Let’s Talk About Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Okay, so I’m four days after the fact, but whatever.  I’ve been busy busy busy preparing to leave for San Diego Comic Con 2011 today! Woot.

So Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  Jay and I did a midnight 3-D showing on opening night.  After fighting the crowds (seriously, I don’t understand why so many people think it’s okay to cut in front of people who have been waiting for hours when they show up 30 minutes before a movie starts but whatever), we found our seats, put on our 3D glasses, sat back, and enjoyed the show.

And we did enjoy it.  I really liked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  As someone who didn’t get into any of the previous movies right away, I was surprised how excited I was to see the final chapter of one of my favorite book series of all time play out in a place other than my own mind.  I’m not going to get too in depth here because many other people have written much better reviews that I can, but I am going to get spoiler-ish so if you haven’t seen the movie, then you may not want to read ahead.  I’ll even be nice and put in a page break if you’re reading this on the front page.  Everyone else, JUMP!

Like I said, I did really like the movie.  I think the best scene was “The Prince’s Tale.”  I never thought they gave Alan Rickman enough to do in any of these movies, especially considering how big of a role Snape has in the books, and I’m really happy that they finally did right by the actor and the character.  Needless to say, I cried during that entire sequence.  Then again, I first started wiping my eyes when Professor McGonagall (I love you, Dame Maggie Smith!) first called the knight statues to life to protect and defend Hogwarts, so I’m not sure if you can really take my pivotal emotional moments with any credibility, haha.

Going into the film, Jay was concerned over how they’d handle his favorite chapter, “King’s Cross” while I was eager to see what they’d do with my favorite chapter, “The Forest Again.”  Neither of us came out disappointed with either scene.  (Yup, cried again during “The Forest Again” scene.)  I really like that the filmmakers focused mostly on “The Battle of Hogwarts” and its subsequent chapters.  I was surprised at how out-of-nowhere the “Not my daughter, you bitch!” line came.  I loved the delivery of it, but the way it just cut to the shot and the line…I feel like there could’ve been 20 seconds of set-up before it to show that Ginny was dangerously close to dying at Bellatrix’s hand.

Courtesy of Jay's Instagr.am account

Oh, Neville and Nagini!  I have to admit that I was getting reeeaaallly nervous once Harry told Hermione and Ron that they had to kill the snake instead of Neville.  It still doesn’t really make sense to me why they changed it, but I know change is inevitable and I’ll get to that in my next paragraph.  One of the biggest things I was looking forward to seeing on the big screen was Neville finally fulfilling his destiny of almost-being-The-Chosen-One by killing the last link to Voldemort’s immortality.  That is one of my FAVORITE things about the book because of how poetic it is.  I love it.  Although I knew that it was something that they wouldn’t dare mess with, I was getting nervous.  At one point during the final battle, I told Jay, “If Neville doesn’t kill that snake, me and this movie are f*cking done professionally.”  I’m SO glad Neville got his moment.  It was one of the only moments that people cheered in the theater.  Matthew Lewis is a perfect Neville Longbottom.

I’m beginning to get longwinded, so let me briefly touch upon the changes in the movie and what I liked and didn’t like.  Ron and Hermione’s kiss.  It was the other moment people cheered.  I knew it would be different because the S.P.E.W. storyline was missing from the movies but I liked how they did it.  It’s amazing how much Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have grown as actors since the first movie.  I can’t imagine Hermione or Ron any other way.  Fred Weasley’s off-screen death.  The twins were always a noticeable part of the movies that I wish we could’ve had a chance to properly recognize and mourn the loss of Fred.  It didn’t ruin the movie for me, though.

What I didn’t like at all was how Voldemort’s actual death was done.  Their spells were muted and perhaps that was for dramatic effect, BUT there was no big final showdown!  I accepted that instead of them standing in front of a crowd and Harry telling Tom Riddle that he was wrong the wand and about Snape’s allegience and he that needed to repent, they had an all-about-the-castle game of hide ‘n seek with Harry telling Lord Voldemort that he was wrong about Snape and then Harry telling Ron and Hermione about the wand’s true master.  I just feel that the way it was done – with Harry and Voldemort casting unheard spells in front of absolutely no one else was anti-climatic.  I was genuinely disappointed with it.  My co-worker, who has never read the books, saw the movie yesterday and came in with that exact same opinion.  After doing such a goood job with the rest of the movie, it felt rushed and had no emotional punch for me whatsoever.  It was the only thing I was truly disappointed with in the movie.  I even enjoyed the epilogue.  I have to give mad props to Daniel Radcliffe for taking a beloved, now iconic character and making it his own.  He has also grown as an actor and I have to agree with what Emma Watson said to him, “You were and are the perfect Harry.”

So that’s what I thought about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  What did everyone else out there think?

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