Well, it has come … and gone.

Standing in line a mere 3 hours last friday nite, i was able to get my hands on the final installment of the Harry potter saga: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, at 2.40 AM, at Paris’ famous W.H.Smith.

So i decided to make it a Potter-ful night and so i went before hand to watch the newly released Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film.

MOVIE REVIEW: Harry potter and the Order of the Phoneix

What an absolute and utter disappointment. Easily, the worst of the five movies, and on almost every level.

Before starting my critique, i will acknowledge that it was a very difficult task to try and condense a 700-page book into a less than 3 hours long movie. However, having said that, let us not forget that the 4th move, Goblet of Fire, was also a massive book, which was satisfactorily translated onto the silver screen. So let me go through the problems:

  • The story is incredibly incoherent. And this is coming from a hardcore Potterphile, who knows the stories inside out. While it is acceptable to leave out many smaller details which add to the ambiance of the book but do not figure in the main storyline, one cannot do the same with important points. I can only imagine how confusing the movie must have been to one who has NOT read the books. There are jumps in plot, there is no character developement. There is no logic in the reason people do things.
  • Utterly anticlimactic. As i sat there, grinding my teeth through teh first half, i kept justifying the missing chunks of story, by saying that all is for a good reason: take away from the first half of the story, in order to allow a long and superclimactic final confrontation scene. In the book, the final confrontation is easily, the most climactic of the first six books (yes, even more so that i would say in the Half-blood Prince). The entire part with teh kids running around in the department of mysteries should be the perfect medium for any diretor looking for some inventive eye-candy. And yet … david yates, chose to skip over almost all of it, and go straight to the hall of prophcies. Such a shame. Can you imagine this part of the story, in the hands of, for example Alfonso Cuaron (the guy who did the 3rd movie), or better yet, someone like a Terry Gilliam, or Jean-Pierre Jeunet? Then as if that wasn’t bad enough, the utter climax, the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort, is done away far too quickly, without any interesting visuals, and dishonesty towards the characters to some degree.
  • And while i’m on the department of mysteries sequence, WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH THE DEATH EATERS WOOSHING AROUND LIKE THAT? For goodness sake…..
  • Furthermore, Why did they have to change Sirius’s death? I can think of100 ways of doign it which would have been better than that. AND WHY THE HELL DID THE ARCHWAY NOT HAVE A VEIL!!!!!! OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE……
  • I really dislike some character depictions. First of all, i have Never liked Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore. The essence of Dumbledore is a childish spirit with the body and wisdom of an old man. He’s the greatest wizard of the age, one who knows it, who is confident of his abilities, and is afraid of no one, and is utterly compassionate. Most of this does not come through Gambon’s interpretation. Which is a shame, because they are the most attractive parts of the character’s personality. I miss Richard Harris’s Dumbledore.
  • We didn’t get to see nearly enough of Snape! Come on, here we have one of the best and most intriguing characters in the series (not the mention the most perfectly played, thanks to alan rickman), and i think he has only a few minutes of screentime.
  • I’m sorry, but i dont care what reviewers say, but i think If Daniel Radcliffe (the guy who plays harry potter) had an act-off with the inimitably bad Hayden Christensen (guy who played Anakin skywalker), i’m sure they would both lose.
  • I believe, the girl who played Luna Lovegood, is the first non-brit employed in the series. And it shows! And her lack of acting experiences shows too! She may have the proper appearance, but the acting was just not there. And what the heck was up with the not-so-subtle “romantic tension’ between her and harry. Come on david yates, you can be more subtle than that.

If only to be fair, i will point out some of the positive points as well.

  • The two main young ladies, who play Hermione and Ginny, are certainly growing up most beautifully. It’ll be a shame when by the final movie they’ll have to be 22 years olds playing 16 year old high schoolers, not that i will mind.
  • There were a lot of good visual, not necessarily in the context of the story, but in themselves. Some good visual jokes, such as the kitten plates in Umbridge’s office.
  • Dolores Umbridge. Imelda Staunton was … PERFECT. She was the lone shining light in the entire movie. She had the character down to a’t’. From those annoying littel coughs, to look and behaviour. She was perfect in everyway.
  • … hmm…i guess that’s it.

Did anyone who has not read the books actually understand what is going on now? i doubt it. Do they know the importance of the prophecy? no. Or of nevill longbottom? no.

Well, that’s it. I have not yet begun reading the book. i hope to begin soon, once i’ve finished the re-reading of the last two, just to get into the flow of things.

 

If you want,subscribe to the Loopy RSS feed!