Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Guest Columnist: Gianna's take on Harry Potter and the Half-Assed Prince

Editor's note: Sean& I have yet to see this and reserve the right to counter this argument later on.


If you’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books, you will probably have a good time at the sixth installment of the saga. However, if you are a fan of the series you will most likely be dismayed by the copious amount of cuts and liberties that are taken with Rowling’s novel. I understand that turning a 650 page book into a 2 ½ hour film, many storylines will have to be cut or trimmed. But I always take issue when so much of the original story is cut only to make way for unnecessary scenes that have no bearing on the story. It always makes me feel that the screenwriter and/or director doesn’t care for the source material and that they know better how to make the story work.

I won’t go into much about the cuts and changes, because there are a lot of them and they give away the story. But suffice it to say that the film barely resembles book six and surprisingly leaves out some key plot points. I’m not sure who is more to blame, director David Yates or screenwriter Steve Kloves. Kloves has penned all but Order of the Phoenix, and most of his adaptations-to this point have been fairly solid. Yates had directed Phoenix, which I found to be the worst out the cannon to that point. I feel both are responsible. Yates clearly has no love for this series and it seems Kloves works with each director to give them a script they like.

Some of the cuts and changes might have been easier to take if Yates’s direction wasn’t so sterile. While the film goes crazy with art direction, it never inhabits Rowling’s world. Yates also has a heavy hand with camera angles that become more of a distraction than an enhancement. The cast is, as usual, excellent and we have two nice cast additions of Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn and Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown. Sadly though, a great deal of regulars are barely used and become little more than set dressing. The only weak spot in the cast is Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, who has become completely obnoxious in her over-the-top performance.

After seeing the sixth film I worry greatly for Deathly Hallows. Yates is on board to direct and I am dreading to see what he and Kloves have in store for the last book. They have a good deal of exposition they will have to attack to make up for information cut from film six. My hope is that they will listen to the fans and make up for the crimes they committed in Half-Blood Prince.

No comments:

Post a Comment