Film Reviews

Five Things That Surprised Me On Rewatching the Harry Potter Films.


Last weekend, we headed into Oxford for the day. Those of you who are Harry Potter fans will know that a number of the locations used in the films are there. It’s a beautiful city, with it’s university and architecture that largely hasn’t changed in the last 500 years. It inspired us (my partner and I) to watch a Harry Potter film. We ended up watching them all!

Here’s the things we learned from re-watching the films:

Harry Potter one

  1. The acting really isn’t as bad as I remembered: Actually most of the time, it’s pretty good! I remember the first film being really fun, but three leads and some of the other child actors being, well, sweet but overly enthusiastic. But re-watching it, they’re really not as bad as I remember. Except for Ron Weasley… He’s consistently one night throughout the series. hermione
  2. Harry would be nothing without Hermione: OK, so for obvious reasons I might be a little biased, but when you’re watching these films, she really is the person that saves their butts every time. And so often, problems could have been avoided if they just talked to her sooner. I think in the books, Harry’s inner life and skills get more time spent on them, but here in these films, it’s all Hermione. Ron Weasely
  3. Ron is kind of a jerk: He gets jealous of Harry and doesn’t believe his friend didn’t put his name in the cup in Goblet Of Fire. He puts Hermione down constantly even though she saves their asses on the regular, including a “pity invite” to the school dance. When Hermione has a nice date to a dance, he tries to ruin it for her and makes her cry. He leaves Harry in the lurch in The Deathly Hallows… He’s not really a nice guy, I have no idea why Hermione ends up with him. It’s lame. hogwart's castle
  4. There is very little safety at Hogwarts, concerningly so… OK, so I don’t have kids, but I’m pretty sure if I did that I’d be a little concerned about their casual approach to safety. No helmets when they’re learning to fly their brooms, let alone during Quidditch matches. There are several scenes where Snape hits kids with their textbooks. There are scenes where children handle dangerous animals and plants that could easily kill them. The Womping Willow is delightful, but also concerning. severus snape
  5. A huge number of the cast are dead: OK, this is a sad one. The first Harry Potter film came out about 16 years ago, and on re-watching it’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces of British actors, but tragic to think that several of them are gone from us. John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Richard Griffiths, Elizabeth Spriggs, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Dave Legeno, and tragically Robert Knox, who was stabbed outside a bar. And sadly, many more.

It was actually really fun to watch these films, seeing the cast grow up from film to film and the story unfold. It feels like a really pertinent story in the face of the modern political climate out there. It’s also a wonderful story world to visit, even if you’re not a huge fan (I’m not, but I did enjoy watching and totally understand why people love it). I know some of you will have huge objections to what I say above, it’s only meant in fun.

Rewatching, I still really loved Snape and Lucious Malfoy (he’s such a smooth bad guy), possibly my favourite characters, with Hermione and Luna Lovegood being close seconds. Who are your favourite characters? Let me know in the comments below.


30 thoughts on “Five Things That Surprised Me On Rewatching the Harry Potter Films.”

  1. I came to my appreciation of the movies, and in particular of the books, a bit late. In fact, I think I had seen the first four movies before I even read the first book. After that, I read all of the books and looked forward with great anticipation to each of the final four movies. The first three movies were incredibly true to the books, something that is rarely true, or at least not very much in the past, when books were made into movies. After that, each movie certainly made a few changes to the plot, but overall still remained very true to the books. Considering the popularity of the books, that was a wise move.

    My most vivid memory regarding the series is going to see a Shakespeare play in an outdoor theater (the American Player’s Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin). Deathly Hallows, Part I, had just been released in book stores that day. I remember sitting in one of the top rows of the amphitheater and looking down and around, prior to the beginning of the play, and watching so many people reading that book while they were waiting. The Potter series, movies and books, was a true event and I miss the excitement of looking forward to the release of the books and to the subsequent movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a very useful exercise to go back and watch a movie (or series of movies) some years after you first saw them. The films stay the same but we change, and so too do our perceptions of things we may have felt very certain about before.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Much as with Harry and his nuances, they take out all of Ron’s good points from the books. Which, okay, I am biased because ickle Ronnikins is my favourite but it’s noticable that they changed a lot of the scenes where he sticks up for Harry and Hermionie, particularly in the early films.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well…funny thing….I have only made it to part 4. I feel really ashamed to say this, but honestly I have never been a huge fan of Harry Potter. It’s just not my cup of tea even though I am a huge fantasy fan. That said though, maybe I will give them a second chance. Sometimes a rewatch helps to change an opinion. Great post though, as always 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ron was certainly more nuanced in the books, but even there he was a jerk. Absolutely no filter between his brain and mouth. My internal story is that he and Hermoine had a fling, got it out of their systems (unfortunately had 2 kids before that) and moved on to other people. And the fling was mostly because they didn’t have anybody else who would understand what they’d been through.

    Agree with you about the acting. They were kids doing a very hard job, with very well established characters.

    Hermione. They would’ve been screwed without her. She really was the greatest witch of her age. 🙂

    The whole lack of safety in Hogwarts made sense for me, because these kids were not your average ‘umbrella-parented’ Muggle children, so we can’t judge their world and requirements by our own. Or our own cultural biases.
    Snape being physically abusive, in the films, I’m fairly certain he wasn’t in the books, was a bit much for me, but he seemed to get so much enjoyment out of it, I couldn’t really fault him. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My boyfriend made the point that they can probably fix most injuries with magic, so they don’t need safety like we do. And of course, it’s from a kids perspective so their first thought and interest isn’t safety, it was just a funny thing to watch as an adult.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I remember thinking the acting was terrible, too! But I guess when we’re kids, we’re like, “I could do way better!” and now that we’re older, we’re like, “That’s pretty good for someone so little!” haha
    I liked Luna, too–why couldn’t Harry have ended up with her?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved Malfoy and imagine my disappointment when I took the sorting house test (the ones on facebook) and got placed into Ravenclaw and not Slytherin! I love your take on Hermoine because they’d all be dead without her intelligence.

    Liked by 1 person

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