Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Why So Angry?
Albus Dumbledore is a sourpuss. Or at least this new imposter is. I saw the Goblet of Fire a few weeks ago and found myself thoroughly absorbed. I lost myself in the movie... except for when the crotchety old Headmaster (played by Michael Gambon) ambled onto the screen. The new Dumbledore is an angry old Scrooge, not the old wizard with a twinkle in his eye that anchors the Harry Potter series.
Professor Dumbledore is supposed to be the moral center of the story and had always come off as the calm voice of reason in the midst of whatever chaos was afoot. In the book, after Harry's name is picked out of the Goblet, Dumbledore, though unhappy, calls for Harry to come “please,” and “calmly” asks him if he broke the rules by submitting his name. In the movie, however, Dumbledore almost has an aneurism shrieking for Harry. And later, in a scene in the Headmaster's office, Dumbledore comes off as confused and uncertain, appearing to lean on Snape for support. Gambon gives no reassurance that Dumbledore is there to help steer things back on course with his quiet, but firm, direction. He almost seems disconnected. I miss Richard Harris.