Books Rule

Harry Potter books convey more accurate depiction than movies

In the fall of fourth grade, on a camping trip, I took my beloved Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for my main entertainment for the week-long trip. I raced through the pages and ended up finishing it two days before the end of the trip. Eager to see how the movie version compared, the first thing I did when I got home was watch it. Through watching it, I learned that the movie missed major important plot details, or did not go fully in depth into many of the major events of the story. The movie did not give the same feel of the book, and it felt more like merely an outline of the story I loved. 

I understand that in most movies adapted from books, those changes aren’t unusual; many key details get omitted in order to keep up with budgeting or to not have a 10-hour movie. This makes sense, as no one would see a movie of that length. It simply is not of human interest to sit down for an extended period of time watching the same movie. But the budget for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” for example, was $125 million. This movie was also only two hours and 32 minutes long, a length that allowed for many plot gaps within it. If the movie was over this length though, the budget would have been through the roof, which could have affected the ability to make more films down the road.

Despite these hurdles, though, the “Harry Potter” filmmakers changed the overall composition of the characters and that’s a problem. For example, the in-depth persona of the icon of the book, Harry Potter, is never achieved to its fullest extent in the movies. You get the overall view of who he is, but not his true self. His backstory, which includes the moment of how he became so famous is too overgeneralized. Additionally, Ron and Hermione, who are so pivotal to the books’ plot, often get treated as side characters. Audiences never get an in-depth aspect of who they are as characters and the aspects of them that make these loveable characters seem like true people. Hermione is merely seen as the intelligent friend, and Ron the friend who has many siblings and is slightly awkward.

While I understand very few movies fully capture a book author’s true intent, many people still view movies as the better choice because they take less time to consume and give a nice overview of the story that does not require much focus. In the case of Harry Potter, though, not reading the books can lead many to not get the experience the author intended. In this case, they miss out on a great story that captured the hearts of many.