Harry Potter – The Book to Film Conundrum

You know those movies that you are so wicked excited for that you jump up and down and go see the first showing on opening day and then freak out about it for another week after you see it?

I felt that way for the first four Harry Potter films. I went to the midnight showing of the fifth (“Order of the Phoenix”) and the Harry Potter fangirl in me sighed in heavy disappointment at the amount of what I’m going to call “book material” left out of the film. I understand that for the sake of a bearable running time and a simpler plot ideas and concepts must be removed, but certain concepts were removed that will drastically affect the presentation of the following films.

It was for this reason that I did not jump out of my skin when the sixth film was released last week. I waited until I was in Nashville to see it, and while I will give it credit for being enjoyable, it also failed me in the same that the prior film had.

The concept of books to film has always interested me. (Maybe it’s because I used to be an English major and now I’m a Media Major. I actually plan to write a thesis on it.) I always want answers as to why — Why is the second half of “Wuthering Heights” always cut out in a film?

In some films, I can understand changes. I’ve read the graphic novel “Watchmen” multiple times, but I also knew not to expect the novel going into see the film. A piece of literature of that nature can simply not be translated into film. As much as I adore movies, there are only so many levels and layers a film can present.

So why have the directors of the Harry Potter films chosen to remove the aspects of the books that they did? Were they looking to future films? Do I have a right to be upset about Harry Potter when I was not bothered by the Watchmen changes in the slightest?

Maybe this is a direct relation to my previous post about not having enough of a backbone to stick to a decision… Politically or fangirl.


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