One of the most dreadful things that can happen to a story that goes from book to screen is the altering or omitting of certain elements. This seems to happen more and more as we progress in the realm of computer generated (CG) special effects. It seems that staying true to an original story comes second to the inclusion of things that, though they may show spectacularly on the big screen, do not add anything to the story, rather they detract from it in so many instances. This is evidenced, never more clearly than, in the “Harry Potter” franchise.
For those “Harry Potter” fans who have never cracked the spine of any of J.K. Rowling’s brilliantly written “Harry Potter” books on which the subsequent movies were based, the movies may have been sufficient at telling the tale of an unlikely, young wizard hero; however, for those who are avid fans of the written series, especially the most veracious – like those who lined up at their local bookstore waiting for one second past midnight so they could be among the first to procure their copies of the latest installment – the movies proved to be not as true to the books as some of them may have liked.
Although the addition of seemingly unnecessary details to the movies, like the collapsing of the bridge at the beginning of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” may have appealed to the makers of the films, it took time away from some other things that could, and perhaps should, have been included. Additions such as this, in the end, didn’t really add much to the film itself. It was more, so it seems, a part of the director’s desire to add artistically to the story. It can be said that this feat of CG genius failed to do that in the same way that, though less intrusively, the sepia coloring of the bulk of the film failed to add anything to it. Oddly enough, however, they could depict a collapsing bridge, they couldn’t be bothered with such a simple task as making Voldemort’s eyes red with slit pupils the way they are in the books, a detail essential to conveying Voldemort’s lack of humanity.
Though the movies, in general, provide enough detail to move the story of Harry Potter along from one film to the next, they do very little to advance the characters. It is true that quite a bit is learned of the three main characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but the lack of development of secondary characters leaves the main characters considerably more shallow than they appear in the books. These omissions also make certain secondary characters seem far less important to the main characters and, in a sense, changes their natures.
There are several examples of omitted and altered scenes that illustrate this point throughout the movie series, and it seems there are more to come in the final installment of the “Harry Potter” series. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has been split into two movies. A wise decision on the whole; however, judging by the available previews at the official “Harry Potter 7” website as well as on Yahoo! Movies, there is at least one scene that appears to be significantly different from the way it is laid out in the book. One can only hope that the changing of this particular event does not take away from its magnitude, for to take anything away from it would certainly be a disservice to the “Harry Potter” series and its fans as well.
*Note: This was written by an Associated Content contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own movie articles.