July 16, 2009

From Book to Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

What they got right in the transition from mammoth book to film, with unavoidable spoilers:

-Expanding Malfoy's character
In the books, we see Malfoy filtered through Harry's hatred and suspicion of him. The film, however, allows a far more sympathetic portrayal. Being tasked to kill Dumbledore is serious business, after all. At his core, we see that Malfoy is just a scared little boy trying to fulfill a duty, which makes him all the more dangerous.

-Setting things up for the Deathly Hallows films
As the generous reshaping of the Half-Blood Prince storyline shows us, for the films to be coherent and at a reasonable length, some things must go. But the special emphasis on Mr. Ollivander's disappearance, and the pointed introduction of RAB indicates that they will play crucial roles in the upcoming two-part Deathly Hallows films.

-Slughorn's big reveal
Screenwriter Steve Kloves one-ups J.K. Rowling by providing a compelling new backstory for Professor Horace Slughorn. His story of a certain present Harry's mother presented him with as a student is one of the loveliest, most tender scenes in the film. That director David Yates provides no flashback scene, allowing the viewer to imagine in it their heads, only adds to the magic.

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