Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Disappointment
August 5, 2009
Okay, so I shouldn’t write to rant about the latest Harry Potter movie, since I am usually super-critical of movies made from books. But I had higher hopes for this one, having read (and heard) some positive reviews.
Aside from all the details that the movie ommitted or altered from the book, I just thought the film moved so SSLLOOWWWLLYY…. In fact, as a friend with whom I saw it commented as we were leaving the theatre Monday night, “Wait, did I miss work on Tuesday?” It just felt that long.
A few gripes: This book is one of my favorites in the series, because of the richness of the friendship between Harry and Dumbledore. All of the significant, poignant conversations between the two of them in the books – completely missing in the film. I think Michael Gambon was a little better and more soft in this film, which was an improvement, but he just isn’t Dumbledore for me, and his death was a relief, no tears involved. I can’t get through reading that section in the book without bawling my eyes out.
Ginny. The girl playing her is cute enough, but lacks all of Ginny’s feisty-ness and charm from the books. What happened to the “hard, blazing look” in her eyes as she greets Harry after the Quidditch match for their big moment?
Another thing has been bothering me as I think of the movie, and I don’t know if this is a legitimate gripe against the movie or just an observation on cultural differences. I know this is a story about British people, and the British (while I adore the accent) do seem more reserved in their conversations and tone than we loud-mouthed Americans. Is this why the conversations, especially between the trio, seem so cold and formal? I just imagine them so much warmer and affectionate, somehow. But maybe the trouble is simply that I’ve been reading them in American, not British. 🙂
I do have to say, I liked Slughorn a lot, though he didn’t look quite like I imagined. And I think Tom Felton did an amazing job at playing Draco in this film. I felt moved with pity for the plight that Draco found himself in. And I think the lady who plays Bellatrix is awesome. Creepy and delighting in chaos for its’ own sake.
I chuckled at some of the romance woes between all the teens in the film, and I nearly jumped out of my skin when the inferi went after Harry, even though I thought I was bracing myself for that shock. But otherwise, it felt slow and boring, and that gave me all the more opportunity to compare and contrast the movie with the book, and as usual, the movie didn’t fare nearly as well.