Celebrating Great Films

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

#192 at time of writing.

I very much enjoyed the Harry Potter series of books, and I massively admire Jo Rowling both for her ability to tell a good story and for nobly dealing with the consequences of becoming a millionaire international celebrity whether she wanted it or not. She's a real role model.

The films, however, have been of very variable quality. Rowling's insistence on an all British cast was laudable, but unfortunately we got - how can I put it charitably - not the best child actors I've ever seen. Their occasionally cringeworthy performances are at the core of most of my criticism of the films.

The first two installments, directed by Chris Columbus, were lackluster. After that, they picked up, with an increasingly darker tone appealing to a broader audience than just children. I enjoyed the fourth, fifth and sixth films most.

The decision to split the last book into two films meant that the first suffered from feeling drawn out (and suffered doubly from some of the most awkward and ridiculous "love" scenes ever committed to film); and the last movie was so full of spectacle it almost got crushed underneath its own weight.

I can understand how somebody discovering Harry Potter's story and his world for the first time through watching the films would rave about them, but I find them too deeply flawed. I seriously doubt that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the 192nd best film ever made, by any decent measure.

J K Rowling stated that her preferred director for the films would have been Terry Gilliam. Now THAT I'd love to have seen. Reboot?