My Mushy-Gushy Harry Potter Post (Part 2)
Watching a favorite book get transformed into a movie is exciting as well as rather nerve-racking. Movie version of books in some ways both add and detract from the books. Of course, with Rowling’s tangled web of characters and plot lines, it is a necessary evil to cut down to just the bare minimum to get the story to movie length. Those who just watch the movies without ever reading the books missed about 90% of the story and the character development.
Also, a movie solidifies the image of imaginary characters and places in ways that somewhat limit everyone’s imagination. I guess what I mean by this is that before the movies came out, I had to create images for myself of what each character and setting looked like. To me, the casting for some characters was spot on (Hagrid and Snape, for example, were exactly how I thought they should be), while other characters were completely off. But I wasn’t too disappointed. After all, it’s impossible for the characters to look the way every different person has imagined them. The movies give us a new image to visualize when we read the books, which is helpful, but a little sad to me as it means the death of my originally imagined Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, and so on.
At the same time, there is a lot you can do with movies that is harder to do with a book. You can see the characters’ expressions as they say their lines. You see what is going on in the background and get those subtle nonverbal cues without them having to be spelled out. It allows for a different kind of character development, creating slight variations of the same characters. Movie Ginny is not the same as book Ginny, and although I hated book Snape, movie Snape is easily my favorite. (I think Alan Rickman played him perfectly.)
At first, I wasn’t really into the movies that much. I think I’m always a bit bitter in a weird way when they make books into movies (for the reasons I’ve discussed), but when I re-watch the movies I think they did a fantastic job. With a book as big as Harry Potter people are bound to get upset no matter how well done the movie is. Like I said, everyone has a vivid picture of how each character and each setting should look, and living up to those expectations was probably a major headache for the movie producers.
I recently watched all the movies again in order and it’s amazing to watch the actors mature through the years and become these beautiful, talented people. I will really miss not having another midnight HP premier to look forward to. And even though I already know how the story ends, I can’t wait to see this last movie.