You know, there are some films that I think that I don’t have the right to try to review or discuss in so much as a few words in a blog. Films that have such a cult following or are so exceptionally influential on the masses. Films like Harry Potter. My theory is, if you haven’t read the books and you’ve only watched the films – you probably shouldn’t assume anything concrete about the plot of the story. It’s like you’re walking blind-folded. You only know a slight percentage of the ins-and-outs of Harry Potter. Maybe it’s the same for those who’ve only read the books. Cinematically, Harry Potter is, I think, a whole other ball-game. I remember first watching The Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone) and being hooked! I had never even heard of a Harry Potter book. The film had everything that I needed to fall in love with the story and the characters. Those British accents were hypnotizing.
Then, I got older and decide to start reading the books in high school. To this date, I’ve only read The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows. I had grew impatient after watching the last few films and waiting for the sixth film to come out in theaters. I had become utterly wrapped up in the Harry Potter world and couldn’t take the wait. In the books, there was so much detail that I missed from the films that were referenced.
They made me see films 1-5 so much differently. And that’s good and bad. Yes, I caught on better to the quick dialogue and the geography of the films. Yes, I knew more about the history of the characters and their inner-thoughts. Yes, I learned about things that weren’t even in the films…which was the bad part. I became concerned that some things were only in the books. Like a secret. When the Half-Blood Prince film premiered, I went to see it on premiere night and was the most excited than I’d ever been seeing a Harry Potter film – because I’d read the book beforehand. I was in on the secret and couldn’t wait to see everything unfold on screen (including the big death at the end of the book). I’ll say this – it was the first time that I left a Harry Potter film feeling absolutely ripped off and pissed off!
It was like the film tossed half (actually more than half) of the plot in the garbage. Where was the majority of Tom Riddle’s story? What about Snape’s becoming of the Half-Blood Prince? And so much more. And what I didn’t need was for the film to become a high school love-fest about wizards. Sure, this was great in the book along with all of the serious stuff. But, centered on the forefront of the film with only bits and pieces of the Dumbledore and Harry team-up was not my cup of tea. I was so angry that I felt cheated. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe ALL of the films left out a bunch of plot from the books. Maybe even my favorite films: The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire.
I probably I hated The Order of the Phoenix so much, because it didn’t have enough to make me care. Honestly, this was something that made me sad and intrigued. If I read all of the books, maybe I’ll like the films more (the ones that I had already watched a 100 times) or I’d hate them. And like I said, I still have only read the last two books and I hate the last three films because of this. Well, “hate” is a strong word – I just don’t really care about the last three films, because I wasn’t fully sold all that I paid for. The Deathly Hallows films were just ‘meh’ to me, because I was fully invested in all of the action from the books. Though, Part One was more enjoyable than Part Two, due to the slow pacing and detail. But the ending of the series and all of the losses were quickly glossed over and rushed. I mean…
In saying all of this, I think the time has come for me to take the plunge. I’ll read the first five books and watch the films again afterwards. I want to see what I have been missing out on. And honestly, I want to actually try to love The Order of the Phoenix story, so hopefully the book gives me what I’ve been missing out on for years. If I end up hating the first four films, including my favorites, I’ll be quite sad, but at least I’ll have the books and the memories.
So this post is a bit different. I don’t actually have a review for the series, but more of a preamble to what’s to come. I’ll review each film and book pair with thoughts on what I loved/hated before/ after reading the books.
Stay tuned. 🙂