Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince {Book + Film}

{Warning: I tried my best to avoid spoilers, but it's basically impossible with this one.}

With the last book in the series, the Order of the Phoenix, I found that I enjoyed the book less and the film more than I remembered. But with the sixth book, things were reversed. :)

I've always considered the Half-Blood Prince to be one of my least favorite books in the Harry Potter series, if not my least favorite. So I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed rereading it this time. There isn't an awful lot going on plot-wise in the book until near the end...the memories and backstory of Voldemort are obviously the focus in this story. I loved those. Even rereading the book and knowing what's happening, it's still fascinating to read all of this information about one of the creepiest villains ever written. :)

Harry's obsession with finding out what Draco's doing gets a little old, and then there's the whole Lavender and Won-Won catastrophe. (Don't even get me started on that.) But there are still some great moments, like the Felix Felicis scenes, which are among my favorites in the series. And the end is so suspenseful and done really well, from the cave until the very end, which of course always makes me cry. How could it not?

Okay...now for the film. I'm just going to say from the start that this is probably the most disappointing adaptation in the whole series, in my opinion. There is so much emphasis on the relationships between characters and not enough on Voldemort's history.

First of all I'll mention the things that I don't like. Because there are a lot of them. :)

I felt like they dumbed down the whole mysterious Malfoy aspect for the film. By showing him with a cabinet in Knockturn Alley and then the matching cabinet at Hogwarts, they make things much too obvious. Then there's the discussion between Mr. Weasley and Harry about it.

As for the relationships, watching Lavender and Ron is painful, but it's awful reading it in the book, too, so I guess that's okay. :) Also, most of the moments between Harry and Ginny are just awkward in the film. Maybe they're meant to be, but I like their relationship a lot more as it played out in the books. I'm disappointed that they left out the whole Tonks bit and automatically jump to her and Lupin in a relationship.

I really like the young Voldemort casting, but I don't like the teenage Voldemort. I much preferred the guy they used in the Chamber of Secrets film. This one doesn't even vaguely resemble adult Voldemort...his face is too round or something.

The attack on the Burrow feels so random and unnecessary. It's like the filmmakers felt like they needed an action-y part in the middle, so they just stuck something in there. And later on, what's with Snape not even punishing Harry for using Secumsempra? Harry just ran off and Snape wasn't going to punish him for nearly (accidentally) killing another student?

Maybe I'm being nitpicky with those things. But here are my three biggest qualms with the film: 1) The Voldemort memory scenes are cut short and only a couple of them are even shown. There's so much more information in the book that it's almost ridiculous. 2) Dumbledore doesn't immobilize Harry during the confrontation scene. I know that Harry promised to obey everything Dumbledore said, and he was told to stay hidden. But in this case I think Harry would have broken his promise, unless he was magically unable to move, like in the book. He would not have just stood there and watched what happened! Seriously, this drives me crazy and is my least favorite part of the whole movie...maybe the worst change they made in any of the film adaptations. 3) There is no funeral at the end. Doesn't the character who dies at least deserve that? Instead, all he gets is a cheesy wand salute thing. While reading the book, the funeral makes me cry more than the actual death.

Whew...now on to what I do like. :) I like seeing the creepy place where Snape lives. Am I the only one who never really thought about where any of the Hogwarts teachers live when they're not at school?

The scene when they're trying to win the Felix Felicis cracks me up. I love how Hermione's hair gets progressively frizzier and how she reacts to not being the best in the class. :) That's definitely not something she's used to! I also love her friendship with Harry. It's so sweet how Harry comforts her in the canary scene. And I love when Harry takes Luna to the party! Luna is amazing, as usual. Probably the most perfect casting ever.

The film also contains two hilarious, lovely comedic bits from Harry and Ron: Ron under the influence of the love potion and Harry under the influence of Felix Felicis. Those scenes keep me laughing and it is so refreshing to see those two characters in a new way. :) I especially love Harry's carefree matter-of-fact-ness with Professor Slughorn.

So...yeah. I made it sound like I hate this movie, and I really don't. Like I said, it's just my least favorite of the films. I don't they did a very good job of translating it from book to film.

I promise things will be more positive in my last review, considering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is my favorite. :)

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