Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Boy Who Narrated: What the Harry Potter Movies Got Wrong

WARNING: MASSIVE HARRY POTTER SPOILERS AKA I'm not even going to try to keep this spoiler free because it will

I want to talk about how the movies got it wrong, specifically with regards to some of the concepts in Harry Potter that really shaped my life when I was a kid. This is primarily because the books were from Harry's perspective, and the movies seem to be produced from the perspective of an omniscient narrator. This whole post was inspired by the podcast Witch, Please, which is a nuanced, progressive, and incredibly amazing Harry Potter podcast that I have gotten quite addicted to lately.

I watched all of the Harry Potter movies for the first time in the month before I came to camp which is where I am when you are reading this. The first thing that I noticed, which is slightly irrelevant to the point of this post is that these movies are scary, even for me as a 19 year old. I am so happy that I didn't see them while I was reading the books.

Harry, in the movies is greatly simplified, which I believe does a disservice to the viewer. For example, in Chamber of Secrets, there is a large amount of Harry wondering if he is going crazy because he is hearing things in the walls, and in Order of the Phoenix, he is having random pangs of anger towards Dumbledore and within his mind. These feelings that your mind is betraying you os something that greatly comforted me as an anxious child. They taught me to ask for help (harry eventually spoke to Dumbledore) and that everything would work out in the end.

Another thing that was lost in the movies was some of the lessons about friendship. For example, in Order of the Phoenix, Ron and Hermione both become prefects and Harry tries to reconcile his feelings of being left out and his desire to be happy for his friends, something that every child has had to deal with. This contributes, in my opinion to his self doubt when it comes to his leading of Dumbledore's Army. Every single person, including myself, doubts themselves at points.

My point is that the books were written to teach lessons and the movies try to simplify these lessons and end up losing some things. I think this is also why people who have only watched the movies don't get how crucial Harry Potter can be in peoples' lives. So read the books if you haven't yet. Please.

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