I love all the Harry Potter movies, but usually they have to grow on me before I feel this way. I remember after I saw the fifth movie I sat in shock, staring at the screen shouting “What the *#%& was that? How could they leave out EVERYTHING!!” Luckily I was in an empty theater with my sister at a special screening, so it was okay to shout those things. But after I saw it a second time I was able to approach it with more of an open mind and enjoy myself.
I assumed it would be the same way with movie 6, but I was so, so wrong. I loved it! I truly truly loved it!!! It was the best movie of the series by far and has worked its way into my top ten favorite movies. I can’t quite figure out why my reaction was so dramatically different than normal, but I have tried to come up with a few reasons. My thoughts that follow contain spoilers for the movie and the book.
I already knew the Gaunts and Dumbledore’s funeral were cut out of the movie. If I had been blindsided by this while watching the movie, I would have been very upset.
After I thought about it, I was really happy they didn’t include Dumbledore’s funeral in the movie. It is one of my favorite scenes in any of the books. I can recall it more vividly in my mind than just about any other part. I remember Hagrid being comforted by Grawp, all of the characters from previous books showing up to pay their respects, Hermione silently crying while Ron comforted her. It is so special and perfect that no amount of skillful moviemaking could capture it. Let’s face it, if they had done it, they wouldn’t have done it right. It would never have lived up to my expectations and so I am happy that I still have the pure form of his funeral from the books without a pale imitation movie version. I feel like Dumbledore’s funeral is something that the fans of the books can cherish as their own without having to share it with the “movie fans” who would never have appreciated it the way we do.
Also, the Dumbledore from the films is not the same as OUR Dumbledore from the books. He is Harry’s mentor and professor, but not his friend. This is not due to any particular writing, acting, or directing…….there is just not enough time to establish the grandfather/friendly Dumbledore that we know from the books. The impact of his death is not felt the same way in the movie as it was for the characters in the books.
One thing that I loved about the movie that hasn’t really been present in any of the other movies is kind of hard to describe. Some of my favorite moments in the Harry Potter books are the “walking in between classes/conversations in the halls/discussions during class/hanging in they Gryffindor common room” scenes. The only time the other movies include these scenes is when they involve PLOT PLOT PLOT (oh things are getting bad, Voldy is getting stronger, blah blah blah). There are hints of it in movie 5 (the trio laughing in front of the fire after Harry kisses Cho), but movie 6 has so many great scenes like that!!!!!! After 5 movies of nothing but action, battles, and climactic scenes, I was willing to lose some big stuff in order to gain these fun little glimpses into Hogwarts. I thought all three actors did an excellent job of portraying the trio and I truly bought that they were best friends. This was definitely worth losing the battle at Hogwarts.
Speaking of the Battle of Hogwarts, yes it’s too bad that it wasn’t included, but in the book we didn’t even get to see it. We only saw the aftermath, and the only really important thing was Bill’s condition, and oh yeah, that’s right, Bill isn’t in the movies (grrrrr) so it was kind of unnecessary. Plus, it sounds like they are really going to do the Battle of Hogwarts justice in movie 7 so I am okay with that.
I am to the point of just rambling now, but I just wanted to quickly point out some things that I loved!
1. Young Tom Riddles you were awesome!!! Totally gave me the heebie-jeebies.
2. Oh Rupert, you were amazing…..hilarious and clueless and wonderful!
3. I liked the way Harry protected Ginny at the attack on the Burrow. He really stepped up and looked like a grown up.
4. I loved the hospital scene with Ron and Hermione……….pitch perfect! Bravo Emma!!!
5. I adored how they played the scene with Harry touching the Ring/Horcrux. There is a moment when you can tell that Dumbledore realizes Harry is a Horcrux. Nice foreshadowing. Bravo Mr. Gambon! I tip my hat to you!
6. Thanks for not cutting out Fred and George!!!!!!!!!!
7. Felix Felicis was phenomenal! Oh Dan, you make me laugh!
Phew! That post really exhausted me! I hope everybody else liked the movie, or will grow to like it in time.