HP and the O of the P

I have still never read any of the Harry Potter books. I fear I never shall, with the final book imminent and whatever resolution it contains sure to be plastered onto all web pages by law within fifteen seconds of its release. Hardly seems worth it. Oh, I know what I’ll do. I’ll open a copy of the new book at the last page just to see how it ends. Yeah. In the middle of Borders, on release day, surrounded by excited kids. Then I’ll say “Oh, it was all a dream!” and walk away.

Last night, venturing to the opening night of HP5 at the Vue with Chris, Melanie, Lynda and Louise, we were second in the queue behind a group of Americans and vowed not to sit near them. They did whoop, but only once or twice. Sadly there were no people dressed as wizards to mock; nor did anyone storm out furiously at a trivial difference from the book. Disappointing really.

For a non-fan like myself, I did find it slightly confusing at the beginning trying to remember who the hell some of the characters were. Did we see him/her in HP[1234] or am I imagining it? While I’d hate to see a “previously on Harry Potter” segment, some kind of script-based reminder (subtle, not “Hi Harry, remember me from the fight to the death at the end of last term?”) might have assisted the more casual viewer.

(Ranty aside: blockbuster films can blithely assume you remember events of the last film 18 months ago, but all lifestyle/makeover TV shows are compelled to repeat themselves endlessly, telling you after a break what happened before the break, telling you before a break what’s going to happen after the break, reminding you who everyone is and what they’re doing because you haven’t seen them for all of three minutes, as if we’re all drooling mouth-breathers unable to retain the most trivial factoid for more than a microsecond. I blame Thatcher. End of rant.)

Scenery, effects, comedy moments: all present and correct.

Ginger gurning update: only once. He can’t act scared, poor lad. Otherwise the performances aren’t bad, though I’m never convinced by the Hermione girl. Imelda Staunton steals the show as (checks Wikipedia) Dolores Umbridge.

The biggest laugh in the film was, I am sure, not intended as such. It’s up there alongside Anakin’s dream about his mother. That’ll teach us to go to an evening showing.

POINTLESS FACT: This is the shortest film so far, and adapted from the longest book. It’s true, I read it on the intertubes. And the film is relatively fat-free; no superfluous scenes that I remember. One character who might qualify as padding was, apparently, cut in an earlier draft and resurrected at the request of a certain billionaire author, hinting strongly of a pivotal role in book seven.

POINTLESS FACT: The word “muggle” is now in the OED.

POINTLESS FACT: JK Rowling is now secretly Empress of Earth and walks only on powdered diamonds.

Avaragado’s rating: one packet of assorted nuts

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