Spoilers abound, BEWARE
On Saturday night Mom, Kristin, Sabrina and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We got there early in order to secure a primo seat. Luckily, we were 4 of about 10 people in the theater. Thank GOD we got there so early, or I never would have been able to watch the pre-show crap 5 times in a row.
Here’s a confession: I love the Harry Potter books, but I merely like the movies. I mean, I get excited and it’s fun to see all my imaginary book friends on the screen, but the director rarely gets it as symphonic, as glorious, as I have it in my head. In my head there are no budget constraints. In my head the actors don’t look a tish too old. In my head Dumbledore’s death was a fantasy of melancholy, not a confusing maybe-event.
Which is not to say that the movie did not deliver – it was excellent, in a dark art-house way. I guess the thing is that the whimsy is gone. We don’t get to see the wonder of Harry discovering magic for the first time. We don’t get to see the thrill of riding a broom, or the mystery of casting a spell, or the horror of discovering evil. All these things are said and done. Now, Harry glibly yells out horrible curses with no thought of the consequence. And there aren’t any, really. He viciously cuts Drako almost to death, and is allowed to walk away as if nothing has happened. A girl gets flung up into the air in the most frightening way, then drops to what appears to be her death, while our heroes stand and stare, and do nothing. Dumbledore is killed, and all he gets is a group of raised wands.
I know that this parallels life. Harry, Hermione and Ron are growing up, and the story grows up with them. They are young adults, and dealing with young adult (if not full adult) problems. And yes, death happens. I understand what Rowling and the filmmakers are doing. We are quickly approaching a war.
But I can’t help but think that if I were in Harry’s position, I would still find the joy in the fact that I carry a wand around.
Harry’s a lot more badass than I remembered…