A Compare and Contrast
A Compare and Contrast
Harry Potter, the series of J.K Rowling’s fantasy novels has been one of the most popular book-series in history of literature. Millions of readers, especially children used to wait earnestly for the release of every new book from the series. Undoubtedly, the movie series based on the novel too got extreme attention from children as well as teenagers worldwide. But, those who have read the Harry Potter books find the films to be less or different in content than the original stories. It is true that when it comes to reading the novels, it is always a better and far more enriching experience than watching the film. This essay elucidates a compare and contrast between the original Harry Potter books and the films based on them.
When one reads the Harry Potter novels, the story is obviously elaborated exclusively. The language is used in a simple yet highly effective way. The reader gets imbued entirely in grasping the pure literary pleasure while reading the book. Especially, the first book- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is full of rib-tickling descriptions of events involving the Dursleys. In a similar way, the movie too has shown some very funny sequences in the movie. Though the events have been changed at several places to make it dramatic, but the storyline has not been altered much. An amazing similarity lies in reading about and watching the Quidditch
matches, magical events, battles between the wizards and above all, the structure and location of Hogwarts. One cannot deny that whichever part of the original story has been shown in film, it seems perfectly fulfilling to what one imagines while reading the books. E.g. the flying Nimbus 2000 in Part I, the dragons in Part IV and deathly hallows in Part VI and VII. The visual effects put life to the scenes described in books.
Mainly it is the detailed content which suffers in films. Is it possible to show each and every detail and plot of a novel in a 2-hour film? Not really. Also, some theatricality is needed to make a film appealing. Therefore, there are some major differences between the books and films. In the Part I, it is shown that professor Quirrell turns to ashes on being touched by Harry. In book, Quirrell actually gets burnt by an enchantment done to Harry by his mother, Lily Potter. Also, Quirrell’s snaps do not result in Harry being tied by a rope in the film. Instead, Harry gets surrounded by a ring of fire. The famous Mirror of the Erised which showed Harry himself with his parents in the film, it actually showed Harry himself with his extended family along with his parents. One major difference between the films and books is in the role of Neville Longbottom and Peeves the Poltergeist. Both of these characters have a colossal significance in the story. Peeves the Poltergeist is supposed to be in Hogwarts since its inception. He is not only a trouble maker and hilarious tormentor but also fights the Battle of Hogwarts bravely. Neville too is a part of the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio while they find Fluffy, fight with Draco Malfoy and make significant contribution for the well-being of Hogwarts in Part I, II and V respectively. Another example of dramatics is seen when Ron and Harry play chess in Part II. There was no rule of destroying the captured chess piece with a sword. Also, the pieces could advice the players in
the original story. Dobby, which was initially enslaved by the Malfoy’s but later is freed by Harry Potter is also an important character. He is much more powerful than what is shown in movies. The Part VI- Harry Potter and Half-blood Prince has not been filmed well however, in terms of plot and certain crucial events. (Bibbiani, 2011) It is Professor Snape who is the Half-blood Prince but the story behind it is never told well-enough.
The Understandable Differences
There is no doubt that the books steal the show in terms of content. The films could not portray or demonstrate teh significance and complete story of certain characters like Peter Pattigrew and things like the Marauder’s Map. It is not possible to fit the hours of story-telling into a couple of hours for film. So, much of the Dumbledore’s legacy is not shown. A lot from the history of James Potter and Severus Snape has been cut off (Kaplan, 2010). The finer details of many wizards, witches and magical equipments have been skipped. Above all, the pleasure of reading J. K Rowling’s brilliant words is more than watching the movie. Her words have made readers laugh heartily when she describes the events where Mr Dursley tells harry- MOTORBIKES DONT FLY and when Harry breaks a rib or two trying not to laugh to see Dudley clad in a uniform. Lord Voldemort looks terrific in the films, no doubt. But, as one reads the books, his dark power and personality leaves a greater impression on the reader.
It depends on personal opinion. It also depends on if a person is an avid reader or movie-watcher. But those who can read well and also watch a movie patiently, they would always find the books better to revel in the fantasy of Harry Potter and his great world full of legendary wizards, witches and villains.
Alexandria Kaplan . “Harry Potter: Book Vs. Film, Part I.” November 17, 2010. Retrieved from Web on 11 March 2011. http://www.mania.com/harry-potter-book-vs-film-part-i_article_126469.html
William Bibbiani . “The Top Ten Things the ‘Harry Potter’ Movies Left Out.” July 15th, 2011. Retrieved from Web on 11 March 2013 http://www.craveonline.com/film/articles/171155-the-top-ten-things-the-harry-potter-movies-left-out