I’m home from work today due to massive headaches due to my period coming sometime next week. I’ve been cuddling on the couch with my doggies and have been watching the fifth Harry Potter movie. This has always been my least favorite but I never could pinpoint why and I think I’ve finally found it.
The key element to the fifth book is rebellion and coming into your own as the kids start to recognize and flex their own power. Meanwhile, the ministry is trying to over control Hogwarts and pushing the kids to the point of extreme frustration. The best part of the book was they way Rowling created a situation where the reader’s frustration and indignation builds with the characters. By the time the kids start fighting back, the reader is at a point where they’re reading to scream and punch Umbridge in the face. The Moment when the Weasley twins take their revenge and fly off in success is one of the most uplifting moments in the book, as well as when Ginny and the others outsmart the Inquisitorial Squad.
However the movie picks the wrong moments to show and dresses them up in silliness and campyness. We do not get to see the Twins and Harry kicked off the Quidditch team. We do not see them attempt to fire Hagrid and attack professors. We see Umbridge make kids tuck in their shirts and prevent them from kissing. By the time the Weasley’s respond it just seems like fun silliness and you don’t have the moment of “sticking it to the man” that you feel in the book. You don’t hear their directive to “Give her Hell for us, Peeves” as a way to show a very deliberate offensive. We don’t see the the show down between Umbridge and Minerva over Potter becoming an Auror. Instead we see Filtch nailing up Decrees as if we need to see the words to understand her tyranny instead of watching her in action.
It almost feels like they were purposelly avoiding the rebellion and anarchy themes of the book and focusing more and Voldemort when he is truly not the focus until the end of the book.
They also specfically avoid the relationship between Harry and Sirius and completely ignore the emotional upheaval harry goes through when he dies. The defining moment in Harry’s journey occurs in Dumbledore’s office where he screams about not wanting to care anymore and wanting to die. I absolutely believe Radcliffe was up to the scene, considering how well he handled the one in Four when he returned with Diggory’s body.
Harry Potter lends itself to visual impressiveness but it is the relationship and development of the characters that make the story and I feel that the fifth movie did not do the book justice in setting up our characters, especially going into the sixth movie/book.