Thursday, June 10, 2004

A Thing I Never Thought I'd Say

I'm thinkin' maybe I'll stop reading the Harry Potter books and just wait for the movies.

Heresy, I know, especially coming from me.  I mean, I'm generally one of them "the movie can't be as good as the book" people.

But here's the thing.  Just saw the movie of Prisoner of Azkaban -- which had been my favorite of the Harry Potter books.  And I thought it was a good movie, don't get me wrong.  But I didn't think it was a particularly enjoyable one.  And this because I think that what was really good about the film was how it unfolded the mysteries of the story -- how nicely it played up the suspense and the ultimate disclosures and resolutions.  The thing is, I appreciated how the movie was doing all this stuff, but it wasn't really doing anything for me because I remember the disclosures and resolutions from reading the book.  So while I watched all that nice suspense being expertly portrayed, I wasn't really on the edge of my seat.

Fact is, for all the talk about how this movie departed from the text of the novel, it was pretty darned faithful to my recollection of the main plot points.  Faithful enough that there were no surprises, even when there had to be if I was going to digthe movie.

Now, weigh into this my massive disappointment at the fifth book.  Damn thing took forever to read and I was ultimately unsatisfied by it.  Especially the big scene where ... all sorts of important stuff happened.  It was hard to follow and I got the distinct impression it had been written with the idea of the eventual movie in mind -- the writing seemed to be paying more attention to what it would look like than how it would read.

So, to sum up:  I think the movies would be more fun if I stopped reading the books.  And I think Rowling's writing has definitely taken a downhill turn, as now it seems like she's focussing more on the visual elements of the story than writing something that will actually be a good read.

Not a total loss, though.  I saw a preview for "A Series of Unfortunate Events," and my first thought was:  I so have to read that before the movie comes out.


sunshine38585 said...

I like you have read all of the books and I believe the same thing. She seems to be focusing more on the movies in her latest writings. I wish I wouldn't have read this one first now either because I couldn't get as into it as the other two because I knew what was going to happen. Now on another note if I wouldn't have read the The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood first I would not have been able to follow the movie so you just never know.

vwkwan said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'll think about it before reading the fifth one. But I do LOVE Harry Potter!!


annalisa135 said...

i have to agree with you chick, about a couple of things.  1) the book is usually always better than the book;  2) the 5th Harry Potter book was a big disappointment.  A majority of that book was such a waste.  Just seemed to go on and on, then when something finally does happen it isn't as big a deal as I thought it would be, plus the book was then over;  3) i also think Rowling might be losing it just a bit.  

Since you saw the third movie, and yes, i too have heard how "different" it is, supposedly much "darker", do you think it is okay for me to take my kids to it?  or do you think it might be too scary?  i was kind of worried about that.