Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter 6: The half-baked film

I just came home from watching Harry Potter 6, and I must say that I didn't enjoy it much. And its not because of the rather unexpected twist that most people were complaining about either. I feel that this installment is second only to Harry Potter 2 (which sucked so much they change directors after) in terms of quality or rather lack of it. And the only reason this is better is because this at least had the actors acting; in part 2, apart from the central characters, they basically relegated the other roles to mere flower vases or furniture status.

I realize that in stories like these the book tends to trump the movie primarily because of time constraint. There's no way you can show all the intricate details of the book without taking a day or two of reel time. Especially not for a book as carefully crafted and as well nuanced as this one. This is why I avoid comparing them if I can--although this is virtually impossible since there's no way for me to respond to the film as if I've never read the story or don't anticipate the story's direction. Yet, however much I forgive some of the things the director took out from the film because of time issue, I can't help but feel that he took away more than he should have. It would've been ok if time was the main reason, but I sometimes doubt this because he left in quite a number of unimportant scenes as well.

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't seen it and wish to see it first before knowing more, please skip to the last part of this entry. If you want to read it, feel free to highlight the seemingly blank space that follows.

The Quidditch tryouts could easily have been done away with since it wasn't central to the story anyway. I also felt that some of Malfoy's scene working out in the Room of Requirement were unnecessary since he didn't really appear to be mending the cabinet and seeing as we were informed what he was doing in the end anyway. A couple of them would've been just about right or maybe just showing him entering a number of times without actually showing us what were virtually incomprehensible things he was demonstrating in there.

I particularly didn't like how they removed the DA's (Dumbledore's Army) participation in the entire film considering their importance in HP5 and eventual importance in HP7. Including them would've given us the exciting ending I was anticipating, and taking them away basically left us with the weak and unsatisfying ending we received. I also hate the treatment of Dumbledore's death. Here is a main character, universally loved and valued highly, who dies so unexpectedly to be tragic, yet all they could manage for him was a wand raise? I think not. This was utterly weak and lackadaisical. It also made Harry Potter look like a wimp because he apparently hid down there while his mentor and protector was defenseless in front of his very own enemies. His subsequent attempts at avenging Dumbledore was pitiful at best.

If you're a fan of the book and plan to watch it, please don't get your hopes up. If your planning to watch this on IMax, don't bother. It's definitely not worth your money. On the other hand, go ahead, I suppose IMax might offer you a better experience that what the basic movie has to offer. I imagine I could mention dozens of other things wrong with this film if I set my heart to it but I won't. I have decided to re-read the book and use that to set the story straight in my mind.

I felt cheated. I think that this was a lazily done film, boring on most parts and whose only redeeming value is that it gets us to the next stage. I feel that the director took too much liberties in the shaping of the story and I suspect that he might not have even took the time to read the actual book. I hope somebody else does Harry Potter 7a and 7b, because if this is all I have to look forward to, I might as well skip 7a and hope that 7b remains as exciting as the author intended it to be.


Lester said...

Whew! Good thing I don't plan to watch it. :)

Visual Velocity said...

Haven't seen this yet. People in the office are raving about it. The first question I asked an officemate was, "Did someone die?"

I'm like that: morbid to the nth degree. Ehehe.

siyerwin said...

Dunno why but I think this one's the best one compared to all the previous movies put together. I was never a fan of the books after reading the first two but I did hear that parts 6 and 7 were quite better than the early ones and now I understand why. I didn't read the book but based on the movie, I'd have to agree that this one was more carefully crafted (compared to 1 and 2 at least) and showed some really really original thinking on author's part. I never really felt Dumbledore's presence in any of the previous movies (and books 1 & 2) which was one of my regrets with this series but his character on this one was handled way better. I love the cave scene where he had to drink that water. Really good stuff that I've not seen used before.

ceemee said...

I just didn't like how they changed the ending... especially the last scene. you're right, the scenes of Draco Malfoy were very unnecessary, and he's not that handsome anymore!

J.D. Lim said...

That's also what my gf said. Nakakadismaya. I guess they have been too anxious to show it and they forget to fine tune the details.

Maybe they got insecured by the kind of reception Twilight is getting from the public.

philos said...

@Lester: I wish you would though, then you might be able to provide me with another opinion.

@Andy: You might enjoy the 7th installment then hehe

@siyerwin: Well, just because I didn't enjoy it doesn't mean that others should too, so I'm glad you enjoyed it... consider reading it though, it might surprise you even more. :)

@Cym: Yeah, I wish they stuck with the original ending, considering that was infinitely more exciting and grand.

@JD: That's an interesting take... if that's true, then that makes me disdain Twilight even more (and the producers of HP for their silly reaction).

darkjedi said...

like siyerwin, i thought this movie was the best of the harry potter films too.

it had a balance of darkness and humour.
the acting was brilliant compared to the previous films.
the pacing was good. while the others felt episodic and rushed, this one felt like it was flowing.

they focused on the main themes of the book and the most important characters of the plot.
this means they had to take a lot of stuff out and change some things. nevertheless,
for me, it improved the quality of the movie experience.
but yeah, the ending could have been better adapted.

btw, the director for this (david yates) was also the director of the last one, and is the director for parts 7a and 7b. I thought the last one was the worst of the films. this movie redeemed him for me.

Anonymous said...

i think i've never seen a movie who at least matched the quality of the book. hmm... maybe benjamin button. wait. that story deviated from the original so that doesn't count either.

Lizz said...

Boo! I want to watch it so I can't read the spoiler area. :( It's too bad that it wasn't a good movie though. I think I still want to watch it, though I know I'll end up being disappointed. Lol.

philos said...

@darkjedi: Hmmm... I actually felt that this hardly moved the story at all... but I can see how you could've enjoyed it.

@PM: That's to be expected, the same way when a movie gets a book version, the book almost always suck, but you would at least expect the movie to pick up important stuff.

@Lizz: I can't say its a bad movie per se, just not special, and it didn't do the story real justice, but as a movie, it was ok. And I wouldn't tell anyone not to watch it, just don't waste too much cash on it hehe

joyfulchicken said...

Just watched it. I thought it was pretty good. And I'm not even a Harry Potter fan.

philos said...

@JC: Good for you... I suppose it has some merits, and I don't suppose I can ever view the movie as if I never read the book anymore. And having read it, I know just how much more better this could have been.

Don't you think a big fight scene instead of the lousy confrontation we got would've been more cooler?

Ade said...

I actually enjoyed HP6, except for the ending. It captured much of the book's charm, but also inherited most of the book's flaws.

ALiNe said...

I haven't wathed it yet. DVD nalang .. heheh

philos said...

@Ade: I'm glad you liked it. I find it harder and harder to appreciate now that I've gone through the book again. Guess I've set a higher standard.

@Aline: You'll miss the best parts though.