So I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix recently. I’ve read all the books except the last one, which comes out in a couple of days, so I guess that makes me a fan, but I’m not a rabid one. My daughter wanted to see the movie for her birthday, so that was one of the things we did, in addition to going to Punta Norte.
I thought the movie was fine, as an adaptation from the book. Overall, it was pretty faithful. Now if you want to discuss my opinion of the book, that’s another story. To my mind, Harry Potter 5 falls into the Jordan trap, where there’s lots of running around, lots of hectic dialog, trying to draw attention away from the fact that nothing actually happens. One person dies, of course, but it seems completely meaningless and almost as an afterthought.
“Let’s make sure the one person Harry relies on and considers family will not survive. Now everyone will really feel sorry for him! Look at Harry, totally isolated. Nobody understands him.”
I think the author went overboard in making Harry a sullen little emo boy this time. Of course, I also wished she’d followed up on the hints of attraction she placed in book 5, regarding Harry and Luna Lovegood. I loved that character, and the actress who played her in the film did a fabulous job of bringing her ethereal eccentricity to life. Instead, book 6 goes in another direction entirely.
Still, none of that is what I meant to write about today. See, I’ve always been fond of Snape, as portrayed by Alan Rickman. Quite often, I’ve wished he would succeed in doing unspeakable things to Harry. I’m sure I’m in the minority; Harry Potter is the next thing to a deity, is he not? But I like Snape.
And in this film, Snape helps Harry try to prepare for a conflict with Lord Voldemort. They’ve discovered the reason for Harry’s bad dreams, and well, it isn’t good. So they practice breaking into each other’s minds, hoping to strength Harry’s resistance to such incursions. Naturally, Harry eventually breaches Snape’s walls and glimpses the reason why Snape doesn’t like Harry, and hated his father, James. Apparently James was something of a bully, and they show a lightning fast montage of scenes where James picked on Snape: thin, sullen, long hair hiding his face.
My imagination is immediately captured. Young Snape was played by Alec Hopkins, and I’ve only been able to find this picture of him. But in his garb, he’s fucking irresistible: a quiet, introverted, sensitive type whose outward disdain masks his absolute alienation from his peers. How can you not love such a portrait of tortured vulnerability? I’m not a fan fic writer, but I want to do something with this inspiration. I just don’t know what yet.
Have you guys seen the movie yet? What did you think? And how did you feel about young Snape?