Trip to the Movies Brings Loss of Potter Innocence
Chamber reveals need for postmodern Harry, more cool introsOK, so did anyone else out there think that the new Harry Potter movie totally sucked? I think that I might be the only one, but since I've got this column to fill, I'm going to illustrate to you how I came to the conclusion, after several years of fandom, that not only did the latest Harry Potter movie suck, but that Harry himself sucks. Big time. Let me elaborate.
It is perhaps a sad by-product of my post-modernist-steeped education that I think that Harry Potter should be aware of the sheer repetitiveness of his years at Hogwarts. I mean, don't you think that a movie about Harry should include some sort of John Cusack-esque aside to the camera where he admits that things always happen in a predictable sequence? Check this out-every book does the same thing: Harry escapes from the Dursleys and humiliates them somehow on the way out; Harry gets to Hogwarts and some bad shit goes down; Harry is temporarily blamed for said bad shit; Harry must convince Ron and Hermione that they are the only people who can help solve the mystery of the bad shit; Harry has to confront the bad shit on his own; Harry wakes up in the infirmary after defeating the bad shit, firmly convinced that he is going to be expelled, but Dumbledore confers hero status on him and Gryffindor wins the house cup again.
I know it's a series of books for kids, but come on. There has to be at least a nod to the more developed sensibilities of all the nerdy-ass college students who read the books and go see the movies too. I mean, I myself took at least 15 stoned buddies of mine to see this thing with me-and almost all of us were much more impressed by the roller-coaster thing at the beginning, before the previews, than we were by the month-long, teen-wizard epic. You know what I'm talking about? That intro deal where you fly down the strip of film and go right past the drink cups and the popcorn and that deep soothing female voice goes "please deposit trash in the proper receptacles?" I love that.
I'm certainly not the first person to point out that Harry Potter is a trust-fund jock who was given everything he has at birth and never really worked to get anywhere-but in that respect he kind of reminds me of our President Bush, so no wonder the Twinkie-eating masses think he's so great. No, what really gets my goat about Harry Potter is the fact that it's perpetuating the British myth of social class predestination here in the U.S., the land of the free. Harry was born into everything he has, which isn't bad in and of itself, but Harry's friends seem only to exist to make him feel like he's cooler-as though having all the talent and money from the outset means that he never has to work at all-and that's his right. Take Ron. Ron's poor, but he works hard and has a lot of dignity. Does he ever get anything that isn't just a by-product of the shit that Harry scores because he was cool from the get-go? How about Hermione? She works her ass off to learn tons of spells and do good in school and how does she get repaid? Well in this movie, a giant fucking basilisk turns her to stone! Just once, I'd like to see Harry get bailed out of mortal danger by his hard-working and slavishly loyal friends instead of some bone-headed, predestined-power deus ex machina, damn it.
I know you all probably think I'm a huge ass now for ruining your Potter fun, so if you need me, I'll be in the dark with my stoner friends, watching that roller coaster intro.