My First Sketch – Analyzing Harry Potter with JK Rowling
So as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve joined a sketch-writing class. Our first homework was to find a pet peeve of ours, develop a character who embodies that irksome quality, and then to write a sketch revolving around that character.
I find a lot of things irksome, but the one I picked was people who read too much between the lines of books and movies – classic thing where when the author says ‘The curtains are blue’, they try interpreting that in various ways, when all the author meant was that the curtains the room were coloured blue.
Then I had to come up with some sort of a character sketch for a person with this character, so I created Abby, who is a sixteen-year-old girl, sort of like the older sister in Ten things I Hate About You, top of her class, considers herself more mature than others, reads a lot, cut her baby teeth on Ayn Rand, wanted nothing more than Kafka and Nietzsche for her fourteenth birthday, dates an older college student who moonlights as a hipster barista, considers herself real deep, aims to study Literature at Harvard, draws inspiration from second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem, always enters any argument with ‘If I may chime in as a woman…’, resorts to grammar nazism when all else fails… the works.
Now for a funny situation to put Abby in… I thought it’d be fun to have her come face to face with the artist whose works she overanalyzes. I first wanted her to read too much into Disney/Pixar movies, but then, the interpretations would have to be suitably ludicrous, and I somehow didn’t feel up for that. It was finally a tie between Tarantino and JK Rowling. The problem with Tarantino was, he himself weaves in layers of meanings into his movies, what with tributes and parodies and whatnot. I somehow couldn’t come up with theories ludicrous enough to have him go ‘Say, what?!’, though this one interpretation of Pulp Fiction was really awesome – Marcellus Wallace has sold his soul to the devil, and the suitcase is what he has to give the Devil to get his soul back. For more on that, ask me later; I’m too tired to type that out right now.
So JK Rowling it was. I scoured cracked.com for crazy Harry Potter interpretations, and got some nice suggestions off Tuna and Surabhi, the biggest HP fan I know. And I had a ton of things worrying me during this whole week that I could finally manage to get things written only in the hour before I had to run to class.
And so… here it is. It got a few laughs when I read it out in class. There were a few edits suggested too, which I might take up on and rewrite this sketch. Apologies for having it as a PDF, but writing it in the screenwriting format using rawscripts.com (I initially started off writing in LaTeX, but time crunch meant I ended up using something more WYSIWYG), I can only export it as a PDF so far.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it