Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Avada Kedavra!" cried Warner Brothers.

For whatever reason, IBN Live decided to publish this. You can see it here.

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And Harry Potter fell dead.

A decade's worth of anticipation, along with Ms Rowling's efforts, and our dreams that grew around The Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not be Named. In one single effort.

With a swish and a flick, Warner Brothers uttered the magic words. And there lay Harry Potter, dead, across thousands of screens across the world, all at the same time.

The worst Potter movie ever made. Period.

I suppose the movie might still turn out to be a raging hit among people who have not read the series. They would love the corpse because they shall never know what it was like when it was alive. But as for us, the diehard fans who have the books more than Hermione has read Hogwarts: A History, this was nothing short of our scarred hero being gangraped, mutilated, murdered.

I went to catch the first show at Bioscope, Axis Mall at 2.10 PM. The show got cancelled because I was the only spectator available. I went back for the 4.15 PM. I could sacrifice watching it on 3D, but I couldn't have sacrificed watching it on the first day.

And they gave me this, in return.

Warning: The rest of the article contains spoilers

Where did it all go wrong, then? Let's start at the very beginning:


1. The Hallows. Or rather, the absence of them.
The movie, as Warner Brother has conveniently forgotten, is called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This was supposed to imply that the movie would be about the hallows. A lot shall be told about them (in addition to Xen Lovegood's narration in the first part), about what purpose they serve, about how they are nobler when compared to horcruxes, about how Dumbledore had pursued them at some point of time. The term was used once in the movie, in a casual conversation between Harry and Mr Ollivander (who never came into the picture in the books as far as hallows were concerned).
Additionally,
(i) we never got to know that the cute-looking stone that Harry dropped was the resurrection stone, and was one of the hallows; I'm sure it confused a lot of people who weren't aware of the story;
(ii) we never got to know that the Elder Wand was one of the hallows; that the fact that Dumbledore had performed "extraordinary magic" with the wand had a lot to do with the fact that the wand was uber-special;
(iii) we never got to know that that Harry's invisibility cloak was one of the hallows, either; it was always portrayed as another cloak - we never got to know that it was special.


2. Harry's wand.
Harry did show Bellatrix and Draco's wands to Mr Ollivander. However, it never struck him to show his own mutilated wand to the greatest wandmaker in Britain and ask whether a repair was possible. This ruined the fact that the wand was beyond repair using normal magic, and it would take the Elder Wand to fix it.
It did not matter in the end, though. Harry never attempted to repair it anyway. He spent the rest of his life without a wand, I presume. Abbe, Voldy ko maar daala, ab wand se kya lena-dena?


3. The destiny of the Elder Wand.
The Elder Wand was not returned to Dumbledore's grave. It never went back to its rightful owner - possibly the greatest wizard of all times. Our hero decided to snap it and throw the pieces away (without attempting to repair his own wand, I repeat). This was oddly reminiscent of Karisma Kapoor throwing stones at God for making her fall in love with Shah Rukh Khan in Dil to Paagal Hai.


4. How were the giants killed?
The movie showed one (two?) giants in Voldemort's army. We were shown how Harry and Co. escaped close deaths in the hands of a giant by running between its legs. What we never got to see was how they were defeated. WB just had to show giants (and acromantulae), I presume, but didn't find thwarting giants a scene worth showing.
Since wizards cannot affect giants easily, Grawp attacking them and Buckbeak and the thestrals (thereby increasing greatly Hagrid's role in the war) having a go at their eyes was a scene I was really looking forward to. WB omitted that. The giants got bored and left in the end, I presume.


5. McGonagall and her strange command.
From the very beginning of the series, McGonagall had come across as a strict teacher, but a very good human being. She had been rigid at times, but she CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT ask Filch to send the Slytherins to the dungeons. McGonagall CANNOT do anything like that to any student.
Why did you not bother to read the series, David Yates?


6. The Prince's Tale.
I had possibly expected too much of Hollywood as far as one of my favourite chapters of the series was concerned. In the end, it turned out to be too quick, mushy and vague for anyone to understand.
We never got to know how Dumbledore had guided Snape throughout the seventh year. Not a single sentence on that. No one got to know how Snape acted the way he did. What should have been one of the emotional climaxes turned out to be a typically Hollywoodish damp squib. That was the closest I came to hurling a shoe at the screen in anguish, but the concept of returning barefoot wasn't too appealing.


7. Nagini.
The book: Voldemort would body-bind Neville. Set him on fire. The spell would be lifted. Neville, thanks to his bravery, now becomes eligible to bring out Gryffindor's sword out of the sorting hat, and in one go, decapitated Nagini. The war resumed.
Result: gave me goosebumps at about eight in the morning; I was reading nonstop, with a couple of hours of sleep squeezed in between.
The movie: Neville pulled out the sword out of the sorting hat all right, but no apparent valid reason. As everyone (Bellatrix included) was already dead and Voldemort was caught in a loooooooooooong duel with Harry, Nagini chased Ron and Hermione throughout the castle (why?). The moment it cornered them and was about to pounce upon them, Neville appeared out of nowhere, and did the decapitation bit just in the nick of time.
Result: I yawned.


8. The Crabbe-Zabini mystery.
Tendulkar had decided to skip the recently concluded India-West Indies series. As a result, VVS Laxman batted at four and Virat Kohli was included.
Jamie Waylett (playing Crabbe in all the first seven movies) wasn't possibly available, but Josh Herdman (Goyle) was. So, instead of Crabbe, Goyle became the one to cast Fiendfyre and get killed. But there needed to be another Slytherin in the scene, so in stepped Blaise Zabini.
Cool. Too cool for words.


9. Three scenes.
Three of my most eagerly anticipated scenes were omitted. All of them had given me emotional upheavals while reading, and in my opinion they would have helped improve the standard of the trash of a movie by at least ten times:
(i) the return of Percy Weasley, and the reactions of the entire Weasley family to that; one of the most emotional scene in the series...
(ii) The Order of the Phoenix setting up base: Kingsley providing clear instructions on how to control the four towers, and putting Fred and George in charge of the passages; the set-up would have given the audience the feeling of the beginning of a war and would have had them at the edges of their seats;
(iii) Trelawney joining the fray, smashing Death Eaters with her massive glass orbs; the scene had made me visualise Emma Thompson, and I had paused reading to laugh out loud, despite the tension.


10. The Dumbledore saga.
I had always thought that The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore was worth being converted into a full-length feature film. Instead, they never cared to dig deep into the history of the Dumbledores: the Albus-Aberforth strained relationship, Arianna's death, Dumbledore's quest for the hallows. Nothing. But then, Tom Riddle's past was not very clearly narrated - where does Dumbledore's past stand in comparison?
And as for Gellert Grindelwald - who's that?


11. No moldification.
The brilliant Peeves song ("We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter's the one / And Voldy's gone moldy, so now let's have fun!"), which proved to be such a relief from the packed tension, was omitted.
It was fitting, though. There was no tension to be relieved of in the first place. Harry and Voldemort grabbing each other and falling from top of a tower amidst a stream of black doesn't really build up tension. And neither does Harry uttering the famous line "Let's end the way it started, Tom." Thank goodness it wasn't "Let's go for a dive, Tommy."
Why did they not use the song, even during the end credits? :(


12. After the war.
The book: Voldemort is killed in front of a packed audience. All of Hogwarts cheer in unison. Everyone celebrates. Even my back turns to an obtuse angle from an acute one. Peeves goes berserk. They throw food in Grawp's mouth. An exhausted Harry decides to retire to the headmaster's room, where all the Hogwarts headmasters, Dumbledore included, join in a standing ovation. Harry has a long conversation with Dumbledore, filling in whatever gaps were there in the plot, and the reader is left content.
The movie: Voldemort is killed in a vague open land. Harry snaps the Elder Wand and throws them away. Period. No celebrations.

***

Lists are almost always supposed to be made in XIs (or at most XIIs, accommodating a substitute fielder). But I decided that there was another aspect that could simply not be left out.


13. The scene where I laughed out really loud.
Plot deviations are obvious in any movie. Anyone does that for the sake of the movie. There have been major plot deviations in the first seven movies that had driven me insane. But this one was so pathetic that I actually laughed out loud:
When the war started, the four major professors were expected to protect Hogwarts. McGonagall did her bit and summoned the suits of armour to protect the castle (which, in my friend Somnath's opinion, were reminiscent of Mummy 3 - released in Hindi as Dragon Badshah ka Maqbara). Then the professors united and cast spells to put a three-dimensional barrier to protect Hogwarts. McGonagall. Flitwick. Slughorn. And, hold your breath, not Pomona Sprout, but MOLLY WEASLEY. Dropped in for a casual visit, I presume.
That was actually the moment where I gave up hope of all kind, and sat back, laughing. Even Neville luring Fenrir Greyback and team to a ridiculous landslide failed to infuriate me any further.

***

As my friend Apoorva has mentioned, the credits clearly mention "based on the book by JK Rowling". I had perhaps set my expectations to too high.

It's a good thing that had rated it PG-13. Children shouldn't be allowed to witness butchery, savagery, gore. More so when dreams and expectations get raped and murdered.

27 comments:

  1. Anshul SabherwalJuly 17, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Very well written.

    The part I found very funny ( though dramatic) was Harry walking out of the ranks in Snape's assembly announcing his arrival. Wasn't he there because he wanted time to search Hogwarts for the diadem. And as much time without Voldy realizing what he was upto. Of course it was different had he been caught (as in the book by the Carrows). But he had absolultely no need to do that.

    That was the problem in the movie. It tried to create unreal artificial dramatic scenes. And when the war was happening and there were genuine opportunities to climax and dramatacize, they decided to remove all that.

    I think better read the last book again :)

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  2. Agree, the epic battle or the epic endings weren't epic enough.

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  3. harry potter should be best left to one's imagination.

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  4. read this-
    http://harvardmagazine.com/2008/06/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination

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  5. Here's my friend's funny.
    http://stupidusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/harry-potter-and-the-untold-story/#comments

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  6. Looks like the comment I tried to post vanished... :( Hope I am not duplicating it again...

    I was a bit disappointed by the way everyone was getting blown to bits as they died: Bella, Voldy, Nagini... and I hoped Voldy's death would have been more epic!

    Not a big fan of the Potter movies anyways, I think this was better than the last one but not as good as Azkaban... and anyways the sentimentality of the series getting over may have clouded my sharp criticism a bit...

    Good review... I should find some time out to write my own...

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  7. Frankly, I am not as disappointed as you, perhaps a little. I expected it to be more dark, more forboading, and less action thriller types. Otherwise the movie seemed to be OK. Well, as you mentioned, there were a few glaring omissions, but perhaps they are expected given such a deluge of scenes available from the book. Also, would have liked something similar to the tale of three brothers in HP 7(1), which I really liked very much.
    Overall, I think for Potter-fans, the movie contains enough scenes to fill in the blanks using your imagination. As for non-readers, the movie is enough to satisfy you.
    I liked Neville's half-straight drive half-pull to behaed Nagini. It would have smashed the Eden Garden's window :)

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  8. I don't know what version of the film you saw but a fair few of your points can be easily explained;

    1. i) when Harry opens the snitch to reveal what's inside, he actually saws "The Resurrection Stone". His dead parents then appear to him, literally confirming it.
    ii) The Elder wand was revealed to be Dumbledore's at the end on part 1. This film even opens with shots of Voldemort taking it from his tomb. This is pretty obvious.
    iii) From the moment when the cloak was mentioned in the part 1, i think most people guessed it was harry's cloak. If not, it's not the end of the world but once you'd surmised that we knew where the wand and the stone was, the cloak couldn't be far away.

    2) Ollivander was in poor health and had no tools. He kept Draco's wand which changed it's allegiance to Harry and, if you remember, actually defeated the greatest evil wizard of all time.

    3) The Wand and the Stone were really too dangerous to have around. As Beedle the Bard tells us, they ended up killing their owners. Only the cloak was safe to keep. Hence Harry dropping to stone and breaking the wand. I don't think Dumbledore would disapprove.

    4) Addmittedly it was annoying that not all the action could be shown but it is clearly obvious that the suits of armour attack the giants, stabbing them in the legs and bringing them down. This is shown in at least two long shots. How did you miss this?

    5) Not sure what your reasoning is for this. A teacher can do lots of things, why not send potentially pupils to the dungeon. Furthermore, she is acting-headmistress at this point. also, please remember, this isn't term-time - a war was about to break out. Get some perspective.

    6) Matter of opinion. I though they did quite well, considering they couldn't let it drag on too long. It may have been nice to see a little more guidance but it was clear that Dumbledore was requesting help and Snape gave it over the years, including agreeing to kill the headmaster. The main thing is, we know WHY he both helped and hated Harry.

    7. I agree with you here.

    8. Jamie Waylett was caught growing Marijuana last year so was omitted from the final film. Instead of re-casting after years with one actor, they just added an additional character into the scene.

    9. i) I agree but you can't show everything. It would slow down the action.
    ii) They did show the preparation for the battle with Shacklebolt giving orders on who to stand where.
    iii) Again, somethings have to be ommitted. It was probably filmed, but didn't make the final cut.

    10.Got to keep it shorter for time. As the final movie it was supposed to be all about action. Furthermore, fans who read the book would know all this anyway and get the references. People whi hadn't wouldn't miss them and even if they gauged a deeper meaning, perhaps that would lead them toward the book anyway.

    11. Peeves is rubbish and the song would be cringeworthy, childish and wouldn't work on screen.

    12. I agree it should have been a bit more joyful but they changed to this more downbeat angle consistently. Even when Harry goes into the hall no-one particularly pays him much attention to him. In the scene, it wraps up with the three of them standing together having survived - that's all they could have asked for

    13. She arrived with the rest of the Order when Harry first reveals himnself. you yourself said you wished to see the Percy reconciliation scene. She's the main one in it. As they didn't have that anymore but still wanted to show her killing Bellatrix, they'd have to use an establishing shot of her beforehand. If she was there I see no reason why she wouldn't help with the spell.

    So overall in my opinion, it's not that you set your expectations to high it's that you didn't pay too much attention. I do hope you post this. No hard feelings but I thought you'd probably appreciate being advised of a differing opinion.

    Thom

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  9. Agree with Thom's response above.
    It's a 2 hour movie and you don't expect the entire book to be re-created...what's the charm in reading then.

    I liked the movie for the simple fact that the essence of the book was there...rest all doesn't matter.

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  10. the movie was an aftertaste
    not a full course meal.
    rather-a dessert served for meal.

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  11. for you,HAPPY BIRTHDAY remains a two word greeting,nothing much,for
    emotions always remain incarcerated in the prisonhouse of language.
    Retain your child-like enthusiasm for life,your sensitivity turns into cynicism often,given the abrasions that you receive from the world,yet cleverly shield your sensitivity feigning nonchalance.
    I cherish the brief time I saw you.
    Here’s to this day and many more.I pray life gives you its crowned and choicest blessings.HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

    Donotpublishthis.

    ReplyDelete
  12. except your 12th point...
    rest all is the stupidest thing i have ever read...
    even i was diasappointed but writing such stupid things is unbelievable.
    1. J.K ROWLING was the one who wrote the dialogues for the movie to an extent, she had heavy control on the art direction and everything.
    2. when harry grabs the RESURRECTION STONE he says it, you should have listened properly rather than sobbing in a corner.
    3.As it was said, Draco's wand had chosen HARRY as its new owner and accepted him. so he was living 'rest of his life' with that, not 'wandless'
    4. Molly enetred with the rest of the ORDER, in case you missed that, or did you just went with your hatred to watch the movie?
    5...PLEASE STOP WRITING SUCH REVIEWS, BEING A POTTER FAN, YOU DISGUST ME!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. HAHAHAHA.....

    you will approve my comment???

    NEVER...i challenge you to!!!!

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  14. Thom:

    Just curious, when you're willing to give your name away, why the "anonymous" post?

    Anyway, in response to your comment:
    1. i) I apologise. It WAS mentioned that the it was the resurrection stone. But the movie never mentions that it's a hallow, and how crucial it is. My whole point is, throughout the movie it's never mentioned that the hallows actually do exist, and are effective!
    ii) Once again, not mentioned that it's a hallow.
    iii) If it had to be GUESSED, why did Rowling herself bother to pinpoint it in the book?

    2. Harry wasn't supposed to ASK Ollivander to mend it then and there. He was only supposed to query whether it's repairable. Spending a lifetime with Malfoy's wand wasn't a good idea. The wand chooses the wizard, remember?

    3. Dropping the stone was fine. The wand should've been returned to Dumbledore's tomb, like in the book. And that too, after repairing Harry's own wand.

    4. Giants, as per JKR's definition, couldn't be brought down physically that easily. Remember Hagrid's Tale from Book 5?

    5. Doesn't go with McGonagall's nature. The characterisation is wrong. Read the book.

    6. You're right, matter of perspective.

    7. Yay!

    8. So? If they could have another Dumbledore from Movie 3, why not another Crabbe? Why make Goyle do a Crabbe? Goyle is an idiot and not capable of such stuff, isn't it? Would've made sense if Zabini had done it.

    9. I know some things should be left out. But scenes that ADD to the movie?

    10. If they wanted to leave out Dumbledore's background, WHY SPLIT IT INTO TWO MOVIES?

    11. Matter of perspective. The song did soothed my senses after reading through the intensity.

    12. Yes, but isn't the book's version way, way better? Again, a matter of perspective.

    13. My point was, which team would you have preferred - McGonagall-Flitwick-Slughorn-Sprout or McGonagall-Flitwick-Slughorn-Molly? Which sounds more authentic?

    As a summary, you're right. I had possibly set my expectations too high. :(

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  15. Previous anonymous poster:

    I wonder why you expect others to be bold, whereas you'd prefer to keep your identity a secret.

    Anyway, I like the fact that you agree on point 12.

    1. How is that relevant?
    2. My point was, it was never mentioned that any of the hallows were significant, or even relevant.
    3. It doesn't work that way. The wand chooses the wizard, remember?
    4. Did it ever strike you odd that Molly, and not Sprout, was among the four...?
    5. It's my blog. You're free not to read, or to comment whatever you feel like. It shall be published unless it contains profanity, is personal or contains racial or similar views.

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  16. The Slytherin Common Room is actually situated in the dungeons. So, that explains McG's behaviour.

    As for the other points, i can't say untill i've seen the movie. But seriously, does he snap the Elder Wand?! :O

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  17. I'll start with a review for this "wonderful" movie that comes straight from the 97% approved Rotten Tomatoes:

    "With nothing left to tell, the grand finale to the Harry Potter saga holds nothing back."

    I wholeheartedly agree with this review :). There really was nothing left to tell in this movie - in one line, "Harry kills Voldemort". And as for the holding nothing back part - how many special effects? How little emotional connection? To quote the Master himself from Macbeth, this movie "is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    (a) First things first: Death Eaters do not fly around as smoke-balls. Especially not inside Hogwarts. There would be NO need for Broomsticks - or sometimes Disapparation - were this doable. Only Snape and the Dark Lord can do this. I've been bugged by this since Movie 5 (I'm being charitable to the climax of movie 4 and dismissing it as a "typo").

    "Coincidentally", David Yates directed Movie 5 and all to follow. Thank you, David Yates.

    (b) I'll say what many others have surely said: what impressed me about Harry Potter - the books, that is - was the devil in the details. We see all these casual, obscure references to lockets and tiaras and diaries and cloaks put in from books one through six. And they all come together Especially the ending - for me, it was one last twist of the knife into JKR's books :) - even in the epilogue there, the characters, well, are characters. In the movie, by contrast, Ron speaks one line: "They're here." The director put these things in the movies because they're there in the books. Exactly why or how, he really doesn't know.at the end, when one looks back on the series and sees JKR's creation as a whole. Her backstory about Tom Riddle and Horcruxes, about Albus Dumbledore and Hallows. We read that Petunia learnt about Azkaban from him and that she corresponded with Dumbledore, and we find out why and when. We learn that the Dark Lord tried to teach at Hogwarts, just so he could nick Gryffindor's sword and create a last Horcrux. We learn that the Elder Wand has been in plain sight for all these years, and that the cloak is really The Cloak.

    -----

    (c) And then came along the movies. And the Devil (i.e., David Yates and the entire team of Warner Brothers) was in those same details.

    Recall Movie 3: the feature that distinguishes a werewolf from a wolf is a slight extension of the snout, said Miss know-it-all Granger. They're supposed to be virtually indistinguishable. Instead, we got Anubis himself. If I wanted that, I'd visit a pyramid, thank you very much.

    Recall Movie 5 - and this is not a Harry Potter thing, it is basic acting/directing. Mrs. Figg sees Harry Patronus away the Dementors in the book. Now she's a Squib, so when he tries to stow away his wand on seeing her, she yells out of a vast fear for him to keep it out, what if the Dementors come back? She can't do any magic!

    In the movie? She's an emotionless, stoned-out impersonator of Cate Blanchett's Galadriel. Thanks again, David Yates. This is not even something that needed to be changed - it's just one of many examples of your mediocrity. Oh, and thanks again for the flying Dark Wizards.

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  18. (d) But the best(?) was Movie 6. What is a Horcrux, ask the audience? "Who cares?" says Yates. Do we know what Harry and Dumbledore are up to? "Who cares", says Yates. Memories of Tom Marvolo Riddle? "Tom who?" Whose cup? Whose locket? Why even ask?

    Even from a local point of view - Harry and Ginny? "What, they get together here?"

    The backstory of Lord Voldemort was gone. The most important and interesting part of the series to date - Yates simply cast a Disillusionment Charm upon it - and left me Disillusioned too. The main selling point in the Half-Blood Prince movie seemed to be humour. I was Stunned.

    -----

    (e) But then came Movie 7.1 - and as with Movie 4, it actually impressed me - possibly because there are only action sequences involved, so it can be kept "crisp" and let the reader be taken along for a thrilling ride. I said to myself - he's learning to keep the important bits in, he's found a good Editor, there is hope. Yet, I knew otherwise, thanks to Movie 6.

    One of the most touching bits in the entire series for me, was that even as great a wizard as Dumbledore had such a terrible emotional scar, as to seek redemption in the Mirror of Erised.

    Can David Yates even dream of recreating this for the viewer?

    How about the scene that describes the horror, the unbearable sadness of it all when Fred Weasley dies? Yates said - I'll show his dead body and let's all move on, thank you very much. Report the facts, that's good enough!

    Or - Percy Weasley has been thrown out of context and importance throughout the entire series. In this movie, he never even showed up. What made for great drama in the book is gone. As Anshul noted - there are so many good moments in the book here that could just have been taken down verbatim for the movie - as the author explicitly spelled out with precisely this intention. And so many of these scenes are simply gone from the movie. Or changed when there really was no need to do so.

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  19. But forget all that. What about basic facts, like the ones Yates so conveniently neglected or changed? In keeping with tradition, I'll point out seven of them :).

    (1) The Invisibility Cloak of Harry's is a Deathly Hallow. In the movie, why should we care? What is the significance of the Hallows in this movie? Why even call anything Hallows here? Just to explain the title of the movie? What do the Hallows have to do with killing Voldemort, or with Dumbledore's backstory? It's all about Horcruxes, no? Why not simply call it: "Harry Potter: It all ends tonight" and never mention any Hallows? As it is, Horcruxes were crucial to killing Voldemort, yet were never even explained. Why should Yates waste any time on Hallows at all?

    (2) One point of Jo's books was the emphasis on magical artifacts. (And given the influence of LotR on this series, how could it be otherwise.) Wands such as the Elder Wand, or those sharing phoenix cores; blood of unicorns, or of Lily Potter; artifacts such as Stones, diaries, swords, Cup-portkeys, wands, lockets, rings, and cups.

    In the middle of all this comes Harry Potter, and taking Dumbledore's Elder Wand, he breaks it in two. (Not to mention that he forgot to repair his own wand, after the repeated lines about others' wands not "feeling right" in the movie.) But to show such disrespect to such a powerful magical object - this is supposed to be consistent with even the on-screen persona of Harry Potter?

    No, David Yates, perhaps you should have read the books first. Oh, and seen one or three Peter Jackson movies too.

    Of course, there are those who wanted lots of blood and gore and gritty fights - and got it. These people were satisfied. It's a summer blockbuster movie, after all! But these people were always going to be satisfied. What, I would like to ask them, could possibly have made this movie a bad movie? Was there even a way in living memory of achieving this? Because if not, then this whole post is pointless. As long as Harry kills Voldy in the end - Great Hall or not - how would this movie not achieve its goal of moneymaking and entertaining? It shows plenty of death and destruction and violence, no? THEREFORE it must be a dark and good movie, right? It's like saying that if you show lots of blood and gore then you MUST get a good horror movie.

    -----

    (3) Many details were changed - and really not for the better, even from a movie-making point of view. This point is about Neville: Neville and Nagini was bungled from start to finish, reducing it to the level of any [B/H]ollywood action sequence.

    And as for Neville luring the hordes of Bad Guys to a landslide - as was very validly pointed out by Abhishek, that was simply Riddikulus! In other words, some kind of comic / tension-relief action scene. Somnath pointed out to me that it was directly lifted from X-3's battle finale. Oh, and (he also said:) Neville hanging on from the landslide and then lifting himself back up... Gandalf in FotR, anyone? He half-expected Neville to shout out "Fly, you fools!" :).

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  20. (4) Why did Emma Thompson/Trelawney show up in this movie in exactly one shot? How did it help in the movie-making process, David Yates, to keep her in one shot, but not spend that much time on Harry repairing his own wand using the Elder Wand?

    (5) Exactly what was Harry doing in practising Synchronised Olympic Diving with Voldemort - sorry, "Tom", as he calls him? Is this jumping off together supposed to build tension in the movie, by making it like every other Hollywood movie climax?

    (6) One important point about Horcruxes and Voldemort is that in the books, he did NOT feel weak or angry or even detect it, when a Horcrux was destroyed. This is in direct contradiction to the movie, and there really was no need to display this discrepancy. It did NOT help the movie in any way.

    (7) Aberforth's Patronus is a goat, David, and not a two-dimensional sheet of light. Read the book for why that's a noteworthy point in that context. Tiny details like these, that Yates really had no need to change.

    -----

    Even the epilogue - for me, it was one last twist of the knife into JKR's books :) - in the book, the characters, well, are characters. In the movie, by contrast, Ron speaks one line: "They're here." and that's it. Who does this mediocrity help? The fans? The actors? David Yates has put this scene in the movie simply because it exists in the books. (Just like he showed us Fred Weasley's corpse for a second, or Emma Thompson in one shot.) Exactly how or why to detail it, he really doesn't know.

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  21. How would people feel if, say, in the Mahabharat, we had the following:

    (1) Arjun's divyastras or Karna's ultimate weapon were never given any special name, how they were obtained never explained. Or, he got them from Gandhari just before the gambling session (just like Ollivander told Harry about Hallows in the movie - and at some random point of time, not the actual one).



    (2) Arjun's bow had already been strung when he came out of the incognito hiding, because stringing it in a movie would waste time.


    (3) Abhimanyu is able to fight his way out of the Chakravyuha but is being chased by everyone and then they collectively kill him on the doorstep of the Pandavas' camp.

    Or - there is no Shikhandi, and Bhishma is defeated in single combat by Arjun - after he grabs Bhishma by the hair, and jumps off a cliff with him. (Let's end it, Tom!)


    (4) The following are missing from the plot: Jayadratha's father, Dhrishtadyumna coming out of Dhrupad's yagya, and Kripacharya. Anyone else can kill Drona on Day 15, it doesn't matter.

    Oh, and throw out the Gita too. It's not central to the good vs. evil fight, now, is it? After all, if you don't need backstories about the main characters, then you don't need these parts of the Mahabharat either! Or maybe like the garbled version of the Prince's Tale that was presented (and made some impact only thanks to the brilliance of Alan Rickman), maybe the Gita could be sung in English. In rap style with an electric guitar.



    (5) Arjun and Karna fight with their bare hands on the 17th day. Arjun stabs Karna to death.

    Clearly the story doesn't change significantly and it really doesn't matter in the long run to show this in a Mahabharat movie, right? Thanks for doing this to Harry Potter, David Yates.


    -----

    When the next book was to come out, and the usual parties and buildup happened, people used to be asked - if you meet Jo, what is one question that you would ask her?

    I now know what mine is - it goes along the lines of:


    Dear Jo, when you see these movie "adaptations" of your beloved brainchild, with all the backstory thrown out and the nuances omitted and all the details altered, do you think, wistfully, of Peter Jackson at all? How do you make sense of these movies to yourself and what would you say to your bibliophile fans - you know, the ones who do NOT care how much money you or Warner Brothers make from this movie?

    -----

    As I told Abhishek - this was merely based on the book by JKR. In fact, he had said to me:


    "Let's end the way it started, Tom"? What is this? Mission Impossible revisited?

    And my answer was:

    "NO - it's a Harry Potter movie. What did you expect?"

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  22. It's very difficult to satisfy both the readers of the books and the new movie watchers who don't know the story. They have taken the middle path and changed some details here and there. Every reader imagines the details of the books in his own way and that is the beauty of a book. That can never be achieved in a movie, because it is a representation of the imagination of the director and his team. The effort should however be appreciated. I, a fan of Harry Potter, likes it anyway it is presented, no questions asked.
    I do appreciate your critique, but I fail to understand that the 1st show you chose to watch being a die-hard fan was at 2 pm and not 9 am which was the 1st show in the city.

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  23. Hello Abhishek.. Please find complete detailed answer for you blog in this... http://hearmeoutttt.blogspot.com/2011/07/for-not-so-intelligents.html

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  24. Hey Abhishek... Sorry about yaar.. Nothing personal.. I am one big HP freak so I just could no take whatever you had written..
    As far as the worst Potter movie goes.. You are asking the wrong person..!!! :)

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  25. Of course it wasn't personal: and I'm an equally big HP freak as well. It's just that I'm such a big follower of the books that if the movies do not match their standards, it pisses me off.

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  26. I came across this post and whole-heartedly agree with you on almost all points that you have raised. I remember feeling extremely indignant at many of the scenes introduced by the movie, which had no connection with the book. Please drop in for my analysis http://debosmita.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/my-tryst-with-harry-potter/

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  27. I totally agree with you about this being the worst movie of the series, though Deathly Hallows part 1 and Prisoner of Azkaban come close. But then, after Prisoner of Azkaban, I had considerably lowered my expectations. It's strange though that you should mention a movie being made from The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, and I should read that a day after watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGHBwk0quxs

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