Monday, August 03, 2009

No cheese cauldron

The Dr took me to see Harry Potter VI last night - the second time she'd seen it. What a lifetime it's been since I read the book. The film boils the plot down to the bare necessities, dumping all the stuff set in the Ministry and focusing in on the teen snogging. While the last film, I thought, was better than the book, this one is good but not as good.

Jonny's right about the over-grading. Changing the colour and tone of each frame also makes the film grainy. As Cathode Blue Ray and Mos-Def television give way to ever more pin-sharp home cinema, I wonder how the evolved beings of tomorrow will look back on the murky gravel of our age.

I also think they got the tone wrong. Those memories of freak-boy Young Voldemort are all in graded blue-grey to suggest coldness and evil. But the whole blimmin' point is that no one saw he was a wrong 'un until it was too late. In the book, Dumbledore - and so we - sympathise with the bullied kid who magics things from his tormentors, just as Harry did with Dudley Dursley in book one. Dumbledore chides Tom Riddle for stealing but still takes him under his wing.

Likewise, Riddle charms Professor Slughorn, showing interest in his lessons and buying his favourite sweets. Before he went Obviously Bad, Tom Riddle was liked, the teachers almost indulging his breaking of rules and small magic revenges on those bullies who deserved it.

Young Riddle is all too like young Harry Potter. As Harry grows up, and the 'parental' adults around him take a step back, his future is down to the choices he makes.

Harry could still yet do terrible things. So could any of us.

No comments: