Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter 7 and Knowing Your Audience

I am one of the thousands who read The Sorcerer's Stone aloud to early elementary and preschool children and then dressed them up as Harry, Hermione, and Ron for library parties and book releasing at Barnes & Noble. I am one of the millions who has read every one of the Harry Potter books, most of them within twenty-four hours of their release. I am one who has watched, multiple times, every Harry Potter movie in the theater and on DVDs I've purchased. My family owns much of the merchandise—games, costumes, cards, Legos—all marketed to children, I might add. Last I knew, the Harry Potter franchise has made copious money off of a fantastic, unique, amazing idea and superb writing.
So why did the movie producers push the envelope? In the Horcrux scene a fully-clothed and kissing Harry and Hermione would have made Ron sufficiently jealous—remember, he was jealous when they were just laughing and getting along together—without launching into licentiousness. In the book it is simply "wrapping…in a close embrace: Their lips met." I realize these are Riddle versions of Harry and Hermione and Riddle is evil, but there's nothing to base the movie's version of the vision.
Some might say I am overreacting, but I feel the movie makers have betrayed a trust I can't easily give back. Some might say I'm too strict, too prudish, but I'm not sure that's the relevant question at this point. If the books and movies were such a success, what did they hope to gain by adding the inappropriate scenes? In my mind, they've lost on this one instead of gained.
As a writer, or in this case a movie producer, there is a responsibility to the reader or viewer and the producers of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I took advantage of and abused the viewers and I, for one, am greatly disappointed.