Tuesday, July 24, 2007

OK OK OK

Friends and RG are telling me to blog more, post more, more more more!

Fine.

The final installment of Harry Potter (and the Deathly Hallows) was certainly a wonderful, entertaining read. It's kind of a shame Ms. Rowling isn't better with her prose. The plot and the thought behind the plot was pretty dang wonderful, but her waffle-stomping prose often subjected those ideas and plot developments to the worst kind of abuse. I can see how this book will make a great film, in the hands of a competent director and screenwriter (where are you, Alfonso Cuaron?). There is much flashbacking and twisting, but there are also long stretches where our dear friends are waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

If there's one thing that's hard to write about, it's what people do and think when they have nothing to do at all. And Ms. Rowling doesn't quite have the chops for that.

On the other hand (lest anyone think this is all just one big HP bashing session), when she does have something for these folks to do, it gets interesting, and it gets complicated. I like complicated. There are many legalese twists of wizard logic in this story, and she handles those threads quite deftly. Harry has many trials to deal with, and some highly adult choices to make. He fulfills the series' promise of a brave, reluctant hero. And the humor (which there is less of in this installment, as it's basically wartime) is quite well done. My favorite being an exchange between Ron and Harry, where Ron is essentially saying that he didn't do anything particularly spectacular. Harry then enumerates the achivements Ron managed in a single act of bravery. Ron's response is "well, when you tell it like that, it sounds a lot cooler than it was." Harry says something like, "I know. It always sounds cooler than it was. I've been trying to tell you that for five years."

Which sums a lot of it up, and in many ways, is probably what soldiers go through. You do your job well, occasionally save a friend, and afterwards what you did seems to be far removed from what you remember having done, and certainly sounds better than when you were actually doing it.

In other news (and speaking of Alfonso Cuaron), I saw Children of Men while ill. I have to say, as an editor, I envy the bugger that got to do that movie. Aside from about ten scenes that involve actual cutting, there are many very very long single takes that are so completely immersive, you can't stop watching. You know that bad things are likely to happen, but you don't want to turn away. One of the most moving film experiences I've had in a long time.

Also saw Rataouille and the new Harry Potter film. In a theatre!!! JOY!

Gotta do that more often - makes my day every time, even if the film doesn't.

1 comment:

Boegle said...

Finally someone has captured my sense of Ms. R's crappy writing style. I have complained about it - but people take that like I think the books are bad. I *do* but I also like them. Thanks for the exposition.