Harry vs Neo

I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. And with the slew of good to raving reviews that are out there, I’m not going to add to it.  Now, for you Potter fans, I’m not here to say how good or bad it is.  I love stories and always ask myself why I like certain stories in comparison to why I don’t. I liked this one, based on Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts.

J.K. Rowling has said in many interviews that the books would get darker, and this one, with the death of a main character, is definitely dark.

One other series I’ve been obsessed with are the Matrix movies.  The first one was a sleeper hit.  Every one loved it, critics and fans.  But once the sequels hit theaters, despite its financial success, not many really liked them.

And I think I know why.

With both Potter and Matrix sequels going toward dark, why did one do and feel well, while the other just felt monotone?


The sixth movie had enough humor to bring the laughs all the way up to the climax.  The climax was the darkest part of the whole movie, so the laughs ended.  Makes sense.

Matrix had humor and sarcasm.  There were also different types of characters. One wished they didn’t take the red pill, another would pimp out a virtual girl, then there was one guy half black, half Asian who was enthusiastic, etc.  Those characters contrasted the war that was going on.

With both the Matrix sequels, there was no humor at all, no characters with color.  That’s why to me it felt monotone.  People will say that Neo and his crew were fighting a losing war.  But Harry and crew are fighting what seems to be a losing war, too.


Now the question becomes why laughs are needed in a dark movie?

I was talking to a coworker who is an avid churchgoer.  We were talking about perspectives on life, and I asked him what he thought about the world.  His response was this is a fallen world.  Then I told him mine, which of course is prettyPollyanish.

He countered with, “Then why is there so much suffering in this world?”

I imagined him and his choir of religious heathens eating this fallen view of the world and answered, “Because in order to have light, you must have dark.”

I personally don’t like it but understand the philosophical side.

In story, humor is not just a good release of tension.  It also contrasts the dark, making the dark darker when the dark comes.  As the story works toward its dark climax, we feel even darker as the dark falls upon us.  Which is the exact purpose of the sixth Potter movie.