Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Harry Potter

I like the Harry Potter books, I own all of them, in both Portuguese and English. Tonight I went to see the latest Harry Potter film, The Goblet of Fire.

Let me start saying that it is a big book, around 790 pages. Also, it's packed with lots of action. The next book, the Order of Phoenix is much slower than this one, for example. So making a film around this fourth book would be a challenge.

How well did they do? Not that well. The entire film feels rushed, some of the acting is really bad, and it feels that everybody is in a hurry to move along.

We can expect that some parts had to be cut to fit in the two hours of movie, but I feel that some of the cuts, like the last three pages of the book where some money changes hands and influences events on the fifth and sixth books, was important and could be done in no more than 2 minutes. You could probably use that instead of the image of the ship submerging in the lake.

Also, if you haven't read the books, you'll be a bit lost. Most of the jokes require some knowledge of the history of previous episodes. The constant reminders of the polyjuice potion is a link to the first book when the three made it to spy the Slytherin house.

One other issue I find interesting is the evolution of the terrain around Hogwarts. It has become much more open than in previous years, the lake seems a lot bigger. One interesting question is that the castle seems to move magically from one side of the lake to the other. I really have to get the four movies on DVD and see them through to compare, but I'm almost sure that the castle was on the other side of the lake in previous episodes.

Last, although rated PG-13, I wondered if that is wise. Most of the movie is ok, nothing serious. But the third challenge, the maze, can get pretty scary. There are one or two scenes where you can be caught off guard and jump from your seats. Maybe I'm getting soft, with my age and my son, but I really recommend the PG part of the rating.

In summary: if you are a Harry Potter fan, you'll go and see it, because you are a fan. Just don't expect much. If you are not a fan, and you are looking to find out what the fuss is all about, take my advice, and buy the book. It's several orders of magnitude better than the movie.

Technorati Tags: , ,