Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.
A lot of Potterheads will tell you that the Harry Potter movies don’t hold a candle to the books. And yes, you can’t argue with that. It’s a hard adaptation to pull off. But that’s not to say there wasn’t anything good in the films. You could tell that everyone involved with the movies gave it their all and tried to do justice to the original source. And if the Nostalgia Critic could find 11 good things in the Star Wars prequels, then I’m sure I can find 12 in the Harry Potter movies.
PS: Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
#1: Final Duel Between Harry and Voldemort
It’s a little cheesy, but so is the scene in the book–in fact, if the book has a weak spot, it’s the final showdown. Harry spends a lot of time giving Voldemort one last chance to feel for what he’s done The point JK Rowling always made about Voldemort was that his soul was damaged beyond repair, so there was no turning back for him. But if that’s the case, why didn’t Voldemort try to kill Harry while he was stalling? He had him right there, what stopped him? Also, after Harry’s brought back and we understand why he’s still alive, you get the feeling that the war is already decided, thus it loses its suspense. In the movie, we still have that intense atmosphere. They show you what’s at stake and how determined everyone involved is for their side to win. They don’t just stand by and watch, they keep fighting. The aftermath is also a little better. If you spent all night fighting Nazis and you lost some friends in the process, would you be more likely to party right after the battle, or catch your breath, knowing there’s plenty of time to celebrate?
#2: All British Cast
At the beginning, Rowling said she wanted the movies to be filmed in England with the cast made up of people who lived in the United Kingdom. Normally, I’d feel queasy about such a request. I’ve seen ads for acting that request Caucasian main characters and/or love rivals, and for no good reason at all. Here, it makes sense to have a film setting in England where the characters have a genuine accent indigenous to the UK. It’s not all posh, either. Some of the characters have variations including Scottish and Irish brogues, which adds to the setting even more.
#3: Snape’s Memories
This is such a popular scene that I’ll let the clip speak for itself.
I’m talking about the acting from the side characters. They don’t have a lot of screen time, but they take advantage of what they have. You don’t see twins acting like Fred and George, you see Fred and George. You don’t see Alan Rickman in a black cape, you see Professor Snape.
#5: Love Potion Scene
Again, I’ll let the scene speak for itself. It’s probably the funniest in the whole film series.
It’s hard to describe what makes the tunes work, except that it helps set up the atmosphere for the story. So again, let it speak for itself.
#7: Cedric’s Death
In the books, this is the scene where everything changes. Before, the story was comprised of standard adventures, with a bit of a dark twist here and there. The fourth book was full of insinuated disappearances and murders, but this is the first time someone you know dies and you see it for yourself. By this point, a boy is dead, Voldemort is back, and Robert Pattinson would sell his soul to Twilight to continue his acting career.
#8: JK Rowling as Advisor
According to her Harry Potter Wiki page, the author herself served as a consultant, working with Steve Kloves on the script and dropping hints to Snape’s and Hagrid’s actors to help bring their characters to life. Because of her, Kreacher stayed in the movies, Dumbledore did not have a crush on a girl, and Harry did not inherit Dumbledore’s wand at the end of Half Blood Prince.
The special effects were easily the best part in all of the movies. From casting spells to floating pumpkins to house elves, the team deserved a lot for helping to bring the magic to the screen.
Seriously, watch the movies again! Look at the castle! Look at Diagon Alley! Look at the Forbidden Forest! Look at Hagrid’s Hut!
#11: The Mirror of Erised
Though the mirror itself doesn’t play a role after the first book, this was still a good scene because the message was unique as well as heartbreaking. Having a desire is okay as long as you’re not obsessed to the point where you neglect everything else. It’s a rare message, and this short simple scene gets it across beautifully in both literature and cinema.
#12: Tale of the Three Brothers
One of my favorite scene in the books done to perfection in the movie. What else can I say?
Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “Happy Halloween!”
Photo sources: http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/10/105675/1989584-hp_wallpaper_10_1024x819.jpg