Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown!

The last installment of the insanely popular Harry Potter movie franchise comes out later this summer and book bloggers from all over are chomping at the bit waiting for it. Kayleigh from Nylon Admiral is spending the next few weeks counting down to the movie in her own way: she's posting about it. Every week she'll post about a different topic on her blog. She's inviting anyone and everyone to join in.

This week's topic: Tell us your favourite and least favourite aspect of the film series

There's so much that I could talk about in terms of the films--the casting, the sets, the way they brought the wizarding world to life. Instead, I've decided to talk about two smaller bits. One was added in for the film and is absolutely genius. The other was added for the film and drives me insane.

THUMBS UP: Snape saves the kids' lives at the Whomping Willow (POA)

In the third film (and book), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, Ron, and Hermione follow the secret passage through the Whomping Willow and into the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade where they discover Sirius Black has been hiding. Professor Lupin, who is a werewolf (this is important later on), is there as well and he and Sirius both explain the real story behind Sirius being imprisoned in Azkaban. Professor Snape comes into the Shack wearing Harry's Invisibility Cloak and, not having heard what was said, naturally (for him) assumes the worst. Fast forward a little bit, now. The crew is coming out of the Whomping Willow, the full moon comes out, and Lupin transforms into a werewolf. Now, in the book Snape does nothing at this point as he's still unconscious from being hit with several Expelliarmus spells. In the film, however, Snape does something wonderful..and so small that some people may have even missed it. As Lupin is bounding hungrily towards the three kids, Snape steps in front of them and holds his arms out to protect them. It's one of my favorite moments in the entire film franchise. I love that Snape puts himself in danger to keep the kids safe, showing that he cares about the school and about its students more than he does about his own skin, something that he proves again later on in the series. After book six, when I was getting into arguments with people about whether Snape was good or bad, I could point to this moment and say, "Would Rowling have allowed this to happen in the film if Snape was really an evil guy?" He really dislikes the trio so it would seem out of character to help them, especially if he was a true Death Eater. This moment above all others reveals Snape's character and, regardless of whose idea it was (I'm going to guess that it was Rickman's), I absolutely love it. 

THUMBS DOWN: Harry and Hermione boogie down (DH1)

Dear Harry Potter cast and crew: What the hell was this? Okay, I get that they're in a bad situation and they're trying to bring some joy into their life, but this? Not only did I find this to be unnecessary and obnoxious, but I think about all the really cool scenes from other books that weren't included in the films and I wonder why those didn't make the cut and yet this did. It wasn't in the book, it didn't need to be in the movie. I felt physically uncomfortable throughout this entire part, not because two people dancing disturbs me or anything, but because it comes out of nowhere and was just so awkward. So, I guess uncomfortable wasn't the word I was looking for. Embarrassed was what I was going for. I was physically embarrassed for these two during the entire scene. Rant over.



  1. Haha. I'm glad you mention the whole dancing bit. I wasn't quite sure why it bugged me either until just now. You pretty much said it all.

  2. I agree completely on both your points, I hadn't actually noticed the Snape moment until you mentioned it! You have to wonder if the writer had a sneaking suspicion (since I've read interviews with him that said he didn't know what was coming) that Snape was a bit of all right, or if, like you said, Rickman was so attuned to his character that he thought it was the right thing to do.
    onto the dancing scene. wtf was with that!! I think it was completely out of character for Harry to ask Hermione to dance, it simply never would have happened in the books because it went against 7 books of character development! Although I give them mad props for using a Nick Cave song!

  3. Nonners: Yeah, I was sitting there in the theater going, "What am I watching again? Oh, right, Harry Potter."

    Kayleigh: I'd like to think that it was Rickman, although I also like to think that he invented ice cream, tin foil, and the internet. :) Rowling pulled him aside and explained to him what was going to happen to Snape right from the outset, so I'm thinking that he threw it in as a bit of awesomeness.

    I have yet to meet anyone who thought that that scene was necessary. It came out of left field and left me feeling like I'd been watching two cousins being forced to dance at a wedding.

  4. I just read (like literally 10 minutes ago) that Rowling had given Rickman a bit of a heads up on the Snape front, but I'm ready to sweep that under the rug and think that he came up with it himself and invented ice cream, tin foil and the internet during a scene break!