HPatHBP came out on DVD (finally), and in a way that you can watch a movie in your own home and see things better than you can on the big screen (even in an IMAX, yo), I was able to get a better understanding of some of the things that rubbed me the wrong way about the differences between the book and the movie.
Ginny Weasley is, hands down, my favorite character of the younger HP crowd, the my all time favorite character quite possibly being McGonagall possibly followed by Molly Weasley. I should probably write a post someday explaining why I like Molly so incredibly much, especially when she has been criticized so sharply for being a throw away character for being a SAHM. /digressing
We only get to see snips and snatches of Ginny’s awesomeness. Thanks to the movie adaptations we get glimpses of her untapped potential — the witch she is going to be and the power and brilliance she herself doesn’t yet realize. The books do her slightly less justice, but only slightly. Ginny, possibly from being the youngest and only girl in a very large family of all boy children, has a spark in her (oh, right, the stereotype of the red haired girl!). She isn’t about to be pushed around by all of those older brothers, to whom she has made it clear that she are not to go prodding into her business.
And that includes the matters of her, well, sexuality. Part of what I enjoyed about Ginny is that she is written as a young woman who is aware of and unafraid of her sexuality. From an incredibly het-privileged setting Ginny explores her sexuality and enjoys it almost consequence free as far as I can tell from multiple readings. She experiences the embarrassment of the first crush, a rocky relationship, and deals out and is dealt a fair share of break up. True, Rowling, in the end, gives us the Happily Ever After of letting Ginny have the first boy she ever crushed on forever and ever, and there is fair critique of that, but sometimes in fiction…especially escapist or YA fiction, we don’t mind things that tie up nicely. I don’t speak for every other reader in the whole of the Multiverse, but for me, because of the tumult of the world that Harry Potter has taken us through, with real plots (that make sense *coughtwilightcough*) and depictions of war with characters that you have grown emotionally invested in over the course of seven lengthy novels (and more than one drop-kicked book), well, a Happily Ever After detail can add some salve to a harsh wound of your twin brother dying after you’ve lost your ear. /another digress
It is some of that romance with Harry that was altered in the HBP movie that irritated me. Where Ginny’s character gets a fair amount of healthy buffs in the screen adaptations of OotP that I don’t recall reading in the books:
(one hell of a reducto)
Oh, shit. I think we are going to need a new practice mannequin over here…
I didn’t find this sly and seductive new Ginny that is introduced to us in HBP as enjoyable on screen as I do the confident, funny Ginny, the Quidditch team member Ginny, the fill in as Seeker Ginny. The brilliant, mind-your-own-business, “I do what I want” Ginny. I just didn’t feel like this was the same Ginny in the story…
There are, as The Kid — who is in the last third of reading PoA — pointed out to me, good differences to reading books, in that you get to know what the characters are thinking. Possibly the reason that we never notice that Ginny is subtly laying on the Ladycharm™ is because Harry is oblivious to it, like he has been of Ginny for five whole books. Or, perhaps the screenwriter thought that people would get bored with seeing Ginny bounce around the screen being Harry’s and Hermione’sm pal, telling a rowdy team to STFU and L to him. Ginny, who saves the day because Harry is a bit of a git who lets his temper get to him and his common sense falter leaving her to play Seeker, and then getting the kiss that Ron and Lavender totally steal (which was such a shamelessly self admitting *squee* moment in the book to me. STFU!).
(OK, this one I couldn’t resist…get it…she is like a fucking PPG, all saving the day on her broom and shit! [source])
That moment both ends the build up of Ginny’s five years of “well, I am not going to pine over someone who doesn’t want me” and Harry’s shifting, not quite defined feelings toward her (well, we know what that is called, but this is a PG-13 movie kids…). The movie…didn’t quite do that.
And COME ONE! Stuffing things in his mouth? Getting DOWN ON HER KNEES? Zuh? What kind of movie did I just walk into? *checks the back of the box* It still says PG-13… o_O
I loved the way the movie played up their shared connection over “listening to books that talk to you”, but the trip to the Room of Requirement was slow, awkward, odd…and while I liked parts of it, it just…left me feeling…WTF? There was more hype over Harry ZOMCC totally snogged Cho! But I was certain about a nonillion Harry/Ginny fanfic sprung forth when the sixth book came out…so I would think they could have done the first smooch some more justice… /dogdammit another digress
It also just cut off the whole thing there. That was it. One smooch and we’re out of here. I hear we have two more movies to stretch it out and fuck up the story line some more (like, did anyone else catch that Ron totally joins the Quidditch team in OotP, not HBP, and was a returning member?), fudge some more non-battles, and maybe turn some characters I like into tropes I hate. Who knows?
Anyhow…I can’t keep this post focused. Depending on the aspects of Ginny’s awesomesauceness, one medium or the other is giving her some proppage. IMNSFHO, Rowling could have done more with her, and the screen writers for some of the movies could have been more consistent.
I know I have yet again written about some fiction that has a following, but I am counting on the fact that I have a readership under fifty to keep things tame in comments. Let’s see how that goes…