I am proud to say that I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and made it through my pitch meeting successfully!

Without giving away important details of the movie, here are my thoughts

-Daniel Radcliffe makes a really bad lover on-screen (and probably off screen). Not only did Ginny and Harry lack chemistry through out the film, but Harry was completely passive – he just stood there when she kissed him! An epic love story is not in the script, but to earn the title of a literary hero requires a minimal level of ability in the romance department. Think of the Odyssey, Lyra in the Dark Materials trilogy, or even the story of Harry’s parents.

Admittedly, part of the fault also falls on Ginny because she was always too earnest rather than playful or engaging.

-It was artsy! Rather than relying on glitzy editing techniques, the movie creatively used color contrast to evoke more depth in the action scenes. Or maybe I just noticed it in this one.

-Ron became a lot more attractive, and I’m not even a ginger-fan. He interacted very well with Hermione.

-It was funny. Blame it on Parth, but I’ve come to really appreciate the role of humor in very serious literature. I think HP’s moments of flippancy differentiate the novels from comparable youth literature like the Golden Compass, which is so busy engaging with high-brow philosophy that it leaves little breathing room. The movies have always incorporated funny moments really well, and just as much in this movie.

-Draco Malfoy was brilliant. His acting helped me understand the characterization in the book- and that’s mark of a successful adaptation.

-It surprised me. Even though I know the story, I was on the edge of my seat.

Any thoughts? Rahul, Rozi – feel free to chime in, or anyone else.

You can read A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times, but complex writing style makes the analysis unnecessarily complicated. But it’s his job to pretentious, I guess.