Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"

I don't know about you but just thinking about Harry Potter has the theme music just swelling loudly in my head. It's so sweeping and majestic and perfectly fits the theme of the books. Instantly recognizable by long time fans, the music sets the mood for the entire series. And now the series has come to an end....or rather the beginning of the end.

As always before a Harry Potter movie comes out,
I've been walking around with a pencil (or just holding my hand pretending) and yelling out things like "Lumos!" "Expelliarmus !", "Expecto Patronum!" or my favorite, thanks to the Wizarding World ads, "Protego!" I've also been relistening to the audio books (AGAIN) to get pumped up. I'm currently on Goblet of Fire and am on track to finish Deathly Hallows again before the last movie comes out.

Be warned...there will be lots of spoilers throughout this post so if you are one of the FEW PEOPLE who have not read the book or seen the movie, you have been warned. Also this is really more of a fan girl post than an actual review.

I saw this movie with my husband who is not a reader and has never read any of the Harry Potter books. I cannot get him too either which is a bit frustrating because in my opinion, these are some of the best books ever written. At the same time it's interesting to see the movies with him because he see them in a completely different light than I do because his knowledge of the story is only from the movies.

I felt like this is the first movie, since SS that is the most faithful to the books. Of course this is mainly due to the movie being split in two in order to portray more of the movie. And believe me that was greatly appreciated. I'm one of those fans who wishes they could do the book word for word but I was more than pleasantly pleased with what was shown.

Still there were some scenes that I wish had been added or hadn't been changed (these might look like a lot but I swear I loved this movie)

1) The Dursleys leaving. Ok the 10 second shot shown was completely pointless in the movie. The touching scene between Dudley and Harry is eliminated. And there is no remorse from Aunt Petunia. All they had to do was just show her looking back at Harry for a few seconds and then walk away. That's all I wanted and it would have shown so much! I'm really hoping that's a deleted scene otherwise they totally wasted the actors' time for their very brief cameo.
2) Wormtail. Why the heck is he not dead by the end of the first movie? I mean he's supposed to be dead.
3) The two way mirror. While faithful readers of the books know what this is, since it was eliminated from the other movies, just movie watchers have no idea what it is and it is never explained throughout the entire movie.
4) Harry not being disguised during the wedding. Also the lack mention of the invisibility cloak. Also why they are not wearing the cloak or use Polyjuice potion during important scenes such as Godric's Hollow.
5) Harry visiting Sirius' room but NOT finding his mother's letter. There's time to look at a mobile but not enough time to briefly show an important and (later on) emotional scene?
6) Downplay of Kreacher's involvement in Regulus's death. Another emotional scene from the book.
7) Lack of The Lies and Life of Albus Dumbledore. The movie watchers do not know anything about Dumbledore's history.
8) Lack of Potter Watch. I thought for sure it was going to pop up during the NUMEROUS scenes with the stupid radio but no, just force the audience to keep listening to static.
9) Lack of Dean Thomas. Yes I know this keeps in line with how he's been really minimized in the movies but I'm just saying this because I like Dean.

Scenes I did enjoy

1) Fred and George. I adore these two and am so glad that the later movies FINALLY show their sense of humor that is so prevalent in the books. Love George's little scene with Harry and Ginny. Although it makes me sad knowing what is going to happen in the final movie.
2) Bill and Fleur. Perfect casting of Bill (the actor is also Moody's son), he looked just like the other Weasleys! Also glad to see Fleur again and loved her wedding dress. Although slightly sad that Charlie does not make an appearance.
3) Hedwig dying while being free. I was annoyed she was in her cage when she died in the book so I was so glad she went out protecting Harry.
4) The animation scene during The Tale of the Three Brother. OMG, that was beautiful. The entire story needed to be told and I was wondering how they were going to do it without someone reading the story just word for word and nothing else. It was brilliantly done. That could be a short film on its own.
5) The actor who played Scabior. GORGEOUS. Thank goodness they decided to focus on him instead of Greyback.
6) The entire scene with Bathilda Bagshot. So deliciously creepy.
7) The opening scene with the Death Eaters. Snape (who looks like his hair got even pouffier) is wonderful at masking his true loyalties even when Charity Burbage pleads for his help. The Malfoys look very uncomfortable with their new situation and Lucius looks very disheveled. And Voldermort is just evil.
8) The scenes in the forest. While this may drag on for some viewers, I really appreciated how they showed the despair and hopelessness the trio felt while they are waiting to figure out what to do next.
9) The romantic tension. Wonderfully done. Give me Ron and Hermione over a certain dysfunctional paranormal trio any day. The dancing scene with Harry and Hermione was a nice touch. The scene with the locket was a bit uncomfortable but nicely done because it showed Ron's true fears.
10) Harry's parents' grave. And they left the inscription on there "
"The last enemy to be conquered is death" which is a Bible verse in case you didn't know.
11) The entire scene in the Ministry. Loved the adult actors that the trio had transformed into. I thought they portrayed our heroes very well and hilariously too. God, I want to slap Umbridge. Ugh to seeing her again but kudos to Imelda Staunton for being so deliciously evil.
12) Voldermort getting the elder wand (or so he thinks...hehehe). It's not how I originally pictured it but it's so fitting with his character that it's perfect.

The movie is full of sad scenes. I didn't cry during all of them but here there were three scenes that made me feel weepy inside. The first was when Hermione modifying her parents' memories. It's not a scene shown in the book but when you think of why she has to do it and the sacrifice she is making to protect them, it's very touching. The second is when Harry sees the doe patronus. I got sad because of who sent the doe and WHY it is in the shape of a doe. Foreshadowing folks. And the scene where I did cry? Dobby. Oh my lord, I was sobbing. When he appeared on the screen earlier, everyone in the theater cheered but it was sort of a halfhearted cheer because we all knew what was going to happen. And it's insane because Dobby annoyed the heck out of me in COS. But they portrayed his death wonderfully and so emotional.

The crazy part is that I know what is going to happen in the final movie. I know who is going to live, I know who is going to die. I know how the story will end. But I'm hoping that the movie makers will be able to put all the emotion of the last half of the book into the movie. And I know that there are millions of fans who feel the same way I do. So far they have managed to set it up (albeit those few discrepancies and changes) in a very good way and I'm hoping that it will continue when the movie concludes next summer. In a way, I am torn with wanting to see it. I want to see the movie of course. I'm even looking forward to a good cry, which I know will happen. But I don't want it to be over. With the release of Part 2, there is now officially no more Harry Potter anything to look forward to. And what a sad world that will be when that happens.

3 comments:

  1. I really missed how Harry and Kreature come to an understanding and Kreature becomes a model house-elf. I think that's one of my favorite things from the last book.

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  2. Carl and I enjoyed this movie, but we felt like it dragged in parts. Of course, it's been 5 years since we read the book.

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  3. Great review a.k.a. fangirl post. You bring up a lot of aspects of the adaptation that I didn't think about or had forgotten. I was quite pleased with this film, but like you I'm torn - I can't wait to see part 2, but knowing that part 2 is THE END, part of me wants July to never come... *sigh*

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