1. On the book vs the movie
So this one, again, felt a lot like the movie to me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact I’m impressed the movie managed to stay so faithful. Of course, this could be the fact that I saw the movie before reading the book talking…
Naturally, though, there were some differences, and I found those quite interesting. I’m quite sure Hermione’s parents are never seen in the movie – and the idea of them being shepherded by the Weasleys is quite a fascinating one, hinting as it does at a harmonious Muggle/wizard relationship. Given the threat to Muggles and Mudbloods throughout the book, this is an interesting little idea. I also would much have preferred to see the dueling scene as represented here, than as I remember it from the movie – surely I can’t have forgotten Hermione in a catfight?? And finally, I don’t recall Percy acting weird in the movie. I was really, really hoping for there to be more than “ooh, Percy’s got a girlfriend to his oddity – but alas, no. (Also, much more on Fred and George; I suspect they’re going to be favourite characters.)
As for actors and characters… well, Snape is Alan Rickman and that’s that, and it’s just fine. Also, I could never imagine Lockhart as anyone other than that gloriously inane version Branagh presented, and I have to say I thought it worked perfectly. They’re really the only two who have imprinted themselves on me strongly at this stage. I guess Ron and Hermione in a way, too, but at this stage they’re not exactly outstanding characters, so it doesn’t matter so much what they look like (to me).
2. The story itself, etc
It still reads very much as written for younger readers – and that’s just fine, too, because it was. There’s a bit of complexity (the reason why everyone gets Petrified rather than dying is quite sneaky, and I like it), and enough character development that they’re not quite 2D. (I do look forward to further character development as they get older.) I read it in a few hours, as my Dealer told me I would (and as I did the first); in some ways I was actually disappointed that there wasn’t more deviation from the movie, as there were no surprises.
I hate Dobby. That is, I hate the self-inflicted violence, as I did with the movie. I can’t quite believe it’s in there – it seems quite out of character; ironing your fingers?? Even the spiders aren’t as troubling as that image.
I’m really looking forward to the development of Lucius Malfoy’s character.
I have the third one sitting right here, waiting for me to finish the work I should be doing so I can legitimately skyve off…