QUADRIVIUM

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Harry Potter Holiday

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I had not intended to do anything special for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I was just happy to get to read it when it comes out.  I read Half-Blood Prince a few weeks after the hoopla died down when I was able to check it out at the library.  This time, however, I have the opportunity to have some fun. 

My boss has informed me that I have vacation days that I will lose unless I use them before the end of the year.  Therefore, I am taking a week off in order for my wife and me to catch Order of the Phoenix at the theater, and to have a few days to finish Deathly Hallows before I go back to work.   

I will try and post a review for OOTP shortly after I see it.  Generally, the adaptations of the books have gone over well with me, though I am a little leery of this one.  My paperback copy of the book clocks in at 870 pages.  The film will run just over two hours, making it the shortest so far. 

Film adaptations require that certain scenes from the source are compressed, blended, or dropped altogether.  That’s just the nature of the beast.  Michael Goldenberg—Phoenix’s screenwriter—developed a wonderful adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact that, although it differs significantly in places, nailed the pertinent themes of the story.  I am holding out for a similar result with Phoenix.  The running time is the only seed sprouting doubt.  Even after all of Rowling’s entertaining subplots are dropped, there’s still so much story to tell, including a lengthy, and important, denouement between Harry and Dumbledore at the end of the story. 

This is Harry’s dark night of the soul.  If Goblet of Fire marked his passage into awkward adolescence, this story thrusts his character into manhood.  His inner journey holds just as much importance to the story as the more adventurous aspects.  But, they’re more difficult to translate on screen, and less enjoyable for most movie-goers. 

And the fact they dropped “Weasley is our King” is just unforgivable. 

I will try and publish my full thoughts on the film after I see it.  For now, I’m stuck wringing my hands for 25 more days. 

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Written by taj

June 15, 2007 at 3:50 pm

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