Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thoughts about Harry Potter

My daughter and I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (hyphen?) a couple of weekends ago. I have been trying to formulate a coherent opinion that explains my reaction to the movie.

First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the way the increasing maturity of the main characters was addressed. After Harry's teenage angst in Phoenix, seeing some of the funnier moments about being a teenager and falling in love and having really good friends was a welcomed focus in this film.

Like others, I did think the Tom Riddle story was slighted somewhat. I also thought the evil sisters were much too Adams Family/Munster like.

Of course, I loved the scene with Dumbledore and the knitting book, and I thought the cave scene was done well. I did think that the horcrux issue needed a little more clarification, however.

What did I not like? As far as I am concerned, one of the real wonders of this series of books and movies is that it has created such a believeable world. If I were to go to London, I would half-expect to visit Dragon Alley. Sending an owl seems like a reasonably efficient way to communicate. Words and characters have passed into the language. For example, even people who have neither read the books nor seen the movies have something of an idea of the meanings of words such as "muggles."

Therein lies the problem with the latest film: when I left the theater, I had not been at Hogwarts. It was labeled as such. The outline appeared the same. However, the wonderful depth of detail was not there. The staircases did not move. The paintings did not interact. Were the house ghosts present? The scene in the greenhouse absolutely cried out for a few mandrake screams. Even the Room of Requirement lacked mystery.

I hope the last two films will return not only to the compelling nature of the plot but to the wonder of the settings that have created such a magical world.

1 comment:

Sherie said...

Thanks for the review. I have read all the HP books, but haven't seen the new movie yet.