Friday, July 15, 2011

Movie Review- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

This week has been all about Harry Potter! A few friend of mine and I decided we needed to make this last Harry Potter film matter since it really is the finale for all things Harry Potter. On Monday, we took a bus to New York at 5:15 in the morning, stood outside under the blazing heat advisory sun in front of the Lincoln Center, and smashed up next to thousands of other people from 10:30 AM til 6:30 PM to see just a glimpse the Harry Potter stars roll out of their Lincoln Navigators. My high in seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione in the flesh was sadly short lived because they disappeared the second they arrived, but it was amazing none the less. Ron has gotten a bit chubs, Harry is pretty awkward, Hermione is even more beautiful in real life and I must say Neville has turned out to be by far the best looking one out of all the male actors (stupid chick's arm got in the way of my hottie).

Last night, I got in line at 9:30 to see the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at my local theater. Seemed like the entire shopping center was in a Harry Potter frenzie! Every store seemed to be holding some sort of Harry Potter themed event. The theater was serving all sorts of Harry Potter themed drinks including alcoholic butterbeer (made with butterscotch schnapps!). People showed up in awesome costumes, my favorites including a real hot Bellatrix Lestrange, a hilarious Voldemort (some chick bandaged up her entire head), and a adorable old woman dressed as Umbridge!

So after all this build up, how did the movie measure up? Well personally, I thought it was FANTASTIC! I haven't been the biggest fan of Harry Potter films because they've never quite measured up to the books for me, but this film was different. I actually think that fans of the books will like this movie BETTER than those viewers who have not read the books. About 90% of the movie is focused on the Battle of Hogwarts, which in the books is really only about 1/5 of the last novel. So to have an entire movie based off of only about 150 pages of the books, as you can imagine, took many liberties in filling in some of the events that were happening during this epic battle that we weren't able to see in the book which was focused on Harry's watch.

Like I just mentioned, the entire film is mostly the Battle of Hogwarts, but I'll do a very brief synopsis. The film picks right back up where the last one left off. We see the scene where Voldemort snags the Elder Wand of Dumblydore's tomb and then we head back to Bill and Fleur's cottage where Dobby died. From there, Harry figures they got to break into Gringrotts because he suspects there is another Horcrux hidden in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault. They make a deal with the Goblin to help them get into the vault in exchange for the Sword of Gryffindor. Breaking into the Gringrotts bank was one of my favorite parts in the book but it was pretty short lived in the film. Yeah I get it, they wanted to get to Hogwarts as soon as possible. The trio does manage to find the Horcrue in the bank which ended up being a goblet belonging to Helga Hufflepuff, but unfortunately the goblin runs off with the sword so they don't have a way to destroy it. After escaping Gringrotts, Harry does his freaky shit where he reads Voldemort's mind and figures that another one of the Horcruxes are in Hogwarts, and it's something that belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw. Harry and Co. manage to sneak into Hogwarts pretty easily with the help of Dumbledore's brother Aberforth and there, they are reunited with Dumbledore's Army who are more than willing to help Harry in his fight. Harry's presence in Hogwarts is immediately known, and Voldeymort gathers his army of Deatheaters, ready to raid Hogwarts and kill off everyone to find Harry. At this point, Hogwarts students and staff retaliate and the epic battle has begun.

Being able to see the Battle of Hogwarts in the way the film laid it out was something entirely new and satisfying. When reading the book, I imagined a bunch of Hogwart students in their school uniforms running around shouting spells at the Death Eaters. Well there is that in the movie, but we also get a lot more. At one point, I thought I was watching Lord of the Rings and the Battle at Minis Tirith instead of Harry Potter. We got giants rolling in and swinging their clubs on the Death Eater's side and these statued knight dudes marching out like an army from Hogwarts. I also like how we actually got to see Ron and Hermione go into the Chamber of Secrets and destroy the goblet. Like I said, the book mostly focused on Harry's account during the Battle of Hogwarts so it was cool seeing what else was going on at the time, which was just left to the imagination in the novel.

Some things that the movie did not show that I was hoping to see was for one, all the chicks, Hermione, Ginny and Luna fighting against Bellatrix before Molly comes and saves the day. I was also hoping to see the death of Remus while fighting Antonin Dolohov and Tonks from fighting Bellatrix. I thought the water works were going to start for me when Fred's time came, but surprisingly they did not. The character deaths weren't nearly as emotionally gripping as I thought they would be. They show bodies laid out in the Great Hall and the camera rolls over their bodies briefly. It wasn't even explained who was killed by who. My friend was sure her tears would come when you find out about Remus and Tonk's death but it was all so emotionally detached, it wouldn't allow for it. I can see why because the films did not nearly focus on their characters in the same way the books did. Remus was my favorite character in the book and his life was such a tragic story that I constantly ached for him when reading. However in the movies, I did not whatsoever care about his character and I feel so disappointed at the films portrayal and time devoted to him that I basically just completely block his character out of my mind. The film audiences who have not read the books will wonder why Remus showed up when Harry called upon the souls of his parents and Sirius when he found the resurrection stone. My other friend who has not read the last book was asking why he was going on blabbering about some mysterious son during this scene.

I'm not saying the movie left me completely dry eyed throughout the whole thing, cause I yes I did end up needing those tissues I brought along. Another favorite character of mine in the books was Severus Snape. Ah how I love characters with tragic stories. When Harry looks into Snape's pensieve and sees the memories of his life, his friendship with his mother, and all that he had done for Harry, the tears started flowing. I was kind of scared the movie wouldn't do this scene justice like in the fifth movie where Harry had previously (or was suppose to) visited Snape's pensieve. I can assure all of you out there that Mr. Yates brought more than justice to this scene. We finally get to see Snape for the man he really was and any haters out there will be bound to change their views. Oh this is make you wish that Harry had been born Harry Snape (lol horrid name) instead of Harry Potter.

Alright now here's one complaint I had about the film, and for me, it's a pretty big one. Once the battle is all wrapped up and he-who-must-not-be-named is gone forever, the aftermath of the battle was too fine and dandy. I fortunately was a part of the Harry Potter generation who got the opportunity to grow up along side Harry and have him beside me as I faced my own real life trials. The book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out during a time of great confusion, anger and sadness for me. A few weeks back, my school Virginia Tech was hit with a grave tragedy on April 16, 2007. I had a lot of trouble emotionally dealing with it and I wasn't sure how to react or who to go to. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, reading about the Battle of Hogwarts brought a new sense of strength to me. These students of Hogwarts were fighting so hard for their beloved school and through all the death and sadness, they were able to overcome it with such strength and immortalize their fellow students who passed by holding on to their dear memories. They were able to help me deal with the passing of my own fellow students at my beloved school, even though it took me many months to even begin to heal. Now going back to the movie, the moment the battle ended, everyone went back to being happy-go-lucky despite the tragedy that just happened. Ron had a smile on his face and was making jokes like his old self; your effing brother just died, spend a little bit more time mourning will you!? I wish they could have changed around the last scene of Harry, Ron and Hermione on the bridge outside of Hogwarts. I think a vigil outside the castle remembering all those who just sacrificed themselves or something like that would have been more appropriate.

So leading from that was the scene that I was most scared about seeing. You know I was reeeeeally hoping they would not include an epilogue. I seriously don't know a single person who mildly enjoyed the epilogue in the book. Honestly, no one wants to read about old Harry, Ron and Hermione and/or their kids. It was that much worse seeing it on screen. Ahhhhh Albus Severus! I could no longer contain my laughter at that point hearing it coming from a balding Harry. Thank goodness it was kept short and sweet as to not torture the fans for too long. It was also awkward seeing Harry and Ginny as an old married couple. The coupling of Harry and Ginny was bad enough in the books, and films devoted so little time to actually developing their relationship. If anything, it seemed more like the movies were shipping the characters of Harry and Luna. On that note, one change I really like that the movies did was pairing Neville and Luna at the end. As I understand Luna and Neville marry other people according to Jo, but seeing how bad ass Neville is and how loveable Luna is, I'm glad the film took the liberty to satisfy the fans in that sense.

And so this is really the end! Nothing left in the Harry Potter realm for me to look forward to!! I'm so thankful that I got to be apart of the generation that grew along side Harry and hope the future generations will be able to enjoy it all the same, though they may not be able to get drunk in the Harry Potter fandom with other HP geeks uniting at book and film releases like we were able to. And with the end to the saga, I pour out my heart and thank Harry for growing up with me through my awkward teenage years and helping me through all the bumps along the road in my lifetime. But don't be too down! As with anything when it comes to an end, it opens a spot for something new. There may never be another series like Harry Potter for several decades (if you say Twilight, I'm going to punch you in the face) but there are still many great, undiscovered book series out there. I'll be posting my list of book series you can try reading to help you heal your Post-Potter Depression. With these series, hopefully it will help you move your way through the seven stages of depression and reach the point of acceptance! Always hold Harry close to you and remember that he is only a bookshelf away if you ever need him!

Final Score- 9/10

1 comment:

  1. LOL! I was debating whether or not to go see it; I haven't read all of the books or seen all the movies :P but i saw part 1 deathly hallows last night!