Sunday 31 July 2011

"I write what amuses me. It's totally for myself." ~ J. K. Rowling

"I've no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out, it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms. "

Happy Birthday to the woman who started it all,
Joanne Rowling.

 And The Boy who Lived ofcourse.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."

So I just came back after watching Deathly Hallows, part 2 a second time, and let me say this- I liked it so much better this time round. I will review it once the stupid final favourite characters posts get done. Also, I have decided that on 31st July, every year from the next, I will do a HP Marathon for myself. Till the end of time. Goody!

Saturday 30 July 2011


Once there were two very different boys...

Who grew up to be two very different men...

Okay I'm gonna stop with my plagiarised introduction now. Neville Longbottom and Draco Malfoy are two supporting characters that get as much of a character arc as any of the protagonists. I cannot exactly call them two sides of the same coin, but they are the light and the dark side respectively of two very similar coins. Both have their family history thrust upon them, and they try to come out of it in the best way they think.

Let's start with Draco.

"Wait 'til my father hears about this!"

Beginning: A spoilt brat if there ever was one. The first time we see him with his slick blonde hair and an air of superiority around him, he scoffs at Ron and informs Harry that "Some wizarding families are much better than  others." And then he gets sorted in the biggest baddest house of all, Slytherin. We see how he enjoys every defeat that Griffindors and in particular, Harry and his friends have to face, and is made miserable if they succeed. We see the cowardly nature of his come out is when he and Harry see Quirrell/Voldemort in the Dark he screams and flees. In the second film, he starts, quiet early, with his pure-blood claims and mudblood prejudice. We also meet Lucius, his father, and see the overwhelming influence of his family on him. However, as they are rich and proud, Draco has still not come out of their shadow and seen how wrong they are.

Middle: Draco ceases in importance over the next few films. There is obviously the Buckbeak incident... "You and your bloody chicken!" He also gets punched in the face by Hermione and is turned into a ferret by Mad-Eye Moody. He later joins Umbridge's KGB Inquisitorial Squad, but gets thwarted by Dumbledore's Army. The most important thing is that due to failing to retrieve Harry's prophecy in the Department of Ministry, Lucius starts facing criminal charges in the Ministry and falls out of favour with Voldemort. This proves to be a turning point in the silver spoon-fed/papa's boy Draco's life, and thus character.

End: In the sixth film, we see a new Draco. Dressed all in black, and moody beyond recognition, this Draco has some very bad ideas in his head. Voldemort gives him a task- kill Dumbledore, and regain his family's place among his loyal servants. Harry senses this, and that leads to a first confrontation between them when Draco petrifies Harry, kicks him on the face and leaves him in the Hogwarts train to go back to London. Narcissa, a clearly devoted mother, asks Snape to look after him- and we see many a fight between Draco and his once-favourite professor as teenage tendencies, family pressure and a fear of his life all been weigh heavily on Draco. He cries in the Room of Requirement and in bathrooms. I felt really bad for him in this film, but also glad that he made a comeback. He showcases another side of the teenage spectrum that this film, focused on sixteen year-olds, was a lot about. The boy has to, in many ways, grow up faster than the rest, as he starts facing decisions about killing another person and saving his family's pride, or doing the right thing. We know that he has finally begun to understand the right and wrong of his endeavours because he was going to lower his wand instead of killing Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower in the end. Then in the seventh film, again we see that he doesn't rat out the disfigured Harry to Bellatrix, despite the pressure his father puts on him. Also though he duels with Harry, it is clear that he isn't giving it his all, because deep down he knows that Harry is right. The fear in his eyes when Voldemort had mercilessly killed Charity Burbage in front of him, is what I think, keeps him in the Death Eaters side. Finally in the last film, we see that he tries to be the old bully to Harry in the Room of Requirements again, but something keeps stopping him. Harry saves him there, and then when Voldemort comes to Hogwarts with the apparently dead body of Harry and calls for allegiance of people from the "good side", Draco only goes over because of his family. As his family fleds, he leaves because he cared too much about them, and not because he himself was a coward.

Final Thoughts: Draco was expertly played by Tom Felton. He went through the three stages perfectly. Draco was unfortunate in many ways because of his family background and attachment. He never had the strongest of characters, but I suppose that makes him more real. His smugness and all went away when he was faced with real danger of losing his life and those of his loved ones. He and Harry, as seen in the epilogue, are finally just civil to each other, and that shows that he must have mended his ways completely in the end.

Now Neville.

"Why is it always me?"

Beginning: Neville and Trevor. Forever. Neville is sort of the, forgive the word, loser of the bunch since the beginning. This is because he always ends up getting hurt for some reason- be it the first Quidditch practice when his broom goes berserk, or later on in the second film when the Mandrake cries affects only him and the Cornish pixies hang him from the ceiling. Still, at the end of Sorcerer's Stone, he tries to stop the trio from getting into trouble- a feat that is rewarded by the always wise Dumbledore and this causes Griffindor to finally win the House cup. This was such a hint for his involvement later on, but none of us ever expect it. At that time, he is clearly just a lovable and accident-prone underdog.

Middle: The loser-ness continues. In the fourth film, we see Mad-Eye performing the Cruciatus Curse on a spider in front of him, and that clearly bothers him. This is because Bellatrix Lestrange had used it on his parents and this had caused them to be irreparably mentally damaged for the rest of their lives. He helps Harry in the Great Lake task with Gillyweed, and is shown to be the only boy who braves the ballroom dancing lessons for the Yule Ball. In Order of Phoenix, he comes into prominence again as he forms a part of Dumbledore's Army and through many tries, succeeds in being able to perform defensive spells. It is also then that he tells Harry about his parents, and says a very important thing- "I'm quite proud to be their son. But I'm not sure I'm ready for everyone to know just yet." Another hint, that great things might be expected from Neville later. In the Department of Ministry he faces the Death Eaters, including Bellatrixm and hexes many of them bravely. 

Ending: In the seventh film, we see a glimpse of Neville standing up to the Death Eaters on the Hogwarts Express. Then in the eighth film, a bruised and beaten up, yet upbeat and very confident Neville comes to take the trio back to Hogwarts from Aberforth's house. We find out that in Harry's absence, Neville has become a sort of leader of the students who hate Hogwarts under Snape and the the Death Eaters' regime. Then there is the Battle of Hogwarts where Neville, in full glory, breaks out of his shell and blows up the bridge, causing many of Voldemort's army to die. He then faces Voldemort and spurns him off in front of everyone and asserts their cause once again, giving everyone hope. And in his spectacular killing of Nagini, he finally becomes the hero that he always was.

Final Thoughts- The films never focused on Neville properly. They never talked about the plot that Neville and Harry were both prophesied to become Voldemort's nemesis, and that if Voldemort had not chosen Harry, this could have been Neville's story all along. So there was an obvious amount of heroism in him, and his ultimate breakout would have been even more spectacular when we would have felt that, like Harry, he too is fulfilling his destiny. Neville was a true underdog from start to finish. As I just chronicled, noone would have expected him to shine, but he did...and brilliantly so. He was the humblest of them all, and was liked by anyone who's ever felt like an idiot. Matthew Lewis went from being the geeky chubby kid, to a strapping young man, and had to hide away his superior looks for most of the films to fit in as Neville better. The final film was a lot about him, and that was just great. Except maybe his accent, everything else was just spot on. While Draco caved in, Neville rose to the occasion and became the true champion of the underdogs.
Book quote, but seems apt- "You're worth twelve of Malfoy."

And the girl...

"You're just as sane as I am."

Luna Lovegood. What a crazy wonderful character?! I thought she was cool in the books, but my god Evanna Lynch owned this character and made it quite something else. Of all the supporting characters, the one I wish we knew a lot more about, more than anyone else, was Luna. She ofcourse comes into the picture from the fifth film only. Her otherworldly-ness, her strange ideas, her hair, her voice...she was a character I totally fell in love with. I remember being made uneasy by her the first time I saw her in Order of Phoenix, but as time passed, I found myself getting more and more intrigued by her. She is imaginative and wise and funny. One of the strongest character, and a most inspiring one, the girl exuded self-confidence in the dreamiest, quirkiest way possible. It's sad that I cannot find the words to describe her better because I feel like I am trying to steal ideas from the letter that Evanna Lynch wrote to her. "You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect."

Many have wished that Luna could have ended up benig  Harry's "the one"...and this was made even more obvious by the films because Harry seemed to really connect with her. 
"They're quite gentle, really, but people avoid them, because they're a bit..."

Evanna Lynch was a great find, and even moreso because she was a real fan of the books and her character. And like I have always believed, the stories did change her life (changed mine too).

So this was part 2 of my favourite Harry Potter characters.

Friday 29 July 2011


Whatever thoughts I had has been wiped out from my mind by this THIS-

and THIS

          2011, as said in The Film Experience Blog, is truly the Year of the Goz. Just last week I was saying how I thought after watching Drive's trailer that Ryan Gosling has the anti-hero action movie star thing down, and now he looks perfect in a political drama scenario. He might just be the best actor out there at the moment, and this year will be historic because of his talent. And fuck! He looks so good too.

          Speaking of good looks, I also love the idea of George Clooney as President. This film definitely has a very strong support cast, and I have no idea where my loyalties lie at the moment- Giamatti or Hoffman? This is gonna hurt! The trailer gave me Social Network-esque chills, and that's just not because Max "Divya" Minghella is in this too.

       So this makes me ask the question...what will be the "The Social Network" film for me this year? I think the following might become the candidates-
1) Tree of Life
2) Midnight in Paris
3) A Dangerous Method
4) Ides of March
5) Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy
6) Drive
7) Carnage
8) Hugo
9) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
10) Melancholia
11) The Artist
12) Tintin
13) We Bought a Zoo
14) The Descendants

         I haven't seen any of these. The only films thus far that I saw and thought were actually good were Hanna and Jane Eyre. I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, X-Men: First Class, Captain America: The First Avenger and Bridesmaids also, but summer blockbusters and female-driven comedies don't get much love from AMPAs.

         Yes...random line of thought triggered by the AMAZING Ides of March trailer and poster over. What do you think will be your __________ film of the year? And HOW amazing will the Year of the Goz be?

Wednesday 27 July 2011

"Gryffindor House. Where dwell the brave at heart" ~ FAVOURITE HP CHARACTERS, PART 1

           One of the most unique and loved things about the Harry Potter films was its vast cast. Almost everyone in the British theatre/film scene was there in the films. I just love finding connections in other films with respect to Harry Potter. Like if Rufus Scrimgeour and Xenophilius Lovegood were pirate radio jockeys in the 60s, they would have been groovy awesome, and if Professor Slughorn and Madam Pomfrey got married, their daughter would be Bridget Jones (ie. my 30-something cinematic counterpart).

          There are just so many brilliant characters in the films and such fantastic actors playing them, young or old. In order for me to make a favourite characters list, I have to do it in a sort of tier-y way. This is because the depth with which certain characters have been explored in the films. Some major characters have very less said about them, and just movie-wise, they do not hold the same ground, for me, as the other ones who I can basically write theses on (whether I actually do, is a whole another thing).

       So this list today is of the characters that unfortunately got too little screentime, but were excellent nonetheless.

1) Professor Minerva McGonagall, played by Dame Maggie Smith- I would imagine RESPECT playing in the background for her, but I don't think she would have approved of least not in public. McGonagall ended up being one of the sassiest, strongest and most exceptional characters in the films. And who could have played her but Maggie Smith? From the books, we always knew her "stern" face, but the silent humour in her orders, and the little smiles that she gave when required made her so much more. A friend of Dumbledore since the beginning, and a pillar of Hogwarts, and obviously- one helluva House-mistress, McGonagall's very just rod of discipline spared no one. Having two teachers for parents, and growing up with teachers always around, McGonagall would have been a dream professor for me. The stern-ness is only the outer layer for all the strength within, and a fierce loyalty. The crowning moment for her was in Deathly Hallows, part 2 ofcourse- from fighting off Snape to spectacularly to bringing to life the statues of Hogwarts, like she always wanted to! Also "Babbling bumbling band of baboons" - I honestly think that that was improv.

2) Sirius Black, played by Gary Oldman- People often name Prisoner of Azkaban as their favourite HP film. I too think it is one of the best, and possibly the biggest reason why is the mind-blastingly genius idea of casting Gary Oldman as the mysterious and allegedly mental Sirius Black. He's perfect! Firstly there's the madness- who can forget that um..mugshot of the raving lunatic screaming the most horrifying scream, even if we don't hear it. Then there is the compassionate and brave Sirius, who can punch and win from any Malfoy any day. Most importantly, there was the relationship between him and Harry, that save that with Hermione, and maybe Ron, was the most genuine one in the films. The relationship was the direct outcome of the chemistry between Oldman and Daniel Radcliffe, the latter being an ardent admirer of former's work, and the former then inadvertently becoming the coolest possible mentor to the latter. I love every frame of theirs together. Sirius, like McGonagall was never explored in the books. He certainly rates high in my curiosity department because I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he had no romantic history that was even hinted at. Sirius was said to be one of the best looking characters ever, and Oldman with his Vicious-y past and Russian prisoner tattoos could have really really exploited that, but nothing. Still, it was a joy to see him. His death was very sad, but the expression on his face was more sorrowful than anything else...a smile to show that he had gone back to his friends.

3) Headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore, played by the late Richard Harris and Michael Gambon- What? Did I just? Did I just dare to put down the greatest sorcerer in all of the world as someone I didn't know enough? Yes I did. Now if I had been talking about the books, Dumbledore would have been in my top three. However the films did not do justice to his character. We didn't find out his back story, and the only time he seemed gay was with his knitting patterns-magazine. I personally liked Richard Harris as Dumbledore better. He was wiser, calmer, subtler...Dumbledorier. Gambon was more eccentric and, well, excited. I mean in Goblet of Fire, he practically strangled poor Harry after his name had come out from the Goblet...Dumbledore would never! In the Half-Blood Prince, we do see Dumbledore as his wise old self again...but a little too late. I just wish Sir Ian McKellen would have said yes! Then LOTR and HP could have been like really super rich and Oscar-amassing brothers. However, as Harris as Dumbledore said originally, "It does not do to dwell upon dreams," Dumbledore, even without his backstory and a more rightful portrayal, ended up being iconic and funny and reassuring. He will always be one of the things I will think about when I think of the word home- safe, crazy, warm and always there. His relationship with Harry is better in the books, but still, it is evident that he really loved Harry as a son and a friend throughout.

4) Professor Remus Lupin, played by David Thewlis- Being an eternal Ewan McGregor fan, I cannot help but keep wishing that he would have taken this role. Still, Thewlis was very very good. He possibly gave one of the most understated performances in the films. Since I saw all the films before watching the last one, I took a lot of notes about various things. One of the things I noticed was that in the latter films, whenever there was Lupin there, and he said like one or two lines, I instantly believed them because they were said by him. He was a really good man. I mean there were a lot of good men in the HP series, but they each had something else going for them- Harry had his history, Dumbledore had his genius, Snape had his love; but Lupin was just a very good person, and that's fine. True Lupin was a werewolf and fought that all his life, but for me atleast, that never came into the equation. He was a great professor, a loyal friend, a brave soldier, and it was these simple things that made him so fantastic. His whole tryst with Tonks was not really talked about in the films and they didn't even really mention his son Teddy, and his apprehensions regarding that. In the third film, he is a real mentor to Harry, and the time when there is him and Oldman and Alan Rickman in one frame *sigh*. Many people had felt really terrible when he died, but I think it was one of the most justified deaths because he was so lonely without his friends. The film didn't really show that either, but still Thewlis was an impressive Lupin throughout.

           I loved a great many other characters too, in particular Fred and George, played by Oliver and James Phelps, who were just robbed of their roles in the last film! I already spoke of Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Imelda Staunton in my Favourite HP Villains post, and they too were great roles. There are seven more characters to come after this, so stay tuned I guess.

Sunday 24 July 2011

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" ~ MY FAVOURITE HP SCENES

        I have said time and time again how much I love the Harry potter films. And in these films, there are certain scenes which, for me, make them all the more brilliant. My favourite scenes can last a few moments, or almost an entire climax, but they make up the entire experience for me. Now I have decided to divide the scenes into various categories, so that ranking becomes easier and saner I suppose.

Favourite Duels in HP films: The wizarding world is not a very peaceful one. And over there people don't really need swords or guns; they have WANDS! And I love me some good old-fashioned dueling.

Honourable Mentions- Harry Potter's and Lord Voldemort's final duel in HP8, Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange also in HP8 (Both were good, but just not what I expected...and they felt rushed).

5) Harry Potter vs Draco Malfoy in Chamber of Secrets- This for me was Harry Potter's hottest moment- when Malfoy says "Scared Potter, " and Harry replies, "You wish." The first duel between Harry's high school nemesis was low on charms and viciousness, but full of the over-dramatic violence that young boys just love.

4) Sirius Black vs Lucius Malfoy in Order of Phoenix- I love how wand-dueling is sort of like sword-dueling. This duel really shows that- it's Malfoy's polished old school wand skills up against the Russian prisoners-tattooed Sirius's street smart moves. And ofcourse it starts with Sirius punching Malfoy and saying "Step away from my godson." WIN!

3) Ron, Hermione and Harry vs the Death Eaters in Deathly Hallows, part 1- This is the first time that the trio are really alone in the world, and immediately are faced with danger. Hermione is especially fiesty here, but the spells zapping around is always fun to watch.

2) Harry Potter vs Lord Voldemort in Goblet of Fire- Voldemort returns in all his glory, and decides to finish off Harry, but not without mocking and torturing Harry. My favourite part is when Harry comes to face Voldemort, even though he is afraid of him. The Priori Incantatem would happen several times, but this time is my favourite. And the Avada Kedavra vs Expelliarmus thing (wish they did that in HP8).

1) Lord Voldemort vs Albus Dumbledore in Order of Phoenix- Two of the most powerful wizards in the world face off in an epic duel. There's fire and water, snakes and explosions. I think it's beautifully made, and the close-ups of the devastated Harry keeps it all real.

Favourite Funny Scenes: The humour in the HP books and films is excellent. One of the things I wished they had put in the films was the character of the boisterous and rude poltergeist Peeves,
"Oh, most think he's barking, the potty wee lad,
But some are more kindly and think he's just sad,
But Peevesy knows better and says that he's mad."
Genius right? But still, the films were full of laughs, mainly owing to the incredible face of Rupert Grint.

Honourable Mentions- Dumbledore talking about his love for knitting patterns in Half Blood Prince (it's one line, but it is just so expected out of the Dumbledore-being-played-by-Michael-Gambon), Hermione and Harry over him being the Chosen One in Half Blood Prince (I recently found a post on Tumblr of this and Hermione hitting Harry, with the caption- Hermione's Rod of Discipline...too funny).

10) Neville talking to the Death Eaters in Deathly Hallows, Part 2- "You and who's army?!" Neville was the main attraction of this film, and this was particularly funny- he was the boy who was forever asking "Why is it always me?" but he really was a hero underneath, and this outburst was only the beginning for him.

9) Ron and McGonagall dance in Goblet of Fire- The embarrassment of a fourteen year-old boy dancing with his um, aged teacher, in front of all his peers- there are few things more brutal, and hilarious. 
"My waist, Mr. Weasley."

8) Hermione as Bellatrix Lestrange in Deathly Hallows, part 2- HBC is such a genius. She was able to adapt Hermione's mannerisms perfectly. Again, this was minor, but it's one of the things you end up thinking about and laughing about.

7) Umbridge taking over Hogwarts in Order of Phoenix- Her dictatorship starts small- separating a couple kissing, or repeatedly questioning and well, measuring teachers. The best part, her talking to Snape and Snape's dreary answers.

6) Harry on Felix Felicis in Half Blood Prince- Who knew that getting lucky in Potterlore is like getting high? Harry's outrageous confidence is catchy...I want some Felix too. I especially love how it leaves everyone else extremely perplexed.

5) Practicing Riddikulus in Prisoner of Azkaban- I love the concept of a Boggart and how to banish it. One of the most incredible messages of the stories is the overcoming of fear and sadness, often with humour or happiness. This scene- with Snape and his music and Neville's grandma's clothes, or Ron and the spider on rollerskates, it's genius. The Elvis music helps too.

4) Mrs. Weasley's Howler to Ron in Chamber of Secrets- Rupert Grint's face. 'Nuff said.

3) Fred and George leave school in Order of Phoenix- "You know George, I always felt that our futures lay outside the world of academics." A silent statement, followed by a loud and banging escape. Fred and George come flying in, literally, with all their expert fireworks and simultaneously ruin the exams, torment Umbridge and the Inquistorial Squad, destroy all the oppressing orders and leave school. It's total anarchy, and I love it!

2) Ron on the love potion in Half Blood Prince- This film was so full of hormones, and then when you add a very powerful love potion in the mix, you get something quite epic. Rupert Grint has such an expressive face. He goes from being a lovesick boy, to misunderstood teenage within seconds. Also Harry's expert dry humour is pretty complimentary.

1) Ron and Hermione's fight in Sorcerer's Stone- You know what I'm talking about.
"It's LeviOsa, not Leviosar!
Probably one of the most iconic and beloved Harry Potter scenes ever. Ron and Hermione are always fighting, but that's what makes their romance all the more adorable. Plus, no one does know-it-all like Hermione.

Favourite Heartfelt Scenes: These scenes can be warm or devastatingly sad...but these are the ones that I will always remember. Most of these make me cry...yes I am a huge crybaby.

Honourable Mentions- Hermione in the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire (though Hermione was never ugly, this was a fantastic beautiful-swan moment), the epilogue in Deathly Hallows, part 2 (could have been so much better, but it is our goodbye to the Boy Wizard and his friends forever), the talk between Dumbledore and Harry in Sorcerer's Stone- "Love Harry, love." (Just because I wanted an even number for this list..I love Dumbledore so much!).

10) After Dumbledore's death in Half Blood Prince- Albus Dumbledore, who is like a father and friend to everyone in Hogwarts, is no more. The Dark Mark looms over Hogwarts, but then all the students and staff light their wands and the little individual pinpricks of light disintegrate the mark, and while everything is not made better, hope remains.

9) When Harry first meets Hagrid in Sorcerer's Stone- It isn't much of a scene, but just the sentence that would change everything- "You're a wizard Harry." Probably the most important sentence in all of the films. I love Daniel Radcliffe's expressions throughout this too.

8) The end of Chamber of Secrets- First there is the much-loved hug between Harry and Hermione and the foreshadow-y almost-hug between Ron and Hermione. And then Hagrid comes back from Azkaban and thanks the trio, to which Harry replies "There is no Hogwarts without you Hagrid." And then everyone celebrates. It's just so lovely.

7) The Prince's Tale in Deathly Hallows, part 2- I am guessing that as time goes by this scene will only rise, in respect and love, for me. But for now... Anyways, Snape is such an amazing character and this scene just took the viewers, along with Harry, somewhere else

6) Voldemort possesses Harry in Order of Phoenix- From the sadness and emptiness that Voldemort makes him feel, to Harry fighting back because of the love and friendship in him- this scene was the first time I properly wept in a Harry Potter film. It was intense.

5) Harry riding Buckbeak in Prisoner of Azkaban- One of the most beautifully shot scenes in the film, it makes me feel as free as Harry. It's kind of like the Captain Jack Sparrow quote in Curse of the Black Pearl- this incredible ride, over the Great Lake, is like freedom.

4) Griffindor winning the house cup at the end of Sorcerer's Stone- Dumbledore awards last minute points to the losing house Griffindor- 
"To Miss. Hermione Granger, for the cool use of intellect when others were in grave peril. 50 points. Second, to Mr. Ronald Weasley, for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen these many years. 50 points. And third, to Mr. Harry Potter, for pure nerve and outstanding courage. I award Gryffindor House 60 points. And finally, it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies. But a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award 10 points to Neville Longbottom."
Makes my heart swell up just reading this. Ofcourse, the expressions of everyone from Harry to Ron to Malfoy to McGonagall to Neville etc. are an added treat.

3) Harry and Hermione dance in Deathly Hallows, part 1- Probably the most unexpected scene ever, yet so natural. Oh this was controversial, especially with all the Ron-Hermione shippers, but the relationship between Harry and Hermione in the films is so special and sweet. They are like the poster couple for platonic love. This scene is cute and heart-warming, and Nick Cave is sexy.

2) Dobby's death in Deathly Hallows, part 1- This ruined me! I was saddened by Dobby's death in the book, but my god Dobby was such an adorable and brilliant little hero. The importance of friendship for him, especially that of Harry Potter's, is inspiring. Wept for like hours.

1) The Trio talking after Harry's kiss with Cho in Order of Phoenix- I have no idea why, but this scene is just so close to my heart. This was a totally real scene, especially the laughing, and well, not a great testament to the acting skills of the actors. But that is what the films and these characters are for me- they're real. It is so honest and cute and I just adore this teeny, but splendid scene.

These scenes don't really fall into any of the above categories, but I really enjoyed them too-

1) The Story of the Three Brothers in Deathly Hallows, part 1- Never, in a million years, did I think that such a scene would be there in a Harry Potter film. The fantastic animation, and Emma Watson's beautiful narration, and obviously the depth of the story...mindblowing!

2) Harry battles the Hungarian Horntail in Goblet of Fire- My mother loves this film because of the action sequences. The underwater scene is, I guess, more ingenious, but the Horntail is vicious, and Harry is braver than ever.

3) The time turner um...thing in Prisoner of Azkaban- Such a flawed concept, but it made perfect, and pretty entertaining sense in the film. Add to that the spunky Hermione and a very very dark atmosphere.

4) The Wizard's Chess scene in Sorcerer's Stone- Again, so entertaining, and the first time we understand the lengths Ron and Hermione are willing to go for Harry.

Hope you enjoyed this :)

Saturday 23 July 2011

“I used to be self conscious about my height, but then I thought, fuck that, I’m Harry Potter.” - Daniel Radcliffe

Happy Birthday to one of my most favourite people (who I've never met) ever-

Daniel Jacob Radcliffe
"You were and are the perfect Harry."

Friday 22 July 2011


Ugh...I'm thoughtless (is that even a word?), but anyways:

1) Yesterday I saw this Bollywood film called Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which roughly translates to You Only Live Once. It was about these three men who go on a road trip in Spain for an extended bachelor party for one of them. The film was, most surprisingly, one of the best looking films of this year that I have seen. It had many non-Indian aspects...probably more global ones like relationships and workaholics, abandonment issues, cold feet before weddings, but it was fun. It was directed by Zoya Akhtar, and it did resemble her brother Farhan's (one of the leads in Zindagi...) directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai, which is one of the best films, Bollywood or otherwise, that I have ever seen. However because of the beautiful backdrops and cinematography, and a more emotional, less comedic purview, it was quite different. I won't say it was as good as Dil Chahta Hai- that film for me is flawless, but it was an honest effort to go into a new territory without making it cheap in any way. Even the little Flamenco+Hindi song number ended up being adorable instead of it becoming the infamous "item" number. Plus Hrithik Roshan's skin tone against the warm Mediterranean colours was quite something else. Another thing I really loved was the infusion of Javed Akhtar's (Zoya and Farhan's legendary father) poetry within key moments of the film, and a special appearance by the always spectacular Naseeruddin Shah. I like how Bollywood is trying to expand its limits nowadays and Zoya and Farhan may well be the pioneers in such a pursuit.

2) TRAILERS FOR LIFE!! Great week for trailers. Or teaser trailers...I dunno. Why not just give a trailer? These teasers can get annoying. Anyways...we saw the trailers of Martin Scorcese's Hugo, the last part of Nolan's epic superhero trilogy The Dark Knight Rises, Marc Webb's (no pun intended, or maybe intended...haven't really gotten to the bottom of that) The Amazing Spiderman and Cannes award winning director/Ryan Gosling's smooching buddy Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. Hugo looks amazing, probably the best live-action children's film since Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have never seen a non-serious Scorcese film, so this might be a welcome surprise. I love Asa Butterfield (and his name!). The Dark Knight Rises's teaser trailer is a bit meh, I agree; especially without any glimpses of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman or Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Marion Cottilard, but COME ON PEOPLE! It will be brilliant...I don't think I'm being that presumptuous in saying so. Will it surpass The Dark Knight...we'll see. I honestly don't have any such expectations because that is near impossible, but what I do expect is solid entertainment that will leave me completely gobsmacked by the end of it. And if anyone knows how to do that, it's Christopher Fuckin' Nolan. The Amazing Spiderman's trailer leaves me perplexed. I am one of those people who only liked Spiderman 1, and grew sick of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst after that; and am now insanely in love with Andrew Garfield, and also Emma Stone to some extent. But even I must say that the last 30 odd seconds are too video game-y and well, annoying. But yes, I am dying to see this film- JUST LOOK AT HIM- bdiugbfklnkjbgviufhdxkihjfhjbgfdxjlkjyhegruhvchjbjc. However the king of trailers this week has to be Drive. It looks awesome! Slick, dangerous, sexy- fast cars and violent men, with a lot of Ryan "MyEarthquakeMan" Gosling in it...*swoon*. Gosling is made to do films like this, in my opinion- he has the cool, anti-hero, action movie star thing down. And I love Carey Mulligan forever also.

3) Guillermo Del Toro will be directing the new Beauty and the Beast film, with my dream woman Emma Watson as the female lead. Excited...I think yes! Just this week, after watching HP8, I was thinking about what would have happened if he did direct some of the HP films. I could obviously not come to any conclusion, just that it would have been really cool. Anyways, no Beast has been cast yet, to my knowledge. I personally think it should be someone much older to Watson. Fassy comes to mind, but he sort of shouldn't do it, because of all the ubiquity. Then again it is Del Toro, and one may never get a chance like that. I personally like the idea of Matthew Goode- he's a very sexy, very able actor, who has not been given the right role yet.

4) Teen Choice Awards is round the corner. Hurrah! I have been voting a lot, as it is my duty to exercise my rights as a teen. Best Category- Web Star! Guess who voted for Rebecca Black y'all?!

5) Finally, I love Tumblr...get to see such genius things there. For instance:
To Luke and Michael.


Wednesday 20 July 2011

Firsts Of All...

Oooh firsts. Saw this at Andy Buckle's Film Emporium, and it's a pretty cool idea.
These are some of my favourite firsts:

My Favourite Directorial Debut- Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides)
Crazy film, beautiful and funny and dark.

My Favourite Acting Debut- Eva Green (The Dreamers)
She was gorgeous and moody, and overtly sexy and childishly innocent, all at the same time.

The First Movie Theatre Experience that Moved Me- Titanic 
The whole ending, and Jack ofcourse *sniff*.

The First Film Character I had the Hots for- Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
Okay I don't know if 'hots' is the right word for what I felt towards Harry as a kid, but I did wanna marry him for forever.

The First Film Character that Annoyed the Hell out of Me- Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst)
I wish she would have just died. painful!

The First French Film I Saw- Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Dir- Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
A friend persuaded me to see it. Changed my life forever.

The First Asian Film I Saw- (probably) Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Dir- Aditya Chopra)
Okay I don't understand why people do not really count Indian stuff in Asian stuff. India is a part of Asia...a rather big part if you ask me, or any geographer. I am Indian, and my father watches a lot of Hindi films. I find it hard to believe that I was as old as 3 when I saw my first film in the cinema hall; it is very probable that my parents have forgotten what really was my first film, but I do clearly remember watching DDLJ so I'll just choose that.

The First Movie Poster on My Wall- (one of them) The Dark Knight
I was not really allowed to "mess up" the walls with posters, until very recently. So when I could put one, I chose to put like a collage of posters of some "culturally significant" films, which I had helped to design and sell in this school-sale thing. There is also Royal Tenenbaums, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Juno, Casablanca and Pulp Fiction in the one BIG poster.

The First Time I Thought that the Film was Better than the Book- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Gah I feel like such a fan-girl! But honestly, there are very few films which I do think are better than the books they are based on, and I've either read or watched them only after OoP.

The First Time I Realised that Robert De Niro is a Genius- as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver
It was also the first time I realised how sexy he was.

"There is no good or evil: only power and those too weak to seek it." ~ MY FAVOURITE HP VILLAINS

             I remember that quite a while back there was all this talk about how the Harry Potter stories are not about good versus evil, but of evil versus greater evil as we have always been taught that witches are bad (save Wizard of Oz maybe, but still Glinda was an idiot). I don't remember if it was completely a Christian opinion or not, but it certainly was a very interesting one. Now I personally don't think so, and neither does JK Rowling. She has said that save one character, who is beyond redemption, all the characters have both light and darkness in them, which I guess is the case with pretty much everyone in the whole world. In the Harry Potter world, since magic was in the picture, the villains get the chance to do much more.
My favourite villains are:

Honourable mentions: The Troll in HP1, the Hungarian Horntail in HP4, Lucius Malfoy

5) Madam Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge (played by Imelda Staunton)-
Okay, generally I love villains. In her case, not so much. I pretty much loathed her the most, and she's one of my least favourite villains ever. But that's only because she really is a brilliant one. I would never want to meet her- with all her pinkness and cat-fetish and sweet voice, she really was a monster in disguise. She could have been a Nazi with utmost furry comfort, and terrorised legions of people with her little laugh and those quills and medieval torture methods. Staunton breathed life and malice into this character, whose biggest trait in the book was just the toad-face.

4)  Professor Quirinus Quirrell (played by Ian Hart)-
People do not give enough credit to Quirrell in my opinion. As a kid watching this film, he was the scariest thing ever. A two-faced/headed man...creepy. And the whole transition from the stuttering idiot to a menacing parasite, it is quite effective. Hart was funny as Quirrell. Originally David Thewlis had been approached, but I think Hart did total justice to the ill-fated DADA professor.

3) Draco Malfoy (played by Tom Felton) and Severus Snape (played by Alan Rickman)-
Both who weren't quite the villains we thought they were, at the end. The first is the kid we all love to hate- privileged, smug, too much hair-product...yuk! With the superiority complex and racist qualities, he was the Trio's nemesis at the beginning. Felton was born to play Malfoy. I can never imagine him as Harry, and with good reason. He owned Malfoy- the smirks, the screaming, the bitchiness.
The second was a shady character throughout, who showed utmost dislike towards our protagonist, Mr. Potter, and became especially detestable in the 6th installment. The truth ofcourse, was quite something else. Rickman was God-like in this role...people could not get enough of his sonorous, slightly mocking voice and the hair-flips and the awesome wardrobe, and obviously the mystery behind the barely discernible character. Probably the most famous supporting character in the films ever.

2) Lord Voldemort (played by Ralph Fiennes)-
Several actors have played the Dark Lord, the only other really effective one being Fiennes's own nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin who played him as an 11 year old. However, none can beat my favourite baddie-playing actor, Mr. Ralph Fiennes himself. Yes there is a lot of make-up and technology involved in making him look like that- nose-less and hair-less etc, but things like his whispery voice, the way he delicately holds the wands with which he unflinchingly kills people and obviously, whenever he addresses anyone- with contempt and a slight humour- they're fantastic! Some time back, he was even awarded the best villain by some UK publication/website. He is clearly, and deservedly, going down film history as one of the best antagonists ever.

1) Bellatrix Lestrange (played by Helena Bonham Carter)-
Okay so I had to eeny-meeny-miney-mo my way to the top spot (with the second one), but I definitely do not have any regrets. Bellatrix in the books seems bland compared to her cinematic counterpart. Casting HBC as Lestrange was nothing short of a stroke of genius! She is sexy and deranged, violent but still kind of a doll. I love her total devotion towards Voldemort. She is also the only completely bad person whose death I was saddened by (whoops! spoiler!!). Though HBC never really plays a completely 'normal' person, her Bellatrix is definitely the best of the kooks (along with Marla Singer).

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Harry Potter in 99 Seconds and Potter Month

Genius right? I love me some Potter-nerds :)

Okay, so finally I am writing things. It is most unfortunate that my college had to start now and I barely have any time to do anything, but I am officially making Harry Potter-related lists now. It is going to sort of follow the QT Week format in the sense that there are favourite villains, characters, scenes and films. Also I will review the last film, give my final tribute to Harry and gang, and talk about my life after Potter. I hope it all finishes in July, but it might go into the first week of August. Do bear with me.

Saturday 16 July 2011

I hate to say this but...

I was a bit disappointed. Because of the ending.
I'm going to watch it again in the next few weeks, and let this film sink in.

However, yes; Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hogwarts-, you will be missed. So much. I can't believe it's over. Films do excite me, but nothing ever reaches the level of an HP film. And I just love its world and the people in it!  I will be writing things on this soon. I'm just a bit numb right now.

Thursday 14 July 2011


My thoughts-

1) Another week for trailers. This time it's Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of ShadowsContagion and Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. The trailer of Sherlock Holmes 2 has way too many parts in slow motion...reminds me of 300 a bit too much. I liked the first one after a second viewing only, and I am just not excited enough for the second one. Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris are the big additions to this one (they didn't show Stephen Fry in  the trailer!). Harris is playing Professor Moriarty, a role which was offered to Brad Pitt first and I was really looking forward to that. Mickey from Snatch is one of my most favourite characters ever, and I think my sexiest Pitt role, even though I don't understand what he says half the time. And Contagion- I don't know. It has an amazing cast no doubt- Damon, Winslet, Paltrow, Fishburne, Cotillard, Hawkes and is directed by the brilliant Steven Soderbergh, but the whole premise is so overused. The trailer did nothing for me as such...hopefully the film is better. Only Tintin has me remotely interested, based on the trailer alone, but I'm not a big fan of the character. Still, I think Jamie Bell suits his voice perfectly.

2) Now as much as I love trailers, I love posters too. And this week the teaser poster for The Dark Knight Rises also came out. This has made me go gaga. Yes it's a little reminiscent of Inception, but who the hell cares? Just last night The Dark Knight was coming on the telly. I had seen the film in a terrible theatre where nothing could be heard and whenever I think about it, I get so angry because if I had seen it in a proper cinema hall, I would have stood up and clapped after it had ended. It is my favourite Christopher Nolan film, followed by Memento. It is just such a smart and impactful of the few films which makes me use the phrase- "This is why films were made in the first place."

3) I have been thinking for a while to watch many of the animated films, especially the foreign ones like Akira and Howl's Moving Castle, which I have been neglecting. Just this week my brother and I were watching How to Train Your Dragon and I had a big argument with my grandfather about why animated films are sometimes so much better than live-action ones because they can show many things that can be thought of as impossible by people. Like there's a song by Chris De Burgh called Spanish Train- ever since my friend made me listen to it more than a year back, I have fantasized about an animated film based on it. Also recently I read Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, and if the film people ever try to adapt it, it has to be animated.

4) Finally, the Indian multiplexes have back-stabbed me and stamped all over my soul and I have no tickets for Deathly Hallow, part 2.
(You knew it was coming)

Thoughts over.