Friday, July 17, 2009

HBP :)

Just back from the first day-first show of 'Harry Potter and the half blood Prince'. And I'm streaming with opinions. Mixed opinions if I were to call it so.
First opinion is that I liked it- a lot. OK, maybe not a lot but I liked it. Mainly because this is the first Harry movie (I don't like calling it a 'Potter' movie or even 'Harry Potter' movie like most of the people; Simply Harry feels closer and warmer :) ) I've watched on the first day in the first show.
Many things are just as they should be. All details intact.
  • In the beginning of the movie-the dementor attacks in muggle world, the chill, the gloom, the shattering of the bridge are all very subtly depicted.
  • Slughorn's transformation into the fat sofa and back is shown well, so is the seeming ransacking of the house. Although, Slughorn should have been plumper and with a moustache! (What happened to the walrus moustache?)
  • Fred and George's joke shop is more or less the same as I imagined while reading the book.
  • The keeper tryouts, where Hermione confounds McLaggen has been correctly pictured but Cormac in the movie is much more handsome than what he's described in the book, and also much less self-important.
  • Slughorn's first class where Harry wins felix felixes, much to the chagrin of everyone, especially Hermione is totally in agreement with the book and also one of the best scenes of the movie.
  • Dumbledore's memory of his first meeting with Tom, though curtailed is quite digestable.
  • Ron and Lavender's fooling around (read: snogging) is well..hilarious!(:P) And I was pleasantly suprised to see that they did include the scene where Hermione sets a group of twittering, pecking birds on Ron in a fit of rage (Oppugno!). Also, the part where he eats chocolates spilled with love potion that Romilda Vane had gifted Harry and gapes dreamily is ultra superb! Oh, Rupert Grint is such a fine actor!! He brings Ron's character to life. No other actor in the movie has ever been so convincing,except perhaps Hagrid and Malfoy.
  • Malfoy! Man, the genuineness with which Tom Felton gets into the skin of the character! The scenes with the vanishing cabinet are probably the only scenes which are better potrayed in the movie. The experiments with the apple and the bird,which inspite of being concocted by the script-writers are good in attempting to explain how the cabinet works.
  • The cave, the black lake, the chain that materializes from thin air, the boat, Dumbledore's breakdown,his snivels thereafter, the inferi, the fire- positively stick by the book.
  • In fact I found the inferi much spookier in the movie than I'd imagined. Despite having read the book a dozen times I jumped back with shock the instant a dead hand caught Harry's wrist.
  • Ron and Hermione's scenes lend some lighter moments. Ditto with Fred and George's fleeting appearances.
Having highlighted all those things that maintained a consistency in reference to the book and can most likely said to be an almost a replica of the same, I would now jot down the things due to which the movie is likely to draw a lot of flak-and rightly so! We never demanded to watch the nuances of every single occurring, did we? But expecting us to agree with whatever codswallop they show, much in the manner of house elves, is exactly the same as expecting Fred and George to stay indifferent to Percy when he is superciliously flaunting his Head Boy's badge!
So here are some discrepancies that I observed (and some of them were blatant enough to make any Harry fanatic, or even fan for that matter indignant).
  • What the hell was that flirting with the muggle girl in the opening scene all about? Our Harry has never flirted with anyone in the book. He's one of those guys who can't flirt effortlessly, and that's the trait that makes him so much lovable. The scene was plain and simple-silly.
  • The conversation between the muggle prime-minister and Fudge should have been shown.And if not that at least the Daily Prophet that was very much shown flashing the news of Harry being the chosen one should also have carried the news of Rufus Scrimgeour succeeding Fudge as the new Minister for Magic.
  • Why was Kreacher's part ignored?
  • Dumbledore after borrowing the magazine of knitting pattern from Slughorn at the latter's place didn't grab Harry by his arm and announced to leave as shown in the movie. He in fact went to another room in the pretext of reading it while leaving Slughorn in the sole company of Harry.
  • Weasleys were very much expecting Harry for the summer. They only didn't expect him at the dead of the night,they thought he wouldn't turn up until morning.But since Molly Weasley was awaiting her husband she was wide awake anyway and it was she who received Harry, not Ginny. She made Harry some toasts and Onion soup, or did she? I think she did. And yet,the movie shows them to be astonished at the sight of him. Molly Weasley asks Ginny "Harry who?" :O That is so unlike her!
  • And where was Fleur? She was supposed to be at the Burrow,right? So was Bill.
  • In the Spinner's end, at Snape's place it wasn't Bellatrix who suggested an unbreakable vow between Snape and Narcissa. Snape himself suggested it.
  • In the Diagon Alley when everybody was visiting the joke shop, Harry, Ron and Hermione sneaked outside in the invisibility cloak at the sight of Malfoy heading towards Knockturn Alley. They din't stroll in a carefree way without the cloak as they were shown. Also, Malfoy never went to Borgin and Burkes with his mother. On the contrary he went there quite clandestinely,without his mother's knowledge. And the trio definitely did not climb up some terrace to snoop. They used the extendable ears. And Hermione unwisely and unsuccessfully barged inside the shop once Malfoy left to enquire after what he'd ordered.
  • The Hogwarts express is supposed to have compartments. The first 'Slug-club' get-together was held in Slughorn's compartment.
  • Harry used his invisibility cloak,and not Peruvian instant darkness powder to get inside the compartment where Malfoy and his gang were sitting.
  • OK, this one is a HUGE blunder. It was Tonks and not Luna who found Harry locked inside the Slytherin's compartment where Malfoy had petrified Harry, broken his nose and covered him in his own invisibility cloak. And spectrespecs can definitely NOT see through invisibility cloaks. How ridiculous! Also, Tonks and not Luna had fixed Harry's nose (episkey!)
  • Dumbledore never mentioned Tom Riddle in the start of term speech. In fact there were very few who knew Voldemort's real name.
  • Where were Crabbe and Goyle in the movie? They should've shown two scrawny girls holding scales in front of the Room of Requirements.
  • Only two memories have been shown. Where were the other memories? Borgin's memory, Hokey-the house elf's momory, Morfin Gaunt's memory. The deductions about Slytherin's locket, Hufflepuff's cup, something from Ravenclaw (which later in the seventh part turns out to be the diadem) were certainly missing.
  • And the most censurable thing in the movie was-oh wait..I still can't believe it. Bellatrix Lestrange and her fellow death eaters burn down The Burrow!!! And Harry runs after her. Ginny follows him. They run through the woods and find themselves facing the death eaters. But very soon they're joined by the Weasleys, Lupin and Tonks as a result of which the death eaters flee. Which person? Which abysmally retard person would ever think of such a tampering? Words fail me. I'm appalled beyond measure :X :X :X
  • Ginny never took Harry to the Room of Requirements to hide the Prince's book. And they definitely didn't kiss there. They kissed right after the Quidditch final which Gryffindor won, in which Harry was not allowed to play as a punishment for cursing Malfoy with Sectumsempra and had to do a detention with Snape instead. And that old ugly warlock's stone head on which Harry himself places that tiara should have definitely been shown. It was so vital to the plot of the DH.
  • The potion in the basin at the cave was green in colour. But in the movie it was some murky colour. Now, It's not that I'm being finicky over trivial details. No, I'm not. Because it isn't a trivial detail. It was written that a faint greenish light emanated from the potion. Even the cover of HBP captures this quite visibly. Why would they overlook such a conspicuous detail?
  • The death eaters were shown entering the castle through the vanishing cabinet, but the members of the Order were noticeably missing, let alone the battle between them.
  • Harry was hidden inside the cloak in the tower, he was not concealed under some kind of structure. And Snape never saw him in the book, like he did in the movie.
A few of these may appear to be of no consequence at all. But had it happened in the book just as it happened in the movie, the story would've drifted along a very different path.
All the same, I was very excited to watch this one. And I wouldn't say that it didn't match up to my expectations because it so happens that my expectations of the movies based on books are always as low as Crabbe and Goyle's grades :D Overall, it was good. Totally! I think I might have one more go at the theatre :)
PS: I still wish I'd seen the paid preview yesterday. 16th of July 2005 was when Half Blood Prince got released. It would have been historic to watch it on 16th of July. But for some reason it didn't work out.
PPS: I enjoyed ambling down the road in a slight rain. This is the fourth time in this week when I did that. It is such a beautiful feeling. Chuck the umbrellas, get rid of those clumsy raincoats. Get drenched. Croon a rain song. For monsoon comes only once in a year, and doesn't stay for long. :)


abhishek said...

I knew it was coming...but u brought it like an analyst!!
well i was lucky for the first day show...

Screenwriter Steve Kloves, who has adapted most of the Harry Potter books at this point, has neatly pared down and reshaped the novel to fit in a feature film structure and length. Instead of trying to squeeze all the Hogwarts goodness into 2.5 hours, he has cut whole subplots and minor characters so we can focus on the most important elements of the tale. As a fan of the book, I missed Bill and Fleur, wished Neville had something to do, and was sorry not to see Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney. The house-elves are also gone, and the politics of the Ministry for Magic -- with some of these omissions, it'll take mighty smart scripting to hit certain plot points in the adaptation of the final book.
The novel's recurring scenes where the characters read about Death Eater experiences in the paper is replaced by an experience of their own. A quick shot of a "Wanted" poster for Fenrir Greyback provides an introduction to that character for when he appears later.Alan Rickman as Snape is addicted to meaningful pauses mid-sentence -- but the characters' warmth or charm wins in the end. Bellatrix is too chaotically crazy to endure for long.Jim Broadbent joins the cast in this film as Professor Slughorn -- it's always delightful to see yet another veteran British character actor appearing in the Harry Potter series.
Broadbent's Slughorn is a little less insinuating and power-hungry than the character in the book, and less rotund than I'd imagined the character.
To be honest, there's a lot of teen romance in a movie that's also about battling the dark forces. The movie takes a more lighthearted attitude than the book in this arena, although Lavender -- who has a crush on Ron -- is cartoonishly oversensitive. Luna, on the other hand, gets some nice moments without resorting to broad humor. The quieter, smaller relationship scenes generally work better than the comic ones, and I especially liked a scene with Harry and Hermione on the stairs, escaping from a trying party.and yeah most consuming moment was albus dumberdole dyeing...that was a moment the srceen went mum.

this movie has me looking forward to the final two in the series,they ll have to fill fr the mighty expectations!!

neelanjana said...

Phew! and you call me an analyst? :)

I quite agree that the movie has a more of teenage love-angle to it. Disprortionately more,if you ask me. It has a much darker plot than what has been cinematized.
Personally, I think the biggest miss were the other memories. They should have been shown.At least Bob Ogden's and Morfin's memories.They were so crucial for digging up Voldemort's past,and subesequently his psyche. And also play a very integral role in the DH (remember, the importance Peverell coat of arms?)

And the battle too was so important. I can't believe they cut that out and instead slipped in an utterly rubbish cooked up story about the death eaters burning down The Burrow.

Bellatrix is annoying, I know. Doesn't she whisper around like a seductress?

I just remembered I missed adding this in the post- Neville was shown waitering in Slughorn's christmas party?
Galloping gargoyles!:o :o :o

Vicky said...

quite a review...!
Most of those who have read the book will agree with ur thoughts...

and just FYI:niether Bellatrix(as shown in movie) nor snape himself suggested The Unbreakable was Narcissa...remember?

anyway...if you can read gujarati...I also tried a review: