The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A Teenager In Love

Yesterday was Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince day. Or, to give it its name according to all the bus stop posters, Harr Potte And The Half-Bloo Prince. The art of typesetting is, it would appear, dead.

Enjoyed the film lots. Not a great deal actually happens, and the climax isn’t exactly climactic, but all the teenage romance stuff was hilarious – particularly the girl infatuated with Ron, second-best performance of the film – and the trials of Draco Malfoy – best performance of the film, the actor getting across a heart-wrenching personal dilemma and descent into emotional hell without actually having any dialogue. And all the regulars were marvellous as always, although Severus Snape seems to have put on a few pounds. Qui-digestum-totus-pieus!

Only real quibble is a problem with the book – Harr Potte spends the whole two hours trying to find out something for Dumbledore which turns out to be something Dumbledore already knew. And the book's central mystery – the identity of the eponymous Half-Bloo Prince – is thrown away. On the other hand, though, the sequence in the cave, which fell a bit flat for me in the novel, was stunning and nightmarish and terrifying.

As a general observation – and one where Harr Potte is a vivid example – I think that this era of film-making will be looked back upon as the time when everyone went a little bit mad with the grading. It seems every film I see nowadays has been graded to within an inch of its life; bright golden summers, dark green scary bits, grey-blue flashbacks, blood-red nightclubs and overcast skies bringing a sense of grim foreboding whichever way you turn. If I were a cinematographer I’d be whimpering myself to sleep. When they say this Harr Potte will be the darkest one yet – they shouldn’t mean it literally.

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