I’m a little bummed today. But let me begin at the beginning . . . last night I finally used some well-hoarded birthday money to treat Jason and I to a movie date to see the highly-anticipated Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I am in no way ashamed to say that I am a fan of the books, I own the other movies. I think Rowling is an excellent story teller and writer.
So, I get really jazzed each time another movie comes out, and I was especially excited to see this one which is a little odd because this was not my favorite book. It is very long and very detailed, even a bit confusing at times, but nonetheless still great. It does an excellent job of preparing the reader for the end of the series in that many things that didn’t necessarily make sense in the HBP make sense in Deathly Hallows.
Soooo . . . we got there after dropping the kiddos off with a friend just in the nick of time. We had to sit up front – it was packed. On a Sunday afternoon! From the opening scene I was already confused. Sure it had been a few years since I read the book, but surely I would remember it. What I was seeing was not in the book, I was sure of it. From there I sat in an awkward balance of intrigue, delight, confusion and disappointment. I must give them props for giving their audience a wild ride!
The movie was exciting and the cinematography well done, but the entire time I had a nagging feeling that big, important things were missing. So much so that I will be re-reading the book. To my annoyance, the romantic antics of the now mature characters overshadowed the heart of the novel and the gist of the plot. I guess I am not much for romantic sub-plots.
The thing is, I liked the movie, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to. It brought back memories of Hollywood’s other most recent novel-maiming Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia. Prince Caspian was, in my humble opinion, shredded to somewhat recognizable bits and pieced back together around a romantic sub-plot that didn’t exist. Oh and then there’s Les Miserables (starring Claire Danes, Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman) which is, to me, a big pile of poo as they totally missed the point of an amazing novel by completely cutting one of the main characters.
A friend wisely said today that I have to accept the movies apart from the books, and I know she’s right. It just bugs me.
So to end on a positive note, here are a few movies which managed to stay true to the books they came from:
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Because of Winn Dixie (Katie DiCamillo)
Chocolat (Joanne Harris)
Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
Fried Green Tomatoes (Fannie Flagg)
The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan)
Matilda (Roald Dahl)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
AND one that surprised me the most many years ago . . . Ten Things I Hate About You based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew