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Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Time Event
Harry Potter and the Ragpicker's wagon
The most recent Harry Potter movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKHABAN might be a good movie or might be a poor one. I could not tell, because I could not take my eyes off the horror that was the costuming.

More hideous than the Dementors, some Hollywood hophead made the decision to dress the English schoolchildren, not in their handsome uniforms, but in scuffed-looking slovenly rags, perhaps suitable for drudges and slatterns. There were two scenes where the uniforms were worn, but in both cases, shirt tails were left out, neckties hanging loose, and a general atmosphere of ugliness settled over the scene.

The beautiful Hermione Grangier was forced to spend the entire film in some hideous get-up that looked like she just fell off a rag-picker's wagon. When the Prisoner of Azkhaban makes an appearance, dressed in his tatters and rags, he is better turned out than the main characters.

You may be wondering how a viewer could notice or care about so small a thing as the dress of the characters, when so much attention had been lavished by the director on the plot, the drama, the lighting, the sets, the special effects. Perhaps no one else in the audience will notice or care. But for me, the decision to have the children look like scruffy castaways was as distracting as if the director had told them to pick their nose in every scene. I do not care if you are Lawrence Olivier reciting Hamlet: if you have your finger up your nostril, no one will notice your diction and comportment. So it was in this film.

Poor, poor Hermione. She would have looked so good if she had been allowed to wear something presentable.

No words of mine can convey how bad it looked. Maybe next film the costume department will have the children wear swim fins, shave their heads in patches, get a few tattoos and lip studs, give Harry a nipple ring, and and grow their armpit hairs to a length of two feet. No doubt that will make the American audiences swoon with admiration. Too bad this should have been a film about the characters invented by J.K. Rowling, the English school kids we loyal readers fell in love with.

I suppose the rest of the film was OK. I cannot really remember. I was too busy fighting the urge to dig my eyes out of their sockets with my thumbnails.

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