Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter 7 - Marana Kadi

I am not a fan of the series. It is not my intention to piss on the party of people who like this movie. But I have to get this out of my system. If not I may just burst. After abandoning the first book after 2-3 weeks of trying, I had seriously thought that Rowling's Potter series was probably similar to Arundhati Roy's "God of Smaller Things" - in that it adorned the mantelpieces of Delhi-chic type people who want to be 'cool' but nobody ever read them. After seeing the first two movies, I also thought this material was probably appropriate for children between ages 7 - 16. I later found out that I was very wrong. About Rowling's book that is (I am correct about Roy's book). Like Valmeeki's Ramayana, Rowling has written Saptha-Kandams of Harry Potter. Many, though not all, apparently read the book. I also found that some even read it all the way to the last chapter. And that's just fantastic.

Now back to this movie, I was under the impression that I had watched them all. That is until I learned recently that 6 Potter movies are out already. So I have no recollection of what Harry Potter movies I have watched so and what I haven't. They have sorted of merged together as they all bored me in a similar fashion. With that context I went into the IMAX version of HP - Deathly Hallows. This 'Pei pisaasu' kadhai was not nearly as boring as I thought it would be. So that was a pleasant surprise. But it kept throwing character after character and showed scenes that resembled a poor man's version of LOTR. I was sure I saw 5 seconds of Ian Mckellen fall down a pit like the way he fell in LOTR. I didn't know Ian Mckellen acted in HP. So maybe instead of having Michael Gambon fall again, they did some quick cut and paste from LOTR to fill in for budget problems (yes. yes. I am kidding).

Similar to the way it has (not) happened in every Harry Potter movie I have seen - nothing ever happens in this movie. It is like you are waiting and waiting. And they are talking about one thing after another. Things, people, animals, animations, ghosts, creatures appear and disappear. I totally felt that they had these 273 items from the novel that they had to check off and they went about doing it in a mechanical fashion. There wasn't an involving plot that you could sink your teeth into. The humor/timing was absent. The pace was a badly off. The basic plot looked like there was a bit of good Vs evil in a magic setting. They bandied about the 'chosen one' concept - yes same one that has been around since Star Wars, Matrix, LOTR etc. There was no 'magic' to this movie. It just wasn't exciting.

P.S: My obvious lack of literary appreciation apart, I used to wonder why I just didn't get this damn movie. Maybe this movie came too close on the heels of LOTR that I found the book and movie inferior in comparison. Only other explanation I can think of.


Anonymous said...

I walked out of harry potter 1 and have not been a fan of the book or the movies

otoh i believe GOST is a supreme achievement.The originality,the plot and the narrative just blew me away

PS : i dont like AR a bit


Dr.Dheep said...

The books rock. The movies suck.

Anonymous said...

you are the best blogger around.


Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

The books are decent fiction. The point is you didnt have a young enough sibling. If you someone who was born in the late 80's or 90's, you would have seen them go to the book release dressed as mandhiravadhi kizhavi with the thodappakattai and all.....

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye not clear if your really read the books.

' I totally felt that they had these 273 items from the novel that they had to check off and they went about doing it in a mechanical fashion. '

Baradwaj Rangan

'But that’s exactly what I loved about it. I’m glad they stuck to what they’ve been doing in the past few films, which is to create a complement to the books and not be literal about transposing to screen. '

Did you guys see different movies?


Kokki Kumarru said...

I share the same kind of taste in Harry potter books, I just don't understand whats so special about it. And there are this bunch of chaps who keep reading just because they have to show off among themselves that they know potter. I used to like the first movie. Everything else was boring. But i can never control my laughter whenever i recall BossKey's joke about potter maniacs "apdi enna iruku nu therila pa.. Ketta matton. harrryyy potttterr.. Its aawwwesommmee nu solranga"

White Rice Vellachami said...

Reasons why Harry Potter succeeded is because of its simple language (LKG student from prooper palakada thotteduthu oru kukgramam will find no need to use a dictionary ... to learn new words) and fairly decent imagination.

With the result of Darwinian evolution resulting in permanent ADD and an unhealthy greed for money, you can see cause and effect here (cause being the hit series and effect being Hollywood).

Btw, this should be obvious to you of all people. When shows like Big Brother and its variations like Sister, Father, Mother, Boss etc etc finds huge audience (and primetime news in India (go India go I have never been prouder to call meself an Indian)) you can see why a small amount of imagination can produce such a hit.

White Rice Vellachami said...

I told you no ya, evolution resulting in ADD. "With the result of Darwinian evolution resulting in". You can't make this up. Full form!!!!!!

Maddy said...

Everytime i see a character expressing awe on HP (especially in movie 1)I ROFL.....Blame it on PB for seeing the whole series..

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of the movie but comparing LOTR with HP(Movie) is crazy. LOTR must have had a minimum gestation period of 10-15yrs in Peter Jackson's head and you can see the end result. They should have allowed HP series to end before they even though about making the movie.


I said...

I used to think the kids wanted to watch the crap, and the adults only accompanied then, unwillingly.

But I saw fully grown adults with no kids, clapping, laughing and blinking away tears.

This is the stupidest generation ever. Video game, Vittalacharya/cartoon padam at ezhu eruma vayasu.

Anonymous said...

Most people I know who enjoyed the movie were fans of the books too. Watching the movie was like an extension of reading the books - it is one of those things where the trivia circles around in your head, and you want to see it on screen to love it or hate it. The movies by themselves would probably not make much sense to someone who has not read the books - they are neither technically great not are they telling the whole story.

Personally I loved the books - I belonged to the generation that grew up on Tinkle and Harry Potter and Friends and Marma Desam. I have not watched the movies properly - usually in some friend's house while playing a game so I have no idea about their merits. But the books make a great read, we talked about it as much as our Paatis talked about Ponniyin Selvan when it was published.

elegantstroke said...

In terms of weaving a story with a lot of plots and sub-plots, the books were great.. especially book 7 where jkr pretty much tied all the hanging threads from the previous books to make the story a whole.

The movies are ordinary, they are mechanical sequences of the book without imagination. translating a book into a movie is a highly difficult task - there's more power (visuals and audio) to a movie, but greater expectations accompany because of it. most hp movies fail in that category.

if you haven't watched hp-3 (prisoner of azkaban), that would be the best of the series IMO. the director was alfonso cuaron.

MaySan said...

Any movie cannot justify when being made from a book, and I think you are too old for this series. This movie was better than many others in this series.

I totally agree with mattuponnu.

Anonymous said...

Umm..I might be the only person on this planet who has not read any of the HP books nor seen the movies. But this begs a question - why did you go to the movie? Were you coerced in some form? I can tell that most of the observations in your "review" were already written before you saw the movie. Why bother?

Anonymous said...

Books good. Movies bad. Any HP fan would agree to that.

But isnt Emma Watson a good enuf reason to watch the movies?

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

i am not a fan of harry potter. wonder what's so special about it that people wait for hours in the line to watch it. was not very impressed with the movie.

Jey said...

"It is like you are waiting and waiting. And they are talking about one thing after another."

'nough said :)

hari said...

I have read every Harry Potter from cover to cover just to make sure I didn't "miss" anything and so that I could critique it better. I desperately wanted to find something in the books which draws me to re-read, but I couldn't even read a single one of them a second time.

Most of the books are very average in literary quality but what annoys me most is the "final showdown" attitude towards the whole thing. Rowling set up the series (all 7 books) as a preliminary to the final showdown between Potter and the arch-villain whose name I forget and everything else was secondary. Even the end was a let-down.

The plot from beginning to end can be summed up as "Evil supervillain tries to kill hero time and again who escapes by a combination of luck and courage and finally defeats supervillain in a mega-showdown."

It's a glorified pretentious literary Road Runner and Wile E Coyote show. Except a lot more boring and missing all the humour of the Warner Brothers' classic.

Sivasankari said...

While i totally agree with the ' abandoning HP bit' i cannot agree bout the AR bit.. if you actually read GOST, u will find it to be brilliant writing..
all that said, your writing is super entertaining :)