For those of you who are unaware, I have been a hardcore Harry Potter fan since the books came out – when I was about in fourth or fifth grades. I devoured them like I devour chocolate covered pomegranate; quickly and with no abandon whatsoever. As such, I’m sure all of you can imagine I’m quite the devout fan and though I have grown older (and hopefullly wiser, though I’m sure that would be up for discussion) I have remained quite devoted to the fantasy world that Rowling has created.
Subsequently, I approached the news that my beloved childhood novels were being adapted into films with the highest degree of caution, knowing that they would never, ever, ever be able to live up to my expectations. I haven’t gone quite to the lengths that some of my friends have for their most revered fandoms (one of them refuses to watch the Twilight films, which in retrospect I find mildly humorous as the books are, at least in my opinion, rubbish, but I will save that for later) as my curiousity always gets the best of me and as a result I’ve seen every single Harry Potter movie that has been released. The first and second passed with not much notice on my part, the third seemed a little out of place in terms of consistency with the previous two, and the fourth and fifth I felt were most well done but certainly not nearly at the level that the books were.
Therefore, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the trailer for the sixth book – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – and eagerly awaited its release to see whether it finally would perhaps be within my expectations; tonight, I was able to finally get to a movie theatre to discover if it really was worth all the hype.
And the verdict? To be honest, I thought it was only okay; and I think I have may been most disappointed with this film more than any of the others because it got such good reviews. My biggest gripe with all of the Harry Potter movies is that they – despite the fact that they have fairly long runtimes, HBP being about 2.5 hours long – feel rushed. That, admittedly, is something obviously quite difficult for the filmmakers to overcome seeing that each Harry Potter installment spans approximately a year and well, to fit a year into about 2 hours is no easy feat. That said, I still feel that they could have done a better job at signalling the passage of time and transitioning overall, the film just seemed really (for lack of a better word) jumpy.
And I don’t want to point fingers, but honestly, Ginny was so tame and quiet in the movie! That is certainly not how I felt Rowling portrayed her and definitely not how I pictured her. The entire Ginny/Harry line was completely off, and I think a very large contributing factor was that the portrayal of Ginny was completely off (in my opinion, at least). I also wished that they included more quidditch in the film because in the books it was a large contributor to the development of Ron’s character. AND most importantly, there was not nearly enough background information on Voldemort’s history! A huge chunk of that book was devoted to Voldemort/Tom Riddle’s backstory and I felt that it was absolutely crucial to contextualize not only Voldemort himself, but how the rest of the wizarding world was positioned in relation to it.
Of course, the film wasn’t completely rubbish. In fact, I thought it was quite entertaining on the whole; the beginning scene with the destruction of the bridge was awesome and I loved that they included lots of interaction between Harry, Hermione, and Ron, because it really sets the stage for the final installment in the series. I also thought that Tom Felton did a brilliant job with Draco – he was exactly, exactly as I pictured him. Lavender was amazing too, so lovesick and pathetic in a funny sort of way.
But to conclude, I would just like to say: WTF why did they burn down The Burrow?!