Sunday, July 25, 2010

Karma, fate, and Harry Potter

This week I had a flash of genius inspiration.

Have you ever wondered why Harry Potter had to have so many different directors? Why couldn't they have just found David Yates in the first place, and saved the franchise from pain in the prisoner of azkaban?

I've realized that it's something akin to karma, or fate, or whatever you want to call it. I shall explain.

The different movie styles follow Harry's life. Seriously, they do. It's almost uncanny.

Let us start with Chris Columbus, who did 1 and 2. With John Williams on the music, and the cute smallness of the kids, and the warm fuzzies and cheese of Chris's directing style we successfully symbolize Harry's early wizarding life.

Sure there's a bit of danger, a bit of drama, a bit of overwhelmingness, but mostly it's just cool. He has friends for the first time, and he has a place where he belongs. The movies aren't very epic, but they're very thorough and book accurate, also relating to Harry's need to suddenly learn everything about a new world. Details, details, details.

So hands together for the warm fuzzies and nostalgia of movies one and two. And for Harry's successful integration into a world where he belongs.
The next section is the third and fourth movie, done by Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell respectively. This is the time in Harry's life where things get awkward. Way awkward. Cho shows up. A long lost godfather and convicted felon shows up. Voldemort comes back! Harry has a huge fight with his best friend and doesn't talk to him for half the school year. He has no idea what really happened to him/will happen. Everything about it is in transition.

Similarly, the movies are a bit, well, off kilter. They aren't bad movies. They're just... not very good as adaptations. Some things in books just need to be changed in order for movies to make sense at all. But NOT some of the things that these guys changed. For one, the werewolf looking like he just left a concentration camp. Hairless, bony, and weird. For another thing, Alfonso's random obsession with the whomping willow. He shows it like a billion times changing seasons. I know it's supposed to be all artistic and stuff, but this isn't an indie film festival. The long hair? Not so much. And cutting out interesting details in order to make the dragon chase scene like seven BILLION years long? No. (Although I must admit I love how very awkward Ron's dress robes are.)

Long story short, the movies are both awkward and transitional, just as Harry's time at school is.

Finally we arrive at David Yates. His style is to change some of the details around in order to make it severely epic. Somewhat the opposite of Chris, but not in a bad way. Both have their place. And in this case, it works.

Because just at this time Harry's life starts to become really crazy. People dying left and right. (I think Rowling had a bit of a killing her characters fetish) Scary teachers torturing him. Horcruxes. Dumbledore's lessons and eventual demise at the hands of someone he thought he could count on. Then finding out the real truth behind said demise. We got death, torture, and a basically impossible mission to destroy the world's scariest dark wizard ever. Man. Two words: Epic. NUTS.

Thus David's style fits. He starts to make the movies a bit darker. A tiny bit scarier. More action. More drama. More effects. And somewhat better acting than we started with, although not very much in certain cases. Much more in others. Basically, it follows the path of Harry's now distressing and dark life.

And thus we see that the pattern of directors could not have been done in any other order. It was decreed by the fates to symbolize the life that is Harry Potter. The journey he took in making the world safer. The absolute fabulosity that is J. K. Rowling's incredible imagination.

Coincidence? Or fate? You be the judge.

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