Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince: Epic Disappointment

Pockets loaded with tasty treats, and the company of good friends ensured a perfect 12:01 a.m. showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, right? Well, as much as I’ve struggled in my mind to answer yes, I cannot bring myself to overlook the imperfections of this film. I can’t blame the imperfections on the cinematography, or even the acting, even though it was a bit much at times, but I have to mostly blame this Harry Potter blemish on the screenwriter Steve Kloves; who, in my opinion usually does a fantastic job! He’s written all but the 5th installment of the Harry Potter series.

I have to clarify something. I am a Harry Potter fiend. I love the books with a burning passion, and I have read all of them more than once. Even further, I have read the 6th and 7th books, more like 3 or 4 times. I finished the 6thone within the last month, so it’s very fresh in my mind. So, needless to say, I know them like the back of my hand. I have to state this in order to be fair.

Right from the get go, I could tell that Steve Kloves was going to take certain liberties with the film that would drive me crazy. Dumbledore’s visit to the Dursley’s home was completely ripped out, the visit to the house of Gaunt was totally removed, this being the scene you meet Voldemort’s mother, and his grandfather. This part explains a lot about the story in and of itself; however, I CAN understand why they removed it from the movie, as it would have taken up a large amount of needed time. Other small things such as Kreacher becoming Harry’s property, Sirius’s house being handed over to Harry, etc… I won’t ruin it for everyone else by stating everything.

However, I think the thing that bothered me even more than that which was excluded from the movie, was the stuff that was Included, but inaccurately portrayed. Just a couple examples of this are one: What happened to Tonks (who is a different actress than the original Tonks by the way) being the one who found Harry in the Hogwarts Express when Malfoy left him under the cloak, instead, Luna finds him. Another part that confused me was the scene where the Burrow was attacked and burned to the ground. This scene never happened in the book. Right about this time, I realized they were straining to get some action into this movie packed with scenes reliant upon characters relaying data, and information necessary in hopes to not lose the audience completely. Other small details which in my mind were key to how I pictured the whole story coming together were things like Ginny going WITH Harry into the Room of Requirement to get rid of the Prince’s book. Harry never volunteered to get rid of the book; he needed to hide it somewhere, so Snape didn’t find it. The whole scene was completely different than the book, 100% different. But I digress. Also, when Harry was on the tower, and was told to go below, instead of being stunned under his invisibility cloak (Like in the book) that made me mad. The Harry we know would never have stood by and watched.

My favorite parts of the book weren’t the only things being left out, but it seemed as though Magic itself played a very small role at Hogwarts this year. There was very little magic, virtually no classes held, and only a couple anticlimactic duels. Speaking of small roles, pretty much every previously popular character like Neville, Lupin, the Weasley twins Fred and George, and many more were neglected of screen time more than any of the other installments. It felt like this movie consisted of Harry and Dumbledore, with a little bit of his friends and others mixed in, elbowing each other for some screen time.

I suppose I could go on, but there isn’t much need, I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who aren’t as picky as me, as there are many positive things about the movie as well.

The movie itself was filmed well, however, there were a few parts that I wish would have been filmed much differently. The main being the end, on the tower, the scene where a key character gets killed, (I won’t say for those who haven’t read the books) But I felt like the camera work was HORRIBLE during this part! It didn’t even show him get hit, and fall, it didn’t show anything! It thought it was all wrong! It was totally anti emotion for me. In the books I was sobbing like an injured little school girl, but during the movie, I couldn’t do much more than frown. Maybe I was just ready for it…

Either way, I don’t want everyone to think I’m trying to be only Naysay. I have to say, I want to see this again; this time with less comparison going on in my head. I want to see it for what it is, and not for what the book tells me it SHOULD be. Most people who saw it with me last night liked it a lot! I however was surprised at this, because the whole time I thought to myself, If I hadn’t read the books, and didn’t know what was going on, I would most likely find this movie extremely boring! But I’ll give it another try at some point. After my memory of the 6th book fades, and I am able to look past all the faults I’ve found the first time around.


Bri!!! said...

If you have liked the other ones and thought THIS one was boring I would HATE this one, because I didn't like the first one and we turned the second one off because it was so lame. Sorry, don't see what all the hype about potter is. LAME.

Janice Phillips said...

lol, Nathan, Joanna, and I just saw it this afternoon and pretty much concur w/your assessment. If I hadn't read the books I'd have no freaking clue WHAT was going on.

Anonymous said...

Tonks is the same actress. She just got a haircut.