Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Last night, B, Jennie, GG (Jen’s hubby) and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, courtesy of Orange Wednesdays, which now also lets you have 2 for 1 pizza at Pizza Express, as well as 2 for 1 cinema tickets.

Ron, Hermione and Harry

Ron, Hermione and Harry

And boy, am I glad that our tickets only cost us £4 each instead of £8 because there’s no way that film was worth a penny more.

I’m gutted, as I really thought that they would do something special with this film, but the way I see it, they completely missed the boat.

It was always going to be tricky as the book is essentially exposition, setting the scene for the next and final book. But that doesn’t explain the thinking behind the film.

HBP is about the Horcruxes: what they are, how they work, why and how Voldemort made them, what objects he used and speculation about what those objects are and where he hid them. Intertwined with this are the themes of love, loyalty and trust.

So why on earth did they decide to turn HP6 into a teenage romance?

And what’s with the decision to cut out certain scenes (such as the DA/OotP vs DE battle at the end of the book, Dumbledore’s attempts to get Harry to understand the importance of love and how that makes him different to Voldemort, not to mention the rather important hint that one of the Horcruxes was under Harry’s nose the whole time) and instead make up new scenes, such as the destruction of The Burrow?!

I completely understand why they cut scenes and characters, but I really really REALLY hate it when script writers and directors make up new scenes, especially when their inventions fail to add anything to the plot. I can honestly say that had they dropped the nonsense about destroying the Weasley home and instead followed the book so that the film closed with a battle between the Death Eaters and Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix, the film would have been so much better.

What’s frustrating is that the bits they did well were outstanding. The cave sequence, for example, was exactly as I imagined it when I first read the book, from the eerie darkness to the shock at seeing Dumbledore so weak and frail. It was perfect, a true example of the book brought to life.

But the rest of it … oh dear.

And that makes me worry about the final two films.

I’m going to refrain from drawing up a list of the things I didn’t like, on the grounds that such activities would make me extremely sad and suggest that I have nothing better to do, but that won’t stop me thinking about them as I return to hacking away at Himalayan Balsam now that it’s stopped raining…

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Danny Stone on 23 July 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Couldnt agree more… was very upset…

  2. Posted by Bella on 23 July 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Where’ve you been?! No twitters, no blogs. Missed you!

  3. Reading Barack Obama’s book ‘Dreams of my Father’, and HP 6 and 7, getting to grips with the new scythe (more fun than it should be!), watching CSI and Charmed, hiding out in the pig arks giving belly rubs and trying to convince the pigs that they’re not lap dogs, despairing over the slug attacks in the veggie garden, performing sun dances… the usual!

    Won’t be online now til Monday, alas, as B’s off today to help out in another store and will have the laptop to keep her sane during her hotel confinement.

  4. I don’t think I disliked it quite as much as you did, but then I didn’t get quite as excited before we went to see it! 🙂

    I’ve sort of got used to them randomly cutting out (what seems to me to be) key points which lead on to build up the story for following films. All I can think is that they assume that everyone who watches the films has read the books and so knows the whole story already. I think of the films as the colourplate illustrations that you get in old books – pretty pictures to help the story along, but not enough to garner the plot from.

    I’m still looking forward to seeing what they do with the last two films, and just hope that they have used the light-hearted moments from the book this time, instead of making stuff up! Oh, and I’d rather that they didn’t have Harry trying to pick up girls at grubby stations – just makes him look desperate!

  5. Rumour has it that they’re trying to go in another direction to the books … hence all the changes, rather than mere cuts!

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