Saturday, June 20, 2009

Taking time out for the Harry Potter movies

I'm having a hard time staying focused on posting about the book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, because I'm so caught up in just reading it. And now it's less than a month before the movie comes out. So over at The Leaky Cauldron they have posted some interesting links to interviews and video clips and this one - a list of the twelve things that were in the books that should have been in the movies.

I agree with some of the things on the list, but not all. Personally, I had enough quidditch with the first films, and seeing it in all the others would have taken valuable time and would have gotten boring, imo.

But I completely agree that the Marauder's Map, Dobby, Kreacher, Percy and Marietta should have been in the movies with their more complete story lines. I thought it was a mistake to leave out Bagman, but it turns out he really wasn't that important later, so I guess that decision makes sense.

I missed Peeves, especially when the twins were leaving, and again in Deathly Hallows, but I guess it was OK to not have him. And I missed Harry talking to Nick about Sirius's death.

What I would add to the list is a better depiction of Barty Jr in the courtroom scene and a better death scene for Barty Sr. And then there is the missing Winky who plays a big role in that part of the story. The other thing that was left out was that Fluer is part veela. I guess it's not terribly important but it explains why the boys, Ron in particular, get all goofy whenever she's near them. The Pensieve scene with Snape and James and Sirius should have been longer, and should have included Lily. That's another bit they will have trouble explaining later.

The other thing the movies have all missed is the end of the books. They get part of it right and then stop before the full denouement from Dumbledore. So people who only watch the movies and haven't read the books really never fully get the meaning of what has happened in that particular story.

The problem with leaving things out concerning the minor characters is that then we don't really care what happens to them or we don't understand why it's important to Harry. Paring all that down is something that movies have to do to fit in a certain time frame, but by doing so, they really lose the richness that has made us all love the books.

Enough ranting, though. I'll stop for today. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this particular subject after July 15 when I see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".

1 comment:

Beth said...

Pat, that's a fun link you posted: the 12 things they left out!

Of course far more than 12 things have been cut from the films. I think they fall into at least two categories for me: things I wish they hadn't cut because I would have loved to see them on film (even if it turns out not to be all that important to the plot) and things they cut not realizing how important they would turn out to be later.

I think Binns and the Headless Hunt and Peeves all fall into the first category. They lend humor and atmosphere to the novels of a kind the movies can never quite capture, simply because the movies lack those rich detailed layers. I would have loved to have seen Binns in the scene in Chamber of Secrets when Hermione startles him by raising her hand in class and asking about the origins of the Chamber -- that whole scene always makes me laugh. But I can also understand why it was more economical from a film standpoint to just use Maggie Smith to explain things!

But there have been glaring plot holes like the back story to the marauder's map and almost anything to do with house elves, plus the bizarrely fast Snape memory (how right you are that it should have included Lily)! I guess screen writers could only guess so much at what might or might not turn out to be important in the grand scheme of things.

Personally, I'm still hoping they'll turn HP into a long-running BBC mini-series one day! ;-)

Happy summer!