Sunday, 17 July 2011
Harry Potter | What did they do to the end of the Deathly Hallows? | JK Rowling
I'm not going to go on an on about this. The talented and hard working individuals who made the Harry Potter movies know more than I do about turning books into film and what flies in the multiplex. But I do wish they hadn't messed with JK Rowling's ending.
It's not completely different, of course. The essential elements are there, right down to having Neville chop off the head of the snake. But the final battle did not resonate with me on screen as it did in the book. It was too focussed on Harry, Hermione and Ron. Everything was over simplified. And in the apparent rush to keep the action at breathless, breakneck speed a lot of the subtlety and even humour of Rowling's climax was sadly lost.
The films have never really done justice to Rowling's large cast of secondary characters. I can understand this -- the language of film is such that you need to concentrate on the lead. But why did they, for instance, have Snape's death scene in a hitherto unmentioned boathouse on the lake and not the far more meaningful Shrieking Shack (which Harry etc could get to via the tunnel, unseen, rather than just wander over to when all the death eaters are apparently looking the other way....)?
Why didn't Harry use his invisibility cloak in the forest and to evade the death eaters once the battle was rejoined?
In the book the battle is rejoined by the wizards and by the centaurs and the elves from the kitchen - while believing Harry is dead. It shows they are undefeated, defiant. It was far more powerful...
Why didn't Harry use the Elder wand at the end to repair his old wand?
Why not have the glorious scene in Dumbledore's office when all the portraits applaud him? Couldn't Warner Bros afford all those actors?
Why for that matter have the lame scene with Snape leading the kids into the hall, then Harry revealing himself? Rowling's version in the Ravenclaw tower was a lot better...
Oh I could go on, but you probably already think I'm a bit of an ubergeek to have said this much. Usually with Potter films I enjoy them the second time more, when I'm not too concerned about what is not there. But this one I feel got the pitch of the ending wrong. It was too grey, too joyless and you never got the sense of a great coming together of good magic to defeat the bad.
So yes, I did love it. Well done to them all. But the books are better...