Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Woman in Black or Who let Harry Potter in another film?

Ok, rant time here. I have had like two weeks to digest Hammer's latest outing; the Woman in Black, and I can give my honest reaction (which, weeks later is the same as it was right when the film ended).

The film? It's a decent middle of the road Gothic-style horror film. It probably won't have any major longevity besides a fun flick caught on TV in a few years. Shot well and has plenty of scares, though somewhat limited in scope, and feeling its 12s certificate.

I hope you find dolls scary, cuz we got LOTS of em!

Now, the elephant in the room; Daniel Radcliffe. 

Note: Not literally an elephant.

This isn't an attack on the guy himself. I'm sure he's lovely. But as an actor, what the hell? Seriously, people. What the hell? Let's start with how miscast he is in the film. He just cannot hold the role he is playing. I cannot buy, for one second, that he has a young kid. They even have a few shots of his wife, about the same age, and I still am not buying it. I know the kid cast is his Godson, to try add some realism, but it just doesn't work. Could he have played someone looking after someone else's kid? Maybe. Can he play a father? Not a lick.

He also cannot hold a role with such weight at all. He in no way embodies the character, nor gives any of the gratis that it needs. His character is someone with the weight of the world on his shoulders. His wife is dead, he's looking after a kid, he's working a job he hates. All Radcliffe does is make it seem like he was given regular milk instead of chocolate milk. He shares the screen with some powerful actors and you can almost feel them struggle to hold him up. 

Dearly beloved, we are here today to mourn the loss of dignity.

His range of emotion in the film ranges from staring, to staring with his mouth slightly open. My god, people. The only way he works in this film at all is as stunt casting (which suits Hammer well). I can't fault his implausible motivations and actions in several scenes, that one is down to the script, but even when things aren't flimsy script wise, Radcliffe just cannot sell it. The only times he is in any way passable is when he is silent (which is, thankfully, a lot), but even then, he just about scrapes by.

'Maybe this fog will hide my poor acting.'

Again, I have no issue with the guy himself. I'm sure he is a decent bloke, but acting-wise (which I will admit poking at is like a personal attack), he is beyond pants. When they cast the Harry Potter films, all the kids were only around 10, so there was no way to know how they would grow as actors, or if they'd be any good. I think Rupert Grint (Ron) has potential to be an amazing talent, Emma Watson grew with the role but is a bit ropy, but Radcliffe is exactly as poor as he was in the beginning. He never grew with the role or as an actor. Everything about him, from his performances on screen to his interviews, reeks of this superiority air, where you can almost hear him saying 'Hey, I was Harry Potter, I think I know what I'm doing. Maybe DeNiro could call me up and learn something'. 

Are YOU talkin' to me?

Honestly, can you watch him and not think he is always the actor who played Harry Potter as a different role, as opposed to being the character on screen? But, with all my chagrin with him, I have hope. He is so disappointing that he does have a chance to disappear into obscurity, only to return with an amazing performance that no one would have expected. 

I went in to Woman in Black as open as I could be, but he disappointed me immensely. Anyone who says different is lying and finds him hot. There is no world where he didn't stink up the screen. My hope? That people will continually echo my sentiments until they get back to Radcliffe and he realises that his one-trick pony has been ridden into the ground. 

I hope he can come back with amazing performances, but right now, that is really wishful thinking.

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