Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter on The Deathly Hallows

Looks like Daniel Radcliffe has given thumbs up to the way J.K. Rowling ended the Harry Potter series - not that it really matters. I'm sure that Radcliffe would say he was happy with an outline somebody jotted down on a napkin with the money he's making on these films. Anyway, what I enjoyed most about the Q&A is the fact that Harry Potter (or at least the guy playing Harry Potter) likes Sigur Rós:

What did you do when you finished reading Deathly Hallows?

I was in a car at the time. I had my iPod in, and I was listening to Sigur Rós. I don't know if you know them. They're a band who do sort of instrumental music, but it's just amazing. I think they're from Scandinavia somewhere. They've got an album called Takk...I was listening to, and it's very, very appropriate [for the end of Deathly Hallows]. I was listening to it and I remember I was sort of turned away from everybody else in the car, just so I could be in my own little world when I read it. What did I do when I finished? I think I just put the book down and carried on listening to the music. Just looked out of the car window, 'cause I couldn't think of what else to do. I'm still struggling to really take it in. It doesn't leave you in a hurry.

A pretty decent interview, I must say.

Some people wonder if Radcliffe will have some difficulty overcoming the typecasting from playing Harry Potter all his life, but I think his real challenge will be to overcome his height. The dude's 5' 6", if that, since Actors and Actresses constantly lie about their age and height. What this will mean is that every time Radcliffe signs on to a movie, it will be up to the casting director to hire a bunch of actors who roughly share the same height, or else have Radcliffe constantly walk on a series of risers anytime he shares the screen with a taller actor. As Orson Scott Card pointed out in his Rhino review, they might even have to recast Bonnie Wright a.k.a. Ginny Weasely, because she is dangerously close to becoming much taller than Radcliffe, a fact which could impede Harry's snogging abilities in the future. This will be a shame if it happens, but it is still a possibility. Still need more proof? Well look no further than The Lord of the Rings' Elijah Wood, who is also 5'6" -- have you seen him in very many movies lately?

Anyway, I just saw The Order of the Phoenix for the second time last Saturday, and while the experience helped me enjoy the film more for what it was instead of what it wasn't, I still believe it could have been 15 minutes longer - with five of those minutes going to Snape and his occulemency lessons; five more going to Kreacher, house elf who lives with, and ultimately betrayed, Sirius Black; and the final five going to Dumbledore whose job in the book was to explain all of the above. By the time they come barrelling in with the film based on Book Seven, the writers are going to have a whole lot to go back and explain, since they were in such a hurry with this film in particular, and didn't do it when they were supposed to.

And since no one is asking, I thought I would go ahead and share my thoughts on The Deathly Hallows. I liked the book, I liked it a lot. Thought it was a satisfying way to conclude the series, and I'll be honest, my main reason for reading each book in the series, has always been to find out how they would turn out as films. For instance, when I read the character of Delores Umbridge in Book Five, I knew Imelda Stanton from Vera Drake would be perfect for the part. Then she was cast for the part, and played the role perfectly.

Guess my ultimate concern for the last book, since no new characters will be introduced to inspire casting fantasies, is the question of who will direct it? Phoenix director David Yates is already on-board to direct the sixth film, so he will probably be burned out by then. Alfonso Cuaron expressed some interest in directing another one, but I hope he sticks to making his own films since I like those more than his Harry Potter movie. Mike Newell directed my favorite HP movie by far with The Goblet of Fire, but I get the impression that he wasn't satisfied with the whole experience and has no desire to come back. They may bring in new blood, and while Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo Del Toro's names get tossed around a lot, I think Casino Royale's Martin Campbell would be the man for the job. He's from the U.K., for starters, and since the final book is dedicated almost entirely to action, intrigue, deception, and adventure (as opposed to quiddich and wiccan academics), it's pretty much right up his alley. What to do you guys think?

But no matter what, they better not hire Chris 'I directed Home Alone' Columbus to finish what he started (poorly), and the movie had better be at least two hours and forty minutes long.


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