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The first Harry Potter came out in 2001. I’m no economist but I figure that’s gotta be like at LEAST 10 years ago. That means I had totally forgotten about most of it.
I re-watched it recently and was pleased to see that it’s better than I had remembered/thought of it. I don’t know why I had a negative impression of it in the first place. I think partially the image of ‘the first one not being as good’ started to make the meme-rounds among Smart People somewhere around the middle movies, when they were bringing in all these Spanish directors to make them all ‘dark’ and whatnot. You’re not supposed to like Chris Columbus movies, but you are supposed to like Spanish-director movies. Period. Face it, you just can’t beat a ‘dark’ Spanish director who films entirely in blue hues and can be claimed to have a ‘style’ (i.e. moving the camera around swooshily) for getting Smart People to automatically like a movie. That’s some good free advice from me to whoever’s making the 50 Shades of.. movies, to the makers of the next Scary Movie, to Adam Sandler & his film company, to the makers of the next Katniss movie, etc. Just use a Spanish director and watch the Oscar noms roll in.
Now, the ‘dark’ ones were ok I guess but as detailed RWCG note-takers will recall me mentioning before, they really started to blend in with each other and I lost track of what I was supposed to be caring about somewhere around the entry of the Gary Oldman character, no offense to Oldman, who continued to show up or be referred to in later films (even after he died) as if he was someone key to the whole series, and I could never figure out why. So this first one was kind of refreshing. Everything was introduced and all the themes were there but there was no guy with no nose. (Funnily, I didn’t miss him.)
Anyhow, my main take away from it was this: call me crazy, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with the characters all supposed to be 11-year-olds, actually seems to be foreshadowing the (eventual) Weasley/Hermione romance. Is that crazy of me to think? It’s just that she’s always annoyed with him. Rolling her eyes. Talking to him like he’s a retard. I kept thinking: ‘hey, they’re hinting!’ If you compressed those scenes into the final 2 movies’ relationship sequences and capped it with the coda showing that they later get married and have kids, it would form the outline of a perfectly-passable rom-com and you would have no trouble whatsoever identifying those early scenes as meet-cute / foreshadowing. ‘They hate each other, of COURSE they eventually get together’, you’d think. ‘Isn’t life ironic that way.’
So, that’s what I thought. But that can’t be right, can it? Did the first movie’s screenwriter and filmmakers know that Ron and Hermione were destined to get together? How? Because the books implied it? But they didn’t, right? Did the author even know at that point? I doubt it? (Obviously I could probably discuss this more intelligently and with fewer question marks if I had read any of the books.)
It’s like the anti-Star Wars. In Star Wars, Lucas starts out treating Luke/Leia/Han as a love triangle, and you figure maybe Luke & Leia have a shot, but Lucas eventually turns her into his sister. The ultimate in a poorly-thought-out, non-planned arc going as bad as it can possibly go. But in Harry Potter, Ron & Hermione actually seem to have a pretty nice romantic story arc that plays out as if it was planned that way all along – even though there’s pretty much no way it could have been.
Or is there?
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