Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Epic Conclusion

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Smith
Released: July 15, 2011
Viewed in theaters: Opening day, of course!

I thought about waiting to see this when the crowds died down a little...yeah, that didn't happen. How could I wait any longer to watch the final movie in the Harry Potter series? I just possibly couldn't! I was SO, SO, SO, excited! This review is going to be filled with exclamation marks!

Right when I walk into the theater I see people wearing their Harry Potter t-shirts. (Nobody dressed as HP characters, though, I guess that only happens at the midnight showings).  Moaning Myrtle is in the bathroom hanging from the ceiling with a black floaty dress and, well, moaning (with the help of a recording). The Hogwarts school song is written on the wall as well as a list of the members of Dumbledore's Army and quotes from the film. There are posters of the characters with a quote from each one from previous films written next to them. Dobby's is "Dobby did not mean to main or kill! Dobby only meant to injure!" Snape's is (rightfully) "Ten points from Gryffindor!" Ron's is "Why is it always 'Follow the spiders?' Why can't it be 'Follow the butterflies'?" Harry's is something about trouble always finding him, but I don't remember which movie that's from or him ever saying it, and Hermione's is my least favorite Hermione line ever uttered by her because it's so un-Hermione: "Is that what my hair looks like from the back?" UGH! Go back and read my Prisoner of Azkaban review and you'll know why I hate that line so much. Any other line they would have chosen would have been so much better! I personally would have gone with "I'm going to bed before either one of you gets us killed. Or worse, expelled!" Alright, I know I sound like a complete nerd. I have to laugh when I imagine anyone who has never read/doesn't care about Harry Potter coming into the theater and seeing all this.

Luckily my audience behaved and
Voldemort didn't have to AK them.
The film picks up right where we left during Part 1. The scenes leading up to when we're back at Hogwarts do seem a litttle rushed, at least compared to the book. We see Hermione becoming Bellatrix to enter her vault at Gringotts to get another Horcrux, we see the Trio escaping from Gringotts on the dragon (hmm...I don't they they ever taught a class training dragons at Hogwarts!), and we see them meeting and talking to Dumbledore's brother. A lot of backstory is cut out of that scene, but I didn't think it was pivotal to the movie, so I was fine with that.

This movie is pretty dark, both tonally and lighting-wise. During the scene with Harry and Dumbledore when the screen became totally white, I had to shield my eyes because it was like walking out into the sunlight. Perhaps it's unfair because he was in more of the films than Richard Harris, but I definitely prefer Michael Gambon as Dumbledore than Harris.

One of my favorite scenes - and a scene I've been waiting for since 2007 when I read it in the book -
the kiss between Ron and Hermione. I read someone point out that the reaction after the kiss where they awkwardly giggle seemed more like Emma and Rupert's than Ron and Hermione's, and yeah, that is a good point and probably true, but it was very cute, nonetheless. Everyone laughed when they were in the Room of Requirements and one of Draco's friends tried to kill Hermione (er, they didn't laugh at that part) and Ron starts to charge at them and says, "That's my girlfriend, you (inaudible here)". That's when they laughed.

When McGonagall steps in front of Harry to protect him from a spell thrown by Snape and starts dueling with him, this young boy in my row whispered really loudly, "McGonagall!" The way he said it was really funny too. His mother told him to "Shhhhh!" 

While I overall really enjoyed the movie, there were a few things that I didn't like/care for. Fred's death didn't have the emotional weight it had in the book. They show a quick scene of him and George talking, then later in the movie Harry walks into the Great Hall and the Weasleys are surrounding his body and crying. If you hadn't even read the book, you wouldn't know which twin had died! And he was killed off screen too! The scene between Molly and Bellatrix was sadly anticlimactic and didn't even get a reaction out of my audience. Lame. I was worried for a moment that Neville wasn't going to kill the snake after Harry attempted to kill it, but failed. But once they showed Ron and Hermione trying to kill it and failing each time, I knew it was going to be Neville, as it should be. I liked that he saved Ron and Hermione's lives at the same time, too. 

The battle was quite epic and they didn't shy away from showing how brutal it was with all the dead bodies lying around the castle and when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were running right through the middle of it, I was sure one of them was going to get killed. (Well, not really since I've read the book and knows who it ends). 

The epilogue was a little cheesy, but sweet. I'm glad they cut out all that unnecessary dialogue that's in the book. Was it me or did it look like Hermione hadn't even aged?  I did like that the last shot was of Harry, Ron, and Hermione and not of their kids on the train because that would have been SO LAME! 

Overall, a very satisfying conclusion to the series. I can't wait till they re-make the whole series in 50 years! (Hey, maybe Daniel Radcliffe can play Dumbledore then!) 

1 comment:

  1. I thought the Ron/Hermione kiss was quite lame. All there was was a bunch of "ginger" hair, disguising the fact that there was actually no kissing being done at all on the set. Poorly faked kiss. Major let down. But Rupert said long ago when the last book came out that he wouldn't kiss her. I guess he meant it. :)