Sunday, November 28, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Book:


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling, 2005.

I remember reserving this at Border's and literally flying through the pages when it first came out. When it ended, I could hardly believe how excited I was for the final novel; I never, ever stopped believing in Snape. And I did cry at the conclusion, both then and now. As a reader, just as with being a film-viewer, I bring a lot of sentimentality with me--I'm not hard to please, really, I just need to identify with characters, even slightly, and I'll be with them till the end. This is why LOST resonated so fully with me (and probably millions of others), I care about these people, even if they're fictional. I think Harry Potter in general gets lumped into fad-ish, unimportant,  Tiger Beat fodder, but there is more than meets the eye, especially in considering the books as well as the films. And people can dog Rowling all they want, obviously she's not infallible, but she's a great character writer and I'm glad she's here.

Pleasing British Vernacular: "prat," (enormous idiot) "Wotcher," (what you up to?) and "ruddy," (an intensive). "I'm a ruddy teacher, aren' I, yeh sneakin' Squib!" said Hagrid.

Draco feels the strain. . .
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009, directed by David Yates.

I didn't love this, but I think it was well done. Mostly I enjoyed Slughorn's ridiculous ding-bat smiles throughout, they're really quite funny. I thought Malfoy (Tom Felton) was spectacular, he looked shifty and pained pretty much the entire film, and his crying scenes were right on. The scene with Dumbledore and the Inferi at the lake looked exactly as I had envisioned it would; Dumbledore's death as well. The one thing that really stops me from liking this film very much is the ending. After Dumbledore has been killed, McGonagal steps out onto the grounds with the nurse and all the other students and immediately points her wand at the Dark Mark that is hovering over the castle, blasting it away with bright light and everyone joins her. It's supposed to be emotional and tender, the score is sad, but it pisses me off every time. In the book, I don't think the Dark Mark could be removed, or it was much harder than just a bunch of kids playing lumos with their wands; in any event, (and I rarely say this) it was too sentimental. Fade to black, show Hagrid carrying Dumbledore's corpse away, show McGonagal in a panic with the former headmasters' portraits, but don't everyone point their wands in the air, that was just cheesy and weak.
Don't forget Slytherin!

Deathly Hallows, coming up next. And not a moment too soon, either; I've been  d y i n g  to talk about Tarantino, it's almost bursting out of me.

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