Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Spoiler alert! I'mma talk about the movie. It's been out for a week, so I think it's fair game.

So, what did everyone think? I had a couple "WTF, David Yates?" moments, but overall, I really enjoyed it. Of course there were a lot of differences, entire characters that were absent, like the Dursleys, Madam Rosmerta, Rufus Scrimgour--and Fudge, for that matter--but then, they've been doing that for ages, ever since they neglected to bring back the adorable Oliver Wood...for shame! I understand the narrative necessity of moving the story along.

There were a few things that didn't sit well with me, though. Like the entire additional scene with Bellatrix? Now, don't get me wrong, Helena Bonham Carter is awesome. Spot-on as Bellatrix. But the scene was unnecessary. It was like they were just looking for an opportunity to get some more screen time for her. There isn't anything we learned from that scene that we couldn't get elsewhere. And as I like to say, "What? Because there wasn't enough content in the book, they had to add a new scene?"

My other major beef was at the end, that Dumbledore told Harry to hide. There is a big, big difference between being immobilized and forced to watch and being hidden and choosing not to act. And how do they make sure that Harry doesn't do anything? They have Snape know he was there! That changes everything!

Although it does add another layer of ambiguity to an already-enigmatic character. Was Snape trying to keep Harry safe, or was he making sure he, Harry, didn't stop him from killing Dumbledore? Of course, it was probably both. But how does Harry interpret it? Snape isn't a hero. The only heroic thing he really does is showing Harry the memory--but then, that's still two movies away.

Still, some of my favorite scenes and lines in the movie were not from the book. Harry saying that at this point, he just goes along with whatever Dumbledore comes up with. The discussion about skin quality as a contributing factor to romantic interest...hilarious! Ron falling off the couch was so unexpected that it made it even funnier. And Daniel Radcliffe's depiction of the effect of Felix Felicis potion as somewhat intoxicated was great. Considering how heavy the story is, there were actually a lot of really funny moments. And in that regard, it's just like the book.

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