As some of you may know I recently decided I didn’t want to be in the dark about the Harry Potter franchise anymore. I’ve seen a few of the movies and have always been like, “I don’t know what’s happening! MEEEEEEH!” “What are you people talking about? What is Quidditch? MEEEEEEEEH!” I never understood the plots or remembered anyone’s names. The worst example of this was my summary of The Goblet Of Fire (2005): “I’m not sure what happened in it but I think there were sea turtles and a kid died during a broom race.”
Then I started seeing the preview for The Deathly Hallows- Part 1 (2010) whenever I went to the movies last year. I even sat through an exclusive trailer at Comic-Con. Every single time (and there were many) I reacted like someone with the onset of dementia: “I’m super emotional and so confused. I’m crying and don’t know why. What the hell is happening in this movie? And where are my keys?”
After corresponding with my friend Fawn about this, I decided I was going to read/not read the series. I downloaded the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry (which is more than cool- his voice is like honey with a PhD and it keeps all of the British colloquialisms) and began listening to chapters during my daily commutes.
The books are good. Quite good, in fact. The plot is involving, the characters aren’t annoyingly “perfect,” and it’s obvious that J.K. Rowling is a masterful storyteller.
I also understand them. Isn’t that great?
As part of my crash course I decided I would listen to a book then watch the accompanying film. I sat through The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) last weekend.
Well, I now see why I never understood these movies more than ever. If you don’t read the books you’re just not going to get it. You need the background information and some of the omitted plot points to get the whole picture.
Also, I’m pretty sure that a while back I read that one of the actors (Daniel Radcliffe or Rupert Grint) said looking back on the first movie they were “terrible.” Now don’t stone me but… I agree. Although it’s more than obvious these guys can act now- Jesus Christ, they weren’t really good in the first one.
Also, Alan Rickman was perfectly cast as Snape but he was scene-chewing so hard core I was getting hit with pieces of the set whenever he said a line. It was hilarious. Whenever he looked at Radcliffe I didn’t know whether he wanted to expel him, murder him or have violent sex with him. Maybe all at once. This is all the more reason why there is slash fiction about Snape and Harry on the internet.
So… so far I like the books but not the movies. Will the movies get better? I assume they do because the last installment looks like the epicest epic that ever epiced in Epicville. Also, I know things get more disturbing and unpleasant with each book. Hell, I’m just on book 2 and shit is getting real.
(Update: I watched The Chamber Of Secrets (2002) last night. It was already a vast improvement, both as an adaptation and in the acting.)