Why the HP6 movie sucks

1. What is up with making the last few HP movies literally, visually dark?  Just in case Voldemort isn’t threatening enough, let’s get super heavy-handed with the lighting (or, really, light-handed) and make it so I needed to squint the entire time I watched HP6 in the theater.

Moreover, I don’t think people love Harry Potter because of its great quest between good and evil — that battle is present in countless other books, both well- and poorly-written.  One of the reasons people fall in love with Harry Potter is that its characters are so lively, charismatic, and relatable, and many events are enjoyable, heartwarming, and even just plain funny.  Case in point: the entire existence of the Weasley twins.  So, if we love HP because of the characters’ humanity and world’s full-figured complexity, forcing us to squint our way through the movies is just redundant and cruel.

2. Why the hell did you mess with the plot so badly?  The movie follows the general arc of the book, but this whole attack on the Weasley house thing was completely unnecessary and basically pointless.  Ooh, Death Eaters are scary — nice addition!  Totally enhanced the experience!

I could ignore this if it weren’t for the fact that the movie completely skips around the actual point of the book.  The Half-Blood Prince is, more than any of the other books, a true mystery.  You have the mystery of the Prince, a different mystery with Draco, a third mystery with the Voldemort-life-flashbacks, and, of course, the general tense atmosphere of fear.

Contrary to what Boyfriend argues, this sixth book has an immense deal of important and valuable plot.  However, the movie basically ignores the Prince mystery; shows you what’s going on with Draco throughout the movie; completely divorces the Voldemort childhood from the bigger storyline; and is so lazy that it connotes that fear merely with the aforementioned visual darkness of the film, instead of alluding to political/media doublespeak and the general sense of terror and paranoia that are so prevalent throughout the novel.

3. Why did you mess with Ginny so badly?  She’s supposed to be outgoing, vivacious, smart, funny, athletic, gorgeous, charming, badass, and just generally awesome.  I imagine she should look like Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls and earlier.  While the producers cast who they cast, and probably before they knew exactly who Ginny would become, surely the writers could bring that worthy Ginny to life in the movie!  A woman who is so marvelous as to be The Great Harry Potter’s (imagine I’m Dobby when reading those words) love interest must be wayyyy more interesting than the cardboard we get in movies five and six.

(Sorry for the awkward picture insertion; I should probably learn how to do this right)

Who looks more like the Ginny we love:


4. And overall, why must you treat Dumbledore like he’s so damn serious all the time?  After all, he’s a headmaster we love for not only scaring the shit out of Voldemort, but also for creating passwords like “fizzing whizzbee.”  He’s supposed to have an omnipresent twinkle in his piercing blue eyes (that probably distinguishes them from Aberforth’s grizzled aura) and enjoy a good laugh.  He sometimes gives opening feast speeches that entirely consist of nonsense words and “tuck in!”  The last couple of movies ignore his lovable qualities and focus on his powerful and threatening ones — a focus that Albus Dumbledore, himself, would be sure to criticize.

Dumbledore should actually look like a cross between these two men:




Why discuss this now?  Because I spent the afternoon re-watching it on HBO On Demand.

Of course, I’m still excited for the upcoming movies, but I do wonder at what point the seventh movie ends and the eighth begins.  When Ron leaves?  But that would make for a relatively empty seventh movie and overly busy eighth?

I do hope that someday — maybe soon, maybe within the next twenty years — the BBC and PBS collaborate to bring us Harry Potter miniseries (read that as plural — multiple series?), or even as a seven-season TV show.  While the movies have been a nice distraction, and always provide me with a good excuse to re-read the series, the books are just so rich that they could surely provide great fodder for a full series.  I doubt that the fact that we all know what happens would really prevent them from attracting a great audience, and I would love for PBS to get that boost!

P.S. WordPress tells me it will like me better if I include pictures.  So there you go, WordPress fascists.


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