Harry Potter and one disappointed audience member (sitting in the dark, wincing?)


There are some spoilers


This is just going to be a quick and dirty post about my feelings after watching the newest Harry Potter. I was somewhat disappointed. After two years, this is what they end up showing us? It seemed like the Harry Potters were improving – I really loved Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix so much that I actually bought it. It looked like they were managing to achieve a good balance between plot accuracy, budget and time limits. But, this one.. eh… I don’t think I’ll be adding it to my haphazard collection of DVDs.

I guess, the novel itself is a toughie to put on screen, because, in many ways Half-Blood Prince is like an intermediate book to Deathly Hallows. This one is mostly about Harry’s obsession with catching Malfoy red-handed, and also about Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore. It’s more like an information book – you’ve got to be filled in on stuff you need to know for the last book.

But, in the movie, all the events were disjointed, and therefore, the movie ended up dragging quite a bit. There was no real flow. I mean, sure, the climax was obvious, but the build-up to the climax wasn’t very clear. Also, if you weren’t a HP fan, or you hadn’t read the actual book, you might’ve been very confused about what was going on in the story, and which scenes to keep in mind as important. Not to mention the totally new scenes they had to add (ie. the scene where the Death Eaters burn the Weasleys’ home).

Also, I thought the movie was much too focused on the romances between Hermione and Ron, and Harry and Ginny. To me, the actual book didn’t focused so much on them, and it was only near the end of the book that Harry and Ginny actually get it on. And the Ginny and Harry scenes were so very awkward and kind of gag-inducing. Especially that Room of Requirement scene. That scene’s actual importance in the book was completely overshadowed by the, pretty trivial, flirting and kissing that was going on in there (not that I usually have anything against Romance, being a romantic-comedy fan). But, maybe the awkwardness was intentional? To highlight how teenagers really are? Well, it seemed more awkward than Ron and Lavender’s relationship. And Ginny, well, she wasn’t Ginny enough. She didn’t have that independent, strong vibe, she just looked like she was put on the spot. I don’t know how else to describe it, maybe it’s just me.

And, just a few more whines, bear with me, I need to get it out of my system! Professor Slughorn was TOTALLY, not even close to what I was imagining. I thought he would be on the very chubby side, with a sleazy look to him. I mean, he likes to indulge in crystalized pineapples (or whatever they’re called), and he likes to take advantage of the resources and people around him to live a more luxurious lifestyle. But, the Slughorn in the movie was this, really pathetic, absentminded kind of guy, who was really, when it comes down to it, a forgettable character. One of my friends actually could barely remember who he was when I was discussing him. And Cormac. Wow. Not what I imagined him as looking either. He was much better looking in the movie than in my imagination. I sort of thought of him as a boar-like, stocky guy. I don’t know whether I like him to be good looking or not… haha.

And what about those Golem things that were crawling out of the lake in the cave? People actually laughed at that intense moment because they looked like Golems/Smeagles from LOTR. It sort of ruined the mood, unless that was what was intended…

*SIGH* I know, I know. The movie is hardly ever better than the actual book. But, still, I was starting to harbor high hopes for the Harry Potters because they seemed to be improving! But, this one was disappointing. It really wasn’t anywhere near what I was expecting. In fact, all the acting was very low-key and casual (almost bad acting) – like in Twilight. There were a lot of awkward silences, abrupt entering and leaving (especially with Snape – though I think it was intended to be funny), and to those who don’t really read the books, a lot of seemingly random running around after things and people and spying and eavesdropping on conversations whose importance were never really explained.

I would be a terrible director! I’d want to keep the entire story how it is and not change anything for the sake of a budget or a time limit. In fact, I think someone should do a HP miniseries, and slowly develop it properly for those TV-cinema fans out there who don’t want to read the novel!

I should probably say some good points about the Movie. Hmm…the scene where Katie Bell fell into an epileptic fit from touching the cursed necklace was done pretty creepily to the right effect. Fred and George’s joke shop was awesome! And, as usual, Evanna Lynch played an imaginarily accurate Luna Lovegood! I loved her spectrespecs and her dress for Slughorn’s Christmas party was out of this world! So far, she’s the only character that I like because she fits what I pictured, and if she wants to add a little of her own personality to the character, it all ended up working well. Same with Helena Bonham Carter (playing Bellatrix Lestrange). That character really crept to the next level of careless, insane evilness in this movie. Another treat – the sets were gorgeous! I think they really captured to the feel of the hidden, lost nooks and crannies at Hogwarts and the Burrow. I really liked the stairs, for some reason (the ones in the Burrow where Ron, Hermione and Mrs.Weasley popped their heads out, and the ones in Hogwarts where Lavender and Ron were snogging). Finally, if you watch this movie for the laughs, it definitely provides, though sometimes, perhaps when it isn’t so appropriate.

The Burrow. I loved that room (and that scene). And that whole house.

Okay, so it wasn’t so quick…turned out to be a full fledged review. Anyway, go watch it and let me know what you think! I most likely have Reader’s Disappointment… (it’s unhealthy…. I know, I shouldn’t be expecting the EXACT same thing as the book – that would be ridiculous and possibly boring, but at the very least better acting and plotline if you’re going to mutilate the story anyway).

(On a side note, I’ve never really looked into it in depth, but, I know there’s been issues surrounding Harry Potter and all that witchcraft and whatnot that certain religious groups are against. I found this link from the Hour Badly Spent, showing some comments people made around this issue, pretty shocking, a little funny. Also, this blogger went right out and compared this movie with the LOTR movies!)

Update: For some hardcore sumarization of HBP, check out this livejournal blog… it’s a riot!



  1. Very well written review and I agree with the comment you posted on mine. I believe the boringness definetely had to do with the awkward love scenes and just abrupt cutting between different scenes. As a new fan, I had no idea what was going and what was important and what wasn’t. The tone for me felt like an awkward love story, yet this is supposedly a dark story. From what I heard tho from HP fans, this book probably wouldn’t have ever translated well to the big screen as its just one big set-up for the next one.

  2. Anthonykrzyzak – you’re totally right! This book is probably the toughest to put on screen, because, apart from the obvious climax (Dumbledore’s death, Snape’s apparent betrayal), there isn’t an easy way to build up to it.

  3. I’ve got to agree with a lot of the points in your review 🙂

    Katie Bell’s fit was one of the moments in the movie that I thought were pulled off really well.. and yes, at the risk of sounding like a fangirl, Cormac was quite easily the most attractive guy in the movie for me.

    Inferi-Gollums. What were they thinking?

  4. Hi! I just saw the movie at midnight too! I don’t think it’s totally as bad as you said it was, but yeah, it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be either.

  5. I didn’t read your post carefully, as I plan on seeing the film, but in general I’m quite disappointed in the Harry Potter films. I’m not an enormous advocate of the books either, except for what they do to encourage children to read, but they far excel what I’ve seen them become as movies.

  6. I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed in a lot of things. Probably because the sixth is my favorite of the later HP books (the third is my total favorite), and my favorite bits all had to be cut out (the scene with Dumbledore and the Dursleys, all the bits of Scrimgeour being a bully). I don’t mind them cutting stuff, but it seemed like they added a lot of things that didn’t make any sense. Why did the Burrow burn down? Why did the Weasleys just stand there like, oh no, if only we had some magic way of doing something about this.

    Plus, I get that they didn’t want to do a big Hogwarts battle because it would be repetitive with the next book, but why would Malfoy bother bringing in four Death Eaters to the school just to watch him kill Dumbledore? Why not just kill Dumbledore? It didn’t make any sense.

    Also, the shoelace scene. That’s all I’m saying.

  7. I love the Harry Potter books, but I haven’t seen the movies yet. I do plan to see them at some point, and, frankly, I’m not really expecting much. I firmly stick to the belief that the book is always better than the movie!

  8. diti – I laughed so hard when I saw those screen shots comparing LOTR and this movie! Nice job!

    Meredith – Yeah, I suspect I was harboring unrealistic wishes about this movie, so that’s probably why I ranted about all the itty bitty details that got to me =P

    Bellezza – Yeah, I shouldn’t have expected very much at all. I was just setting myself up for disappointment!

    Jenny – I loved the sixth because we get to learn more about Snape (he’s a character you can’t help but be curious about despite somewhat hating him because of Harry’s prejudices), but you really don’t get a good portrait of Snape in this one. I don’t know.. maybe they’re planning on putting all that in the first part of the last movie? And yeah, that shoelace scene made me wince.

    Allegra – So true! There’s no way a movie can beat one’s own imagination, which has no budgetary boundaries or time limits!

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