Friday, July 22, 2011

I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

As promised, you are now about to read my thoughts on the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the DH2 since B and I saw it for a second time on his birthday last night.

So.

First, if you have not seen/read the books, STOP READING NOW. If ever, there was a blog post with spoilers in it, this is the one.

Second, these are my personal thoughts.

Now, let's dispense with the generalities...

Overall, I loved the movie. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion and what parts were not tampered with were magical.This definitely was not a children's movie. The time for childhood was definitely over in this film and the consequences were grave. If you took your children, I'll bet that you may have had to have some conversations about what they saw. (When I say children, I'm talking somewhere in the 7-9 age and under depending on maturity, exposure and knowledge of the child.)

BUT.

This series has never been about generalities. It is all about the specifics. In fact, the way that Ms. Rowling weaves the details so intricately together is one of the top reasons I love the series so dearly.

For more than a decade, scores of fans have been devoted to our beloved Harry and I for one left the theaters twice wishing for something a bit more. This movie was the VERY last in the series and the fans who made this franchise deserved to be treated with respect.

Two hours and 5 minutes for the finale?

It's down right blasphemous. This fan and several others would have been more than willing to sit for 3. So I've seven "Horcruxes," if you will, to pick with the producers.Things that should have been in there and would have rounded things out nicely to a solid three hours.

  1. The Horcruxes: I really felt like more detail should have gone into why Voldemort chose the objects that he did. It goes to his character development. The horcruxes display Voldemort's evil nature at its finest. Plus, couldn't we put Nagini up in the air like she was until the end when she was killed?
  2. The Weasley's, The Granger's and The Dumbledore's: Ron and Hermione have been Harry's closest friends from the very beginning. They at least should have been paid tribute by a longer battle scene to show Percy's return to the family and how Fred died. Further, knowing that Hermione got to restore her family's memories would have been a nice touch as well. Finally, the back story on the Dumbledore siblings would have made much more sense had Hermione told Harry what she learned about Professor Dumbledore in Rita Skeeter's book. It's actually how they figure out that the Elder Wand is part of the Hallows. Back story is nice. Clears things up and doesn't leave those who haven't read the books (yes these kinds of people do exist!) not walking away asking how Harry automatically knew who Aberforth was.
  3. The Hallows: The Elder Wand fixes Harry's wand, then Harry returns it to Dumbledore's tomb. Second,Harry is a descendant of the Peverell brothers who were thought to be the original owners of the Hallows. Harry was descended from Ignotious who had the Invisibility Cloak. This imagery is a subtle forecast into Harry's victory. In the seventh book, many things from the very beginning of the series, come to matter. The reason Albus had the Cloak of Invisibility when Harry before James Potter was killed was because Albus thought it might be the very cloak that he and Grindewald sought so many years ago. Ahem. 
  4. Snape's Death: He was killed in the Shrieking Shack. Yeah not anything major, but there are three influential men in Harry's life and Snape is definitely one of them. Sirius and Dumbledore are the other two of course.
  5. Harry's "Death": Ron and Hermione were not with Harry when he figures out after watching the memories of Snape that he must die willingly. If they had been, they would not have let him go into the Forbidden Forrest alone. Their biggest trait with regards to friendship is loyalty and for them to let him go into the woods goes completely against that.
  6. The Final Battle of Hogwarts: Before  Harry reveals he's alive, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minerva McGonagell and Horace Slughorn face off with Lord Voldemort. This scene could have been epic. Also, this showdown was in the Great Hall.AND how about a long battle scene in general? I was most pumped for the actual battle outside of Snape revealing his true allegiances. TOTAL. LETDOWN.
  7. Victoire, Minister of Magic, and Dumbledore's portrait: Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks son, Teddy in the epilogue was seen kissing Victoire Weasley who was so named because she was born on the day the Chosen One triumphed over He Who Must Not Be Named. (It's May 2nd btw!) Is this trivial? Maybe, but Remus was one of the original Mauraders and had strong convictions about the fight. Second, Kingsley Shacklebolt was made Minister of Magic. Third, Dumbledore advised Snape on how to help Harry from the portrait which is conveyed in Snape's memories. After Voldemort's defeat, Harry, Ron and Hermione go to the Headmaster's office where the Headmasters give huge applause for defeating Voldemort and Dumbledore is seen crying in his portrait.


    AND...
  8. Voldemort's dead body: Oh please! Don't act like you didn't see this coming. When the Killing Curse comes back onto him, Tom Riddle doesn't go into a million pieces. He is mortal at this point. So the movie would have done well for him to be mortal too. The million pieces thing just opens the door for Voldemort's return. And that just isn't the case.

However, there are some things, the movie makers got right. Lest we forget, I am rooting for the Home Team here.

As Hermione would say, "For example..."

  1. Minerva McGonagall and Molly Weasley are badasses. Seriously, I LOVED LOVED LOVED watching them kick Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange's ass. As a woman, I puffed up a bit for these underdog witches. On the inside, I was thinking, "Get DOWN witcha bad self!" every time I watched Minerva and Molly throw down.
  2. Alan Rickman deserves an Academy Award. HEAR THAT ACADEMY?!? Yes, I know this film is a blockbuster type that you apparently love to hate. But, Alan Rickman as Severus Snape when his memories are on display for Harry to see will forever be one of my all-time favorite moments in motion pictures. Hands down, the love, torment, heartbreak, sorrow and devotion to Lily Potter were not lost on me. The Academy would do well to recognize that.
  3. The movie really captured the essence of the story. Good versus evil. You could definitely feel that Harry and the Order really were the underdogs. So when Voldemort finally dies, the victory was definitely that much sweeter.
  4. THE KISS. Can I get an Amen? AMEN! I cheered "YES!" when I saw it the first time. Maybe it's because I'm a little biased towards men who have a deep loathing for spiders who love girls who love to go to the library. But that's only a maybe!
  5. The Soldiers! I was pumped and ready to go find the nearest wand when they were commanded do their duty because Hogwarts had been threatened and now was the time to fight! 
  6. The Beginning of the Battle. When the professors start setting up the charms to protect the castle, tears welled up in my eyes both times. It showed that the hardest battles are worth fighting for. 
  7. Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. Seriously, these two made me smile. I loved when Luna got her sass pants on with Harry and when Neville announced he loved Luna. Melt my heart. AND when Neville is making sure that Professor McGonagell is for sure giving him permission to bully up! Boom? BOOM! And to make sure to take Seamus Finnegan based on his proclivity to make things go BOOM too!
  8. The Epilogue. I loved watching Harry tell Albus Severus Potter that it was okay to be in Slytherin House because one of his namesake's was the bravest man Harry ever knew.
In conclusion, I am definitely going to re-read the series over break. I've fallen in love all over again.

I can't wait for this to come out on DVD so I can watch all the extras, some of which I'll bet I talked about.

Pottermore gets more exciting by the day.

I hope Jo Rowling reads this. (And if by chance she does... Ms. Rowling, my email is in the top of this blog, have your people get in touch with me. I'd be more than happy to make my maiden voyage to Scotland to chat a bit!)

Finally, it is hard for me to end this because it was hard to watch the end of the series on screen so I'll close with the only thing I know to say.

MISCHIEF MANAGED.

6 comments:

Domesticated-Bliss said...

Sam, I love this post! The only things I would add to your most eloquent description of the movie are:

1. They didn't show enough of the battle and they totally missed a heartwrenching moment when Fred dies.

2. They didn't show enough of the relationship between Harry/Jenny.

And a previous peeve from the first half of the movie is they didn't show how much Dumbledore cared for Harry. In that first half of the book they portray Dumbledore as keeping Harry in the dark and manipulating him. But in the book it was really the first time that Dumbledore was openly honest with Harry about his life and treated him as an equal :)

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

I agree with you on a lot of this. I felt like it should have been longer for sure. I couldn't believe when i looked down at my watch after it was over!

Neville's role in this particular movie was SO moving. It was just fantastic. Perhaps my favorite.

And I agree with Snape's memories.

I was also sad that there wasn't more of an explanation on Fred's death and much of the other battle scenes.

what is your opinion on harry's death? I mean, is it beacause he was the master of the death because he had the elder wand, the cloack of invisibility and the resurrection stone in his possession? Or did he actually even die? was it a near death experience? Or did just the horcrux die? I've been reading lots of forums on this (dorkwad, I know), and I'm still confused. And yes, I've read the books.

I LOVED how the professors protected Hogwarts at the beginning of the battle. That was awesome.

I too am planning to re read the books, and I want to re-watch the movie. I love it so much! My Harry Potter blog post is going live Tuesday, but it's more of our experience than a review.

~K

Mrs. D said...

I am totally with you on so many of those points! My two big disappointments were that 1) the entire last book is devoted to Harry's struggle over whether Dumbledore was even a good man. Not really even touched on in the movie! And 2) visual details like how Bellatrix and Voldemort's bodies evaporated and Harry and Voldemort jumping off the bridge were all for 3D effect, which I considered a sell-out.

Gina said...

I read this to B. He shrugged most of it off, because he's come to terms with the fact that ALL the HP movies are cut too short in the interest of time. Sorry. I was hoping for a good debate or at least some decent points by him for ya, lol.

Lucy Marie said...

I skipped this when you wrote it beacuse I hadn't yet seen the movie but now that I have .. ahem...

I agree. 2 hours and 5 minutes? Come on people.

However, I must say - This was the first time I didn't re-read the book immediately before seeing the movie. Well, that's kind of a lie. I started re-reading the deathly hallows before part 1 came out, but only got about 200 pgs through it before E was born and I never picked it up again. So, when I went to see part 1 I had just recently read the first 1/3-1/2 of the movie .. and so I picked every little piece apart ... So, this time, it has been YEARS since I read it and I LOVED that. I enjoyed this movie more than I have enjoyed any of the others because I was able to sit back, relax and enjoy it instead of criticing every little thing. In fact, it had been so long, I feltlike it was a new story. I forgot so much of it. It was great!!!

I do feel like the entire series has been poorly done in terms of being accessible to all audiences. My husband doesn't read the books and there are SO many things, despite seeing all of the movies multiple times, that I have to explain to him again and again and again. And while I understand that most fans likely both read and watch, it has to be understood that not all will. If you're going to make a book series into movies, you HAVE to make it accessible to all audiences - readers or not.

Lucy Marie said...

Oops. That last comment was from me (darn you multiple gmail accounts).

I must add, too, I lovelovelove Neville's role in this movie.

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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