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.
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…