Friday, November 19, 2010

RftP: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

... reaffirms the reality that David Yates can't direct for shit and/or Steve Kloves should've been tossed on the heap a long time ago in favour of someone more suited to a long form adaptation.

In being given two films to deal with the last book - thus being deprived of the excuse that there's too much material - the weaknesses of that director/writer combo are simply given twice the opportunity to jump up on screen. The script is abysmal at short-handing in things suddenly deemed important (My favourite: "Hi Harry, I'm Domhnall Gleeson. I'll be your Bill Weasley today. Because we didn't shoot the actual last act of the prior book, I'm contractually obligated to mention Fenrir Greyback caused this scar the makeup department spent an hour putting on my face at some point when no one was looking. Oh, and I'm marrying Fleur - you all remember Fleur right?"), and the direction is technically sound but completely and totally emotionally bereft. How do I know this? Because we're not watching a Jackie Chan movie and the audience is laughing their heads off at the end of your snake chase and again when the characters are trying to be emotional because you can't find the proper line between drama and laughable level melodrama.

The combo then goes on to remove things for what becomes pretty obvious as simply budget concerns and appearance sake ("Hi Harry... err... it's Domhnall again... Ron won't be hiding out at Shell Cottage because someone thought it would make him look weak... oh, and, um, when you run from the Malfoy's... Fleur and I won't be there because then they'd have to pay us... Hell, it's probably Dad's summer cottage now... you'll find out in part two), which gets kinda annoying when you also read that they spent money to try and 3D'ize this - failing miserably - in order to charge you an extra $2.50 but couldn't be arsed to pay for the actors to do things "right". So, much like the last HP flic these two brought to the table you end up with a disjointed mess of a film that jumps from scene to scene while looking pretty.

There are many comments that this is the most "dark" and "mature" Harry Potter to date but... not really... It's only "dark" and "mature" in the same sense that slapping black leather on your main character while adding some "fucks" and tits to your video game makes it "mature" - it's some elderly executive's idea of what's "naughty" which is why the audience was ROFL'ing during the much ado about nothing "naked Harry Potter/Hermione makeout" scene.

I honestly think your enjoyment of this mess is likely dependent on whether or not you've ever read the novels so that's your deciding factor here.

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