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My Harry Potter Journal 3 - Chamber Of Secrets and First Two Movies

Updated on May 23, 2013

Harry Potter and First Film and Novel Comparison

Well it's been about a year and a half since I started these journals. After reading the first book, I kind of got busy with school and other stuff and neglected to continue reading for a while. I did enjoy the first book, but it didn't make me a super die-hard fan that I couldn't resist reading the other books, so I wasn't hooked. Since then I've finished school so hopefully I can continue on track with my Harry Potter journals.

A few days ago I watched the first movie, read the second book, and then just watched the second movie today. Basically, I plan on watching the of the book right afterwards to see how they adapted it. The first movie wasn't too bad, I felt the original charm of J.K. Rowling writing was lost and all of the events just didn't seem as exciting as they were in the book. I remember reading about the scene with the ogre in particular was far more exciting in the book, whereas in the movie it lasted about 2 minutes and it wasn't as serious of a threat as it was in the book. The very final scene with Voldemort was also more exciting in the book.

However, the movie certainly plays up a lot of the visual elements. Voldemort's face on the back of Quirrel's head was really cool. Quidditch was a lot easier to understand and cool to watch in the movie, reading about it was kind of bland for me since the rules seemed really obscure. Overall, the film was well done and I can't say they could've made a better film, simply because some elements of the narrative is bound to be lost in the film medium. The casting seems really good too, I don't know if I had a problem with any of the actors and their portrayal of the characters. I guess my only problem with an actor would be that I imagined Malfoy to be a lot uglier and he just seemed more conniving in the book as opposed to the film. Even in the second film Malfoy's actor seemed really forced the character just didn't seem to come naturally to him.

Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets - Book and Film Comparison

I have to say I didn't enjoy the second book as much as the first. The ending of the second book was really good and made up for the some of the blandness, but I feel like the second book had a lot of confusing elements to it that weren't explained properly and just sloppy occurrences of events overall where problems just seemed to be solved too easily. Don't get me wrong, I still liked the book, but it was tough at times to get through it. The first half was pretty bland, with Harry and Ron having to drive to Hogwarts and the usual school stuff, etc... The second half was more exciting, but a lot of things seemed to happen to conveniently. For example, in the last scene Fawkes just happened to come right in the nick of time, everyone somehow managed to avoid looking at the Basilisk directly in the eyes and as such were petrified instead of dead, Hermione seemed to be less wary about breaking the rules, etc...

I guess some of these plot elements were unavoidable and this stuff is usually common I guess for things to work out in the heroes' favor, but other elements were somewhat confusing. I know we were meant to be thrown off about Slytherin's heir, but I didn't really understand the significance of it all. I mean, yeah he was meant to open the chamber of secrets and unleash the Basilisk etc... but I don't get why Tom Riddle didn't just do it 50 years ago instead of doing it now. Other plot elements that were pretty cool though was the diary itself and how Harry got to see a younger Voldemort, and how Tom used Ginny to carry out the attacks and such. I think overall the plot had a lot going for it but just lacked some clarification. I do like the darker elements in this book compared to the first one though.

As for the film, again, I think it worked as best as a film could have worked for such a novel. I had some problems with the pacing, a lot of stuff seemed to happen to suddenly without proper character motivation that was present in the novel. I know time restraints and such don't allow for the same plot progression, but maybe focusing on some more plot elements that are key to the story would've helped. I mean, the Quidditch match went on for too long, especially the scene with Malfoy and Harry both chasing after the snitch. I felt like the match could've just been removed entirely since it didn't really serve a real purpose, granted Quidditch is pretty central to Harry Potter as a whole and is the Hogwarts national sport, it just seemed a bit tiresome.

Speaking of which, I think Dobby was really well done in the film as well. His personality is just as I expected it while reading the novel. Although, in the novel itself I didn't like how Dobby would just beat around the bush instead of telling Harry the whole story. I mean, you're warning him anyways and going against your master so you might as well spill everything. It was good for suspense though I guess, but I feel J.K. Rowling overplayed Dobby's warning without actual "reward" in the end. Dobby couldn't have known that Tom was going after Harry since Tom didn't even know about him until Ginny got the diary.

Another character I really enjoyed was Mourning Myrtle, she was really well done, from her look to her cries to the way she acted. Definitely one of the plus points of the film and carried out better than the novel could have in my opinion. Some key plot elements that were removed from the film were Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday party, which were not only funny but also the reason the three would get in trouble and Snape catching on to them. Also, the scene where Ginny tries to warn Harry was also removed which was good foreshadowing in the novel.

Overall, the book was fairly decent and I've already started on reading The Prisoner Of Azkaban, which I heard from some is where the series really picks up and is perhaps the best book of the series. Hopefully for those who are still reading these journals get something out of them. I've been told countless times how lucky I am to be reading Harry Potter with a fresh mind, so many others have told me they wished they could read it again without knowing what happens!


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