SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven’t seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 yet, and you don’t want to hear anything about it, turn back now. But please come back and read this later. I’d love to hear your opinions on the film.
Overall, I’d say the film was pretty damn good. A fitting tribute to such a complex, well-loved, and enduring work of literature. However, there were some changes that I thought were just ridiculous, and some moments where I felt like the filmmakers were overindulgent with the special effects. That being said, there were some absolutely brilliant scenes in this film. Alan Rickman took my breath away.
I’ve only gotten to see it once so far, so I didn’t quite have the chance to absorb every detail. I found the character of Griphook to be intensely chilling. They did so many creepy close ups of him. It was very ominous. I also thought Helena Bonham Carter was brilliant as Hermione polyjuiced into Bellatrix. It’s amazing how posture can affect a persons demeanor so much. You’d think it would be hard to speed up the pace from what it is in the book. Everything from Gringott’s on happens in one day, but they still managed to fly forward through time, skimming over vital information.
I loved the abused and defeated look of the dragon. However, Hermione would NEVER ever in a million years suggest riding a dragon. She hates flying. She would never be the first to jump on the back of a huge flying, fire-breathing, angry beast.
I did really appreciate Harry’s line after coming out of the lake that every time they spend months making plans, they never work. That’s so true. It’s time Harry finally acknowledged it.
Aberforth really did resemble Dumbledore at first glance, which I found surprisingly heart wrenching. But because of the total lack of internal conflict for Harry about Dumbledore potentially using him as a pawn, that scene lacked poignancy. It was stirring when Harry said “I trusted the man I knew,” but I knew what was really supposed to happen.
Neville was fantastic, apart from that completely ridiculous monologue he gave when he thought Harry was dead. Much like Ron’s ball of light speech, it just made me roll my eyes. Sentimental hogwash. But otherwise, I loved this new take-charge, lead the pack Neville Longbottom. I also loved the bit they added about him having a thing for Luna and running off to tell her before it’s too late. See, I don’t mind changes if they add something to the film. There have been quite a few moments throughout the films that I’m sure Jo Rowling wishes she would have thought of. Anyway, I thought that was a hilarious and touching moment for Neville. I also loved it when Seamus got to blow up the bridge. So perfect for his character. I wanted to give somebody a high five. Oh, and Dean Thomas is huge, right?
The siege of the castle was pretty spectacular. I loved the bit where the teachers and Order members were putting all the protective spells around the castle. I also thought the giants were really scary. I didn’t mind seeing more of the fighting happening during the battle. I thought it was visually appealing and added to the story. In the books, we only get to hear about the aftermath of the battle because Harry isn’t really involved, so it was exciting to get to see it.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Kelly McDonald as The Grey Lady. I think I had read once that she was playing that role, but I forgot until I saw her face. I love her. Not sure why they decided to make her so scary, but it worked fine for me.
The fiend fire scene was intense. It looked just like I imagined it would. Anybody know why Crabbe wasn’t there?
My favorite part of the film was the moments with Snape. He has to be one of the most complex and layered characters I’ve ever read, and I was so pleased that Alan Rickman finally got to show a bit of range. He played it so cool to the very end. Even when he knew he was going to die. And the way he died was so horrific. When he looked into Harry’s eyes one last time… And all his scenes in the pensieve were fantastic. When he finds Lily’s body, it tore my heart out.
The scene in the forest makes me sob every time I read it, and I admit, when he saw his mother’s face, I shed a tear. I think it makes me wish I could see my own mother again. And King’s Cross was excellent. They left out so much from earlier in the story that there wasn’t much left for Dumbledore to say, but I thought this was Michael Gambon’s best performance as Dumbledore. The tone was just right.
The fight between Voldemort and Harry, I thought, was a bit overdone, I’m guessing for the sake of 3D. (I saw the normal version. I don’t care for 3D). If I had come to the movie fresh, without the knowledge and expectations of multiple readings of the book, I might have enjoyed it more.
I also thought the epilogue was just right. The tone was sweet, but not overly sentimental. To see the trio as adults, happily sending their own children off to school, knowing that Hogwarts had returned to the way it should be was the perfect ending.
It’s Harry Potter. Of course I loved it, and I’ll see it a hundred times. Even with all the changes, I still had a great time. I apologize for writing so much. It was a long movie, and my love for Harry Potter is deep. So, what did you think?