With each Harry Potter movie things change. Such things that have gone after the movies are finished include the subtle special effects of Chris Columbus’ early Harry Potters, the more story-based script and- the acting???
Now I watch Harry Potter movies the day they come out due to loyalty and tradition. Since the first film I’ve been at the theater opening day for every movie, despite such difficulties as the showing being sold out (still managed to go at a 10pm one!) and being an Au Pare out of state (the kid was a fan and his mom had me take him as a babysitter). I’ve also gotten each movie the day it was released on DVD.
After the fourth movie it feels like everyone stopped showing up to work. The movies now are painful to sit through. They’ve lost all of their magic and feel over produced and under directed (though I’m sure the directors are wonderful). Too much emphasis is put on special effects and making the movie too much like a spy-action film. I’ll break this down by each individual actor and character.
Daniel Radcliffe/ Harry Potter
Daniel Radcliffe held on longer than the others, but by the end of the fifth movie he too had succumbed to the idea that the movies had such popularity they would drive themselves. Before that he actually regressed in his acting ability. Anger was replaced by a weird thing where he gritted his teeth and kind of breathed heavy. He looks like he’s doing a bad impersonation of a bull, and doesn’t look angry at all. During scenes with high emotion requirements he is almost painful to look at. I don’t know what happened, but early on he was brilliant, and if you watch his first-ever appearance in the BBC film David Copperfield he is Oscar material, now he’ll be lucky to be a C-List actor. He continuously speaks about trying to cast aside his Harry Potter image so that he can be seen as an actor and not a character, but if that was his intent he shouldn’t have thrown away his acting with his character image. He feels like he has already distanced himself from the character, and whenever he is acting you can tell he wants to be somewhere else. Daniel Radcliffe was highly promising, but he’s since been a total disappointment. I know he already has the contract for the last movies, and already got the money, but at least try to pretend you’re an actor, put effort back into your performance, please. I would hate to see his career totally ruined because of his disastrous performance in everything after the first hour or so of the Fifth movie.
Rupert Grint/ Ron Weasley
I’ve gotten used to Rupert Grint’s acting since the third movie. Just like Daniel Radcliffe, he showed immense potential early on, and has since completely lost it. I think he was the first actor to mentally leave the set. While at least he doesn’t have the “I-hate-being-here” feeling as Radcliffe, he is kind of tragic to watch. Rupert Grint is great during humor scenes when Ron is meant to be the funny one, but otherwise he is blank faced and has a monotone. The second movie was his last performance, and the first was his greatest, but he is no longer memorable at all. I have seen him in another film (Driving Lessons) and he is the exact same- flat faced and flat voiced. I don’t think he will have a career after Harry Potter, not with what I’m seeing now at least.
Emma Watson/ Hermione Granger
This is the one exception to the rule. Emma Watson is easily the best actress in the entire film. She is consistently improving, and is the only thing that makes the movies anywhere near bearable anymore. She has expert emotion and has never had a rough scene. If all the actors had maintained her standard, or even half of it, the films would be even more incredible than they are now. I can’t say enough positive things about this actress (she even got her own Rant- see Rant #5- Emma Watson for more). By herself she is carrying the films now, and I am amazed by her ability. That she hasn’t won an Oscar or three yet is completely beyond my understanding.
As far as the adult cast in this movie is concerned, I am surprised by the quality of work they have gotten from the mega-stars they have. Alan Rickman is brilliant in any movie he is in, but his character of Snape the evil Potions professor is stale and completely flat. Even though Snape is a stern and unemotional character, it is Alan Rickman’s job to at least make him strong in the film. In the last movie or so he seems to have just gotten stuck in a rut, though in ANY other movie he is in his acting comes right back to it’s peak level.
One noteworthy example of the acting in Harry Potter is Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of the ill-fated Cedric Diggory in the fourth film. Pattinson was amazing in the film, and had a powerful image and performance. Since then though his acting has gone to hell. I think personally that Pattinson is one of those people who will always be a really great extra or guest star, but sucks horribly as an actual lead actor. Plus I don’t think he’s cut/washed his hair or properly shaved since Harry Potter…