Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Part 2

I read an excellent review in World Magazine on the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I enjoyed Megan Basham's comments, and I was intrigued by her observation here:

What falls on the cutting-room floor are the elements that were most effective at turning a fanciful series about a boy wizard into an epic tale of good versus evil. Almost all the background on Lord Voldemort—his parentage, his seething resentment toward his own father, his early crimes against his family—are lost, as is much of the narrative that allowed Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to grow into more than a one-dimensional school-boy rival. In essence, with an opportunity to give Harry Potter more fleshed-out enemies that will allow him to become a more fleshed-out hero, Yates sticks with juvenile preoccupations of spell-casting and romance.

Her observations coincide with what I was trying to get at in my previous post.  Brasham mentions how significant this aspect of the plot is in the Harry Potter books--the importance of the war between good and evil.  I think this is incredibly important.  I LOVE book 7 (more on that another time!), and part of the reason behind that is the age-old story of good winning over evil.  It is such an important concept that the book illustrates so well and the movie just didn't focus on.  I think it is significant that Harry's life is surrounded by love and sacrifice--that of his father and especially his mother and also Sirius and Dumbledore.  The "good" sacrifice that is made for Harry shapes who he is, the decisions he makes, etc.  Voldermort has none of this in his life and it shapes him in a completely opposite way creating such a stark contrast between the two characters and ultimately shaping the decisions each one makes.  The movie didn't bring much of this to life.  Luckily there are still two movies left for this theme to be brought out more.  And even luckier, we can always reread the books!
I wanted to post the link to the review, but only half of the review shows up.  If you want to view the entire article, however, I was able to pull up the entire review when I googled "World Magazine Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and clicked on the following link from the search engine page: