetic idiots. Ploy tells me Harry Potter is handsome. I know my step-daughter loves him. I find him intensely irritating and pathetic.
Of course, this movie is not aimed at 54 year old male cynics. But intelligent movies can target a varied audience; think of The Incredibles or Shrek or Nemo, kiddies movies that have jokes to suit all ages. Or Tom and Jerry for that matter. And talking of the Incredibles, the kid brat that is the villain gets his due comeuppance at the end, a worthy message to the children watching. In Harry Potter I am assuming he will win out in the end, a message that to be pathetic and without ideas or nous will get you far. At least in fairy land. In the real world it is rather different.
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