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domingo, 2 de janeiro de 2011

About Harry Potter and other stuff

A few days ago I watched the most recent movie of the Harry Potter franchise and well, I really didn't like it. Yeah, sorry. And, before you guess, let me say I'm not here to talk exactly about the movie, I'm here more to talk about why I was so pissed off when I left the theater.


Adaptation you say, hum? ok

I'm not a Harry Potter fanatic. I have read the books, I like the story, I think it's original, creative, I recommend to read and that's all. Simple like that. In fact I'm one of those who just have read the books because I liked the first movies.

I think it's easier a book be better than its movie adaptation. It doesn't mean the movie can't be good, it means that most of the time if the movie is good then the book is even better. It happens simply because the book has more space to develop the characters, their conflicts and everything else. More than that, in the book who tells the story is the person who created it, is not a adaptation. In the book the story is told the way it has to be told, without limitation of 2 hours and half with the obligation of a action scene every 15 minutes.

To a adaptation I don't think is really important to follow the original completely. It is not even possible, it's a different media, is something else. I don't think is a problem cut whatever is necessary to cut, as long as in the end the movie is good and still holds a reason to carry the name of the book. Cutting for cutting is not good.

When I go watch a movie based in a book I have read, I'm not doing that because I'm stupid, don't have anything better to do and like to waste my time watching a story I already know. No, it is not. The intention is to live again the story, now with image, special effects, music and maybe explosions.

- What do you mean by "your hands look like an ugly CGI"?


And now the part where I get pissed off

Have you ever heard that read is think with other person's head? I think in the world of movies it's similar, but when we watch a movie the head “we are using to think” is the head of the director of that movie.

The director is the guy who gets together all that names we see in the end of the movie when the credits roll and tell them what is his vision about the story and how he wants the visuals, the actors behavior, the editing and everything else to be so then the movie will tell the story in a way he believes is the best. He is the one who translates, in a very personal level, the words of the book into image and sound.

Harry Potter's movies had many directors and is very noticeable the touch of each director in each film. The first two movies were directed by Chris Columbus, the third one by Alfonso Cuarón, the fourth one by Mike Newell and since the fifth one who was called to tell the story was David Yates, also known as “enemy of good adaptations and film editing which tells stories”.

Until the fourth movie there was a story being told with logic, each action of the characters made sense. The first four movies don't have all the things their respective books had, but they were closed stories, they had the power to take through the plot and through the “World of Harry Potter”, the fella who decided to lose two hours of his life watching the movie.

The impression I have is that since the fifth movie instead of telling a story the movies have become just a random filming of scenes from the book without a true care to build up a plot that makes sense by itself. If you had read the books you will be able to understand and follow the story, but you gonna be pissed off because the adaptation is bad and the scenes are terrible. On the other hand, if you didn't read the books, or don't remember anymore, you won't have the chance to understand what is going on and why what is happening is happening. The story is not told with logic progression. It's not possible to understand what is going on based only in what the movie tells.

Makes me pissed off how scenes that are important are poorly executed, as if was made a decision to show everything in the easier way and not in a way where the meaning of what is happening is really shown. There are many examples of that, the escape of Harry in this last movie, the *spoiler* dead of Dumbledore on the sixth movie, the fight in the Ministry of Magic in the end of the fifth movie, the fight that doesn't exist in the end of the sixth movie and we could give even more examples, but it would be boring.

Is possible to notice how Mr. Yates was feeling "more and more comfortable” movie by movie, making them progressively worse. This last movie reached a point where I had to come here say something to the internet hoping it would change something hahaha.

 
- Tell me Harry, who hired David Yates?!? WHO DID IT??!!


More pissed off and a little philosophic

But seriously, it really bothers me when a great story, with budget to make everything top quality, is thrown away. When I was a child there was this woman in TV who told stories using whatever she had in her hand, like a pencil was a prince, a stapler was the queen and she could tell a story making the voices of the characters. It was simple, but the story telling was great. You don't need money to tell a story, you need to know how to tell a story, and this Mr. Yates doesn't know. We have movies talking about magic that are not magic at all. The story comes and goes and it happens not because the story is bad, the books are great, it happens because the movies are bad.

It's funny when they come and say “we need to do this last book in 2 movies, to assure the story will be better told”. Honestly, does anyone really believes they do have this concern or everybody knows they are just trying to find means to squeeze out all the money they can from the Harry Potter franchise? Specially when they call again to direct the movies this Mr. Yates. There is no worry to make a good movie here and come to public and say that is a big lack of respect with the public, with the story and with movie business.

The worse is notice they are not alone, we could even say it's a tendency these days. So many bad movies are pushed over us with a lot of shameless publicity trying to convince us about how great and spectacular some movies are, when they really are not. Later they come and complain about the piracy, that people are downloading films, that people are not going to the movies and this is destroying the industry and bla bla bla. I think what "destroys the industry" is that people don't like to spend their money and their time to go watch a really bad movie after so many publicity and so many “specialized people” saying the movie was incredible.

Mr. Yates, sorry about laugh so loud at that scene where Harry and Hermione dance. But it's your fault, not mine.


The conclusion

If you have read the Harry Potter books and want to watch the movies just to be pissed off, try to do that without spend your money with that, wait until it's on TV or whatever. If you didn't read the books and is counting with the movies to find out how the story is going to end, get the money you were going to use to buy the ticket and save to buy the books or the audio books, it will be better for you and for the world.


- Hum, I didn't like what he said
 - Don't worry, he wrote too much again, no one will read