An inspiring look at JK Rowling's rise to become one of the most influential writers-from her humble beginnings as an imaginative young girl and awkward teenager to the loss of her mother and the genesis of the Harry Potter phenomenon.
Paul A. Kaufman
Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter picks up where the blockbuster film and bestselling books leave off. This critically-acclaimed documentary explores the myths and legends that ... See full summary »
Four friends celebrate at a bar graduating Hogwarts and contemplate their future, when an old rival arrives. Knowing what side Severus Snape will fight in the war, James Potter and The Marauders confront Snape for the final time.
Everyone's favorite boy wizard is Harry Potter. By now, he and friends Ron, Hermoine and everyone else at Hogwarts are as magical to you as they are to the millions of fans around the world... See full summary »
'J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life', provides a satisfactory explanation of Rowling's background and the way in which it affected the writing of the 'Harry Potter' series. However, I felt that the documentary strayed from its purpose. The original aim stated was to find out the secret behind Rowling's success. Despite this statement, the documentary went on to explore aspects of the writer's fame and how she dealt with it, which is irrelevant in consideration of the original aim stated. The documentary either needed to be more focused or widen its aim.
Another issue is that when the narrator initially talks about the 'Harry Potter' series, he doesn't give us a brief summary of what the books are about, and instead delves into the moral messages it provides. As a result, it appears as though the documentary is assuming the audience has already acquired this knowledge.
While it was interesting and relevant to consider the context of Rowling's writing in the form of her childhood, the telling of it could be more direct. For example, the interviews were personal, however, could have been better structured to avoid questions lacking in relevance. For example, the question 'do you believe in God?' appeared to an audience as a run up to the introduction of Rowling's mother's death, rather than linking explicitly with the context of her writing. The music was also distracting at times and at points did not fit the topic. When talking about the writer's mother's death, the tone of the music could have been better suited as it slightly undermined the seriousness of the topic.
Overall, an informative documentary, however it could have been improved with several alterations to increase relevance and focus.
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