Mon
Jul 18 2011 11:06am

Of Course It’s Happening in Your Head, But Why on Earth Should That Mean It’s Not Real?: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

A brief preface before we get to the review proper: 3D is a horrible, horrible thing. The two or three moments per movie where one grudgingly observes “Okay, that didn’t suck” are outweighed by a litany of exasperating, unnecessary, oppressive annoyances: the near-complete absence of light. The stupid glasses. Everything. Even in the “best” 3D movies the moments that depend on extra dimensionality for effect can be counted on one hand (two for the diabolically fascinating Transformers: Dark of the Moon... I wish I could surgically remove the part of my brain that kind of liked that movie, but such is life, and who among us is perfect, etc etc). I submit that 3D is a net loss to human culture. Its abolition would be a gain. The systematic execution of all movie executives responsible for its ubiquity is unnecessary, but they should know that the only reason I’m sparing them is because I’m a nice guy.

Okay, enough negativity, on to why Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is awesome.

We pick up with an economical recap of where we are in the narrative — a series of shots establishing Dumbledore’s grave, Voldemort’s robbing of said grave for the Elder Wand (because what Voldemort really needs is a more powerful means of killing people), and a few minutes to catch our breath as we return to Harry and company having just buried Dobby. We waste no time discovering from the rescued goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis, having more fun than he has since getting to see Val Kilmer’s wig every day in Willow) that inside Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault in wizard bank Gringotts lies the next Horcrux.

If that seems a torrent of Harry lingo it’s only because that’s how the movie starts off: director David Yates and writer Steve Kloves are like “you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t know what was going on, and you didn’t come to the last Harry Potter movie ever [until Warner Bros reboots the series in 2015 for cash] to mess around with setup. Let’s get to the action.”

And so we jump right in: our heroes, using a purloined hair of Bellatrix’s to turn Hermione into Helena Bonham Carter, a funny wig and fake beard for Ron, and Harry’s trustworthy Invisibility Cloak to cover him and Griphook, head to Gringotts on their Horcrux hunt. (I had very much been looking forward to seeing Helena Bonham Carter playing Emma Watson playing Hermione playing Bellatrix, and HBC did not disappoint: she adopts Emma Watson’s posture, facial expressions, and walk to the point where it almost makes more sense to have Emma Watson’s voice coming out of her mouth than her own).

Almost immediately, the Gringotts staff knows something’s wrong, so improvisation becomes necessary. Even then, our heroes are no farther than an inch away from total disaster, culminating in a frantic, very well-mounted scene in the vault with Harry desperately pursuing the Horcrux as everything he touches magically multiplies, nearly crushing he, Ron, and Hermione under a mountain of filthy lucre. They escape on dragonback because, hey, sometimes you need to escape an underground wizarding bank on dragonback.

I have no idea how long all this actually took, but it seemed like that was just the first fifteen minutes of the movie. It could have been the first hour for all I knew or cared. I was completely in the palm of this movie’s hand. If it had one. Anyway. At this point, the entire rest of the movie consists of getting to Hogwarts to find the final Horcruxes, liberating Hogwarts from Voldemort’s control, defending it against Voldemort’s attempts to reacquire it and kill everyone, and ideally destroying the final Horcruxes and killing Voldemort. This could have been an hour of screen time, could have been two. Did not care. It’s all so well done that it could be three more hours and I’d be right there holding my 3D glasses on my face (grrrr) and thoroughly enjoying every second of it.

So, yes, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is wonderful. It’s a perfect end to the series by the first director to truly understand how to make a Harry Potter movie (Alfonso Cuarón, to split hairs, made a very good movie that was more an Alfonso Cuarón movie than a Harry Potter movie). The effects are excellent, and would be in 2D or 3D — seriously, see it in 2D if you’re able to, there are whole scenes that you’d actually be able to see that I couldn’t in 3D — the acting is stellar, with many beloved characters getting their first chance to really shine.

Matthew Lewis’ arc over the course of the series as Neville Longbottom, for instance, is a fascinating one: he goes from being a shy, scared, scatterbrained nerd at the beginning to the leader of La Resistance by the end (and totally still a nerd) and it feels like every bit as organic a progression as it did in the books. But wow dude La Resistance Neville is some seriously good Neville. My usual articulateness fails me. Fans of the book remember Neville gets to use a sword (I won’t get into it for the more casual fans, but yes, toward the end, Neville gets to use a sword) and when he does, I jumped out of my chair and dropped my stupid 3D glasses for a second, because that moment was awesome. Awesome. Neville Longbottom: long may you reign.

Maggie Smith gets to stretch her legs and show what we’d always suspected about McGonagall: if you get her mad, massive and terrifying things happen to you. When Harry saunters back into Hogwarts and announces to Headmaster Snape that he’s taking over, McGonagall steps up and gets into a very short and decisively victorious wizard duel with Snape who, being no stranger to the notion of discretion’s superiority to valor, jumps out the window and gets as far away as possible. She then proceeds to Transfigure all the gigantic stone statues of dudes with swords into moving statues of dudes with swords, in a truly wonderful sequence. She earns her nervous, geek-out giggle that tags that scene; as weird as it is to see McGonagall giggle, she is a nerd. And being able to do magic that cool earns you the right to brag all you want, or geek out at your own awesomeness. Who are any of us to judge McGonagall? Seriously.

One last time: Severus Snape. Alan Rickman. Simply tremendous. To get semi-spoiler-y, the ultimate fate of Snape is a very emotional moment, when his true loyalties are revealed (and his becomes the most heartbreaking unrequited love in fiction), and Rickman plays the scene to the hilt without overdoing it, because he’s Alan Rickman, and I defy anyone to present evidence that he’s ever been anything but awesome.

The central trio all go out on a very high note. Rupert Grint manages to successfully steer Ron Weasley into a presentable facsimile of adulthood (and, by the way, the movie does a better job than the book of explaining how Ron learned how to speak Parseltongue; sure, that better job consists of actually providing an explanation, but still, it was a funny line, and Emma Watson’s reaction was priceless). Emma Watson has less visibly to do here than she has at times earlier in the series, but her Hermione, after a few rocky moments caused by inexperience and bad or indifferent directors, ends up a very good one. Movie Hermione and Book Hermione will always be as separate as the movies and books themselves, and perhaps the most salient difference, but Emma Watson’s work as Hermione is good.

Finally, because he is the title character after all, Daniel Radcliffe’s evolution from precocious kid to fully accomplished, legitimately excellent adult actor has been a joy to watch. His work in Deathly Hallows Part 2 is some of his best in the series, having attained a level of swagger sufficient that he can trash-talk Voldemort before their final showdown (which is shot as a one-on-one battle without the theatrics and audience as in the book) and even make fun of his accent without it seeming ridiculous. He’s Harry Potter as fully-realized hero, ready for his moment, with unswerving confidence in his ability to defeat Voldemort, and it doesn’t read as cocky at all, just realistic.

It’ll be interesting someday to watch Deathly Hallows 1 and 2 back-to-back once Part 2 comes out on DVD and see how they fit together as one movie, but for now Part 2 is a terrific, satisfying ride. If the epilogue seems a little superfluous (which I did not find it to be in the book), and if Dan Radcliffe looks alarmingly like Jake Gyllenhaal in his age makeup, these are but trifles. It ends as it should, on a note of triumph, the last chapter in a very large part of this last decade’s pop cultural history. For fans especially, Deathly Hallows, both parts, should not be missed. “And judging by how unbelievably much money it was making, not many people were missing it. All was well.”


Danny Bowes is a playwright, filmmaker and blogger. He is also a contributor to nytheatre.com and Premiere.com.

This article is part of Potterpalooza on Tor.com: ‹ previous | index
33 comments
Chris Palmer
1. cmpalmer
There is nothing inherently evil or bad about 3D. Properly projected, I'd watch just about any movie in 3D. That said, in my experience in the theaters in my area, the digital IMAX 3D is the only one that has a bright enough projector and a decent enough framerate. For live action 3D, I'll spring for our local IMAX (unless they start making it darker). CGI 3D, I'll go for regular digital 3D (they're usually bright anyway).

Other than that, I 100% agree. This may be the only movie I've seen so far this year that didn't disappoint me at least a little bit.
R O T
2. rogerothornhill
The problem isn't 3D per se; it's the transfer. 3D looks good in exactly two circumstances: (1) if the film was actually shot in 3D rather than 2D and (2) when the frame is mostly filled with CGI. CGI is easier to manipulate precisely because it is not real; hence the Transformers effect. And the 3D Tintin trailer before HP7.2 didn't creep me out nearly as much as the 2D that has shown up online.

3D is like synchronized sound. Back in 1930, people were saying talkies were a horrible, horrible mistake, and judging by 90% of the movies that came out that year you can really see their point. It's going to take a while before people learn how to use it properly. I find it interesting that both Scorsese and Jackson are now shooting in 3D, the latter at a different fps rate.

And oh yes HP 7.2 was fun. Thank you for being the only reviewer to mention what I consider the highlight of the movie: HBC in Gringott's, which was hysterical.
F Shelley
3. FSS
good review - i agree completely - especially about 3d. dear lord it sucks, although to be fair to the theater i was in, in IMAX 3d, it was better than normal. but why did my glasses get a foggy spot near my left eye that i needed to wipe away, smudging the rest of the movie?

oh, and as a gripe to the movie operator at Pier Park in Panama CIty FL - just because the volume control goes all the way to 10, does NOT mean you have to turn in all the way to 10. it was only during the previews, but seeing my wife and daughter with fingers in their ears because you think seeing a preview with volume so loud your ears bleed just pisses me off.
Daniel Goss
4. Beren
I have to agree with everyone who is talking about IMAX 3D. I actually haven't seen any 3D movies on regular screens (if I'm going to spring for extra for 3D, i'm going to pay enough to see it on the huge screen) so I don't actually have the point of comparison with regular theater 3D. IMAX 3D has always looked very good to me, but given what everyone has been saying I'll probably take my kids to the 2D version at the regular theater when we go next weekend.

That having been said, I do love the spectacle of 3D, and hope that it continues, and the technology continues to improve.

-Beren
Heidi Byrd
5. sweetlilflower
Yeah, this is why I saw the movie in 2-D. That being sadid, the movie was awesome! I clapped numerous times, couldn't help myself. My only gripe was that I was looking forward to seeing Kreatcher leading his army of house elves, but I can see why they cut it out.

And Mrs. Weasley totally kicks butt!
Christopher Orr
6. Daedalus
Honestly, it was not until you mentioned it here that I looked back in my memory and realized it was not Emma Watson playing Belatrix in Gringots.

That is some powerful acting. I am now wholly impressed and awed by HBC's ability. She honestly made me believe that she was Hermoine playing at being Belatrix (much more than the Gryffindor Three did during Deathly Hallows pt.1).
Loony
7. Loony
I saw HPDH:2 in IMAX 3D. My first 3D movie (18-month-old = not many trips to the theater) and probably my last. Could have seen it for $5 instead of $15, too.

LOVED HBC as Hermione being Bellatrix. One of the highlights.

Cried when Harry went to meet Voldy.

Loved Mrs. Weasley.

I did not pay any attention to the clock, couldn't care less, and didn't even think about the parts I missed seeing until it was all over. I also didn't leave to pee, which considering my gigantic pregnant-ness, is quite a feat.
Loony
8. Stefan Jones
I generally don't bother with 3-D, but read enough positive "this time they did it well" comments to decide, at last minute, to pay the extra $3.50.

It didn't bother my eyes, or dim the image especially. Early on, there was a good Wow Factor there. But . . . after a short while, I stopped paying attention to the depth effects. I don't think it would have made a great difference to watch it in 2-D.

That said:

I enjoyed the movie. I think it was an excellent adaptation of the book. The acting and production were top notch.

I'd forgotten about the appearance of Voldemort's soul-fraction in the afterlife train station. That was an enjoyable creep-out in the book, and appreciated in the movie.

Quibbles: A lot of important characters have mere cameo appearances. This makes their death, in some cases, have less impact than it should.

I kind of missed the presence of the Malfoys sitting in the ruins drinking tea with everyone else.
Thomas Jeffries
9. thomstel
One of these days they'll make a film that's only available in 3D. Then I suppose I'll have to give someone some money for doing something stupid. Here's hoping it's not The Hobbit...

In any case, some pros:
- How long was scene X/the film? WHO CARES.
- Incredible incredible incredible memory sequence with Snape in the Pensieve. I mean, just...man.
- Mr. Potter stepping forward in his own defense in the Great Hall. Omitting the scene with Harry breaking all cover to defend McGonagall's dignity made me very sad, but replacing it with that scene made up for it.
- Neville, you sly, nerdy, brave, magnificent, steadfast fool! I think the best suggestion I've ever seen regarding Rowlings' next tale should be the same 7-book series as a "What If Voldemort Had Killed Neville's Parents Instead of Harry's?".

And some cons:
- WTB House Elves, Hogwarts Ghosts, and Peeves CGI. I mean, you add the (admittedly decent-looking) giants and (decidedly B-movie) spiders for Team Dark. Could you not have at least tried? And I hear there are some centaurs about the school somewhere that might care that there's a battle going on...
- Magical duels...umm...yeah. Someone needs to explain again why there are only like a dozen spells, of which like three are for combat. Do they go to school for SEVEN YEARS to learn to flick their wrist while channelling the Priori Incantatum beams? Fifth film's duel in the Ministry put these ones to shame...
- Yes, unfortunately this includes (for me) the abbreviated brow-knitting of Molly and Bellatrix. Just went 'eh' while the theather exploded with applause.
- Neville, you sly, nerdy, brave, magnificent, steadfast fool! Goddammit man, pull her close and plant one on her! I want to see her feet leave the ground!
Loony
10. driceman
Fantastic movie. I saw it in 2D myself because I kind of saw the crumby 3D thing coming. Not that I'm related to Trelawney but... 3D is incredibly awful, regardless of the movie (yes, including Avatar). It's money grubbing, makes the movie look atrocious on several occasions, and it's obnoxious because when you watch it in 2D it's blatantly obvious where they changed the camera angle so the 3D would be more noticeable.

I can't wait until this stupid fad ends, honestly. In ten years, I'm positive people will look back and say "Ha! They put movies in 3D, how dumb filmmakers were back then."
Anastasia Burina
11. Radda
It was a great movie overall - solid and subtle in places, with some excellently done scenes, like Snape's memories. And I thought the epilogue was way less superfluous than the exhaustive description in the book. 
But half the time I kept imagining the pissed off director or scriptwriter shouting "I hate you, you'll have NO lines!" at an unfortunate actor. The sudden muteness of many characters was really screaming.  For instance, up till the killing of Bellatrix I wasn't even sure that Mrs. Weasley is really Mrs. Weasley and not a revamped professor Sprout or some other Hogwarts teacher. And, if not for the initials on a trunk, I would'n even recognize little James. Ironically, some scenes could use a bit less cliche monologues.

But all in all, a very good ending! Especially in 2D.
Ashley Fox
12. A Fox
Honestly I was disapointed. Yeah its a good film, some great moments. And some terribly moments. I mean would Voldemorrt really go 'ooh' in pain? He may as well just stub his toe and hop around hissing. And Radcliffs return of the blank -dont-I-Look-Like-Harry face rather than actual acting.

And I cant help feeling that the film, well, kind of missed the whole point really. The rise of the down trodden against suppression. How even the weakest, lowliest caste can rise up for what they believe in. They cut all of that out of the film! Ye it was alluded to with the escape of the dragon from Gringotts and Nevilles small line to Dumbledors bro when he arived out of the painting (if you know from the books the extent of the resistance). And yes they did do some justice by neville. But as others have mentioned, the house elves etc just were not there.

Also this film should have been a higher certificate. It has a massive bloody war between good and evil. Yet they couldnt show blows between actual people. Just cgi battles and sparking wands, and people falling over. This also meant that they dwelled less on the deaths. Which then gave them less meaning, undermined the sacrifices. I mean we are talking about children dying, and the film just glosses over it! Im not saying the violence should have been graphic, but more in keeping with the book, specially as regards the dead.

Whats worse is that another 15mins could have shown these elements.

And the dialogue was stilted, a lot of long points made by one character whilst the others just stood there waiting for the cue to action.

Honestly, I did enjoy this film, but these are faults I cannot overlook.
Loony
13. vsthorvs
Great effects? Was I the only one who thought the imperius spell looked like stunspore from Pokemon?

Loved the movie, cried for Snape, but the effects were not the high point.
Loony
14. Stefan Jones
"For instance, up till the killing of Bellatrix I wasn't even sure that
Mrs. Weasley is really Mrs. Weasley and not a revamped professor Sprout
or some other Hogwarts teacher."

Wow, I had the EXACT same problem! ("Hey, what happened to Professor Sprout's glasses?") It wasn't until the actual Sprout turned up did I realize who she was.

As A Fox notes, just a few scenes -- I don't think it would have taken nearly 15 minutes -- could have better established how things were going on the "home front," remind us who these characters were, and set up up for tragedy of the loss of some of them.
Loony
15. Delafina
I love me some Alan Rickman (in fact, I think his Snape is an improvement over the books' less complex character), but "his becomes the most heartbreaking unrequited love in fiction)"?

Seriously?

Love in a Time of Cholera? Great Expectations? Les Miserables? Werther? Cyrano de Bergerac? Don Quixote?
Danny Bowes
16. DannyBowes
@Delafina You're right, that probably should have said "one of the most." But I do rate it with all six you mentioned, in terms of emotional impact, if not artistry.
Loony
17. Tehanu
because he’s Alan Rickman, and I defy anyone to present evidence that he’s ever been anything but awesome.



The first time I ever saw Alan Rickman was in the BBC production of Barchester Chronicles, in which he played the unctuous Mr. Slope. I vividly recall it because he was introduced by another character and gave this really oozy smirk, without saying a single word -- and I turned to my husband and said, "This guy is fantastic!" And he's lived up to my assessment in everything else I've ever seen him in.
Loony
18. tkThompson
@DannyBowes - I think you're right about the epilogue, that it's superfluous. To me, the transition was a bit awkward, from the battlefield to just nineteen years later. But I think it could've worked, like it did in the book. I think it would've seemed less awkward if they had put the scene at the very end, by which I mean after the credits.

But over all, definitely one of the best adaptations with respect to the books. Definitely the right decision splitting it into two parts.
Birgit
22. birgit
and, by the way, the movie does a better job than the book of explaining how Ron learned how to speak Parseltongue; sure, that better job consists of actually providing an explanation, but still, it was a funny line, and Emma Watson’s reaction was priceless

The book does explain it: Ron heard Harry speak Parseltongue when he opened the locket Horcrux to destroy it.
Ian Gazzotti
23. Atrus
I have yet to see a 3D movie where the loss of light, the glasses and the inevitable headache are worth the extra bits. Whenever I can, 2D is my choice to go.

HBC as Hermione playing Bellatrix was amazing. For a minute I was actually convinced it was Emma Watson under that makeup.

As for the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, I think it worked much better in the book. Octopus Voldy in particular seemed to be there only to justify the 3D, and it results in a very silly Bond villain moment... I mean, no way Voldemort would have gripped Harry in the tentacles of doom only to LET HIM GO while the others were busy killing Nagini!
I'd have changed that for the explanation of how Harry's sacrifice protected Hogwarts like his mother's protected him - if you haven't read the books, you have to wonder how Molly can survive being hit by Bellatrix straight in the chest.
Jody Crocker
24. Jei
I wear glasses so adding the 3D glasses has always been a pain. Went to the 2D version last night. Loved the movie, but still prefer the books. We (my daughter & I) thought parts of the movie were a bit dark (visually), but that might have been just the local theater's problem.
Rickman was wonderful for his acting in the whole series of movies.
Debbie Solomon
25. dsolo
I loved the movie, but they should have added a few minutes to the actual battle at Hogwarts. I was very affected by Fred's death in the book, but the movie just zipped past it. Please, the Weasley twins are great characters - give us a moment. Also, they should have included Harry's protective spell on all of Hogwarts. I missed the ghosts also, although Peeves was never included in the movies. What happened to Grawp? Where were the centaurs? Hagrid didn't get to make his impassioned speech.

Neville - awesome! Loved it! Molly's moment should have been a bit longer. Really show that maternal rage after losing her son. I'm ready to see it again.
Loony
26. Laraine
Wow Thanks, Danny. I haven't caught up on the other movies yet (still haven't found out whether Phoenix was better than the book, which bored me rigid) so I'm looking forward to seeing it. But, as with all the others (apart from the first) it will have to be on DVD.
Loony
27. Grizzly
"and gets into a very short and decisively victorious wizard duel with Snape who, being no stranger to the notion of discretion’s superiority to valor, jumps out the window and gets as far away as possible."

Come on, the reason Snape 'lost' the duel against McGonagall was that he didn't want to hurt her. He wasn't really fighting, merely defending himself. As he did against Harry Potter in the end of Order of the Phoenix...
Arthur Harrow
28. Dr_Thanatos
Loved the film, would have liked to see some Luna-on-anyone action.

By the way, I loved how Ron faked the Parseltongue and his explanation was cute but I have a pet theory that makes the Parseltongue superfluous:

Everyone who ever opened the chamber of secrets had a horcrux with them . Having a piece of the Heir would seem more likely to be the criteria for opening the door to the Chamber than being able to speak Parsel, which Ron demonstrates can be done by a Good Guy...
Emmet O'Brien
29. EmmetAOBrien
I wouldn't use words like "inherently evil or bad" of 3-D, but to defend the aesthetics and the luminosity is only part of the point; my particular vision issues are such that 3-D reliably hurts my head rather a lot, and therefore I should favour the fad for such going away or at least becoming sufficiently much less popular that I can have a reasonable chance of seeing the sort of movies for which 3-D is a big selling point in 2-D also, which is not always a reliable option these days.
This response is based on regular-screen 3-D; I can't even watch 2-D movies on IMAX (because nobody makes IMAX theatres with the right proportions for me to be low enough relative to the screen to see it unless I am right at the front of the theatre) so watching anything in IMAX 3-D seems thoroughly counter-indicated.
Loony
30. veedub
@tehanu: i have two words for you: Galaxy Quest.

alan rickman can chew scenery better than anyone!
Robert Evans
31. bobsandiego
Read the books, after all seven were released I dislike being left hanging in a story, enjoyed them but not head-over-heels. I thought the movies were good adaptations, throughly enjoyed my moment of Neville. We saw it in 2D as my wife cannot stand 3D and I am 3D agnostic. Frankyl this fad seems to come every 30 years. The 50's, the 80's and not the 2010's. Hollywood keeps trying it and it keeps washing out. I expect the pass again.
Marcus W
32. toryx
3D is a boil on the hide of cinema. They should just stop it. Right now.

Seriously. No good can come out of a technology that actually encourages segregation. The more popular 3D becomes, the more present it is in our lives, the more difficult it'll be for people who can't handle 3D (because they just can't see it or because it actually makes them sick) to enjoy films, television, video games or whatever. It's just wrong. I can see 3D and I suffer no side effects whatsoever, but I simply can't stand the idea that there's yet another movement going around telling people, "You're not good enough. Go sit in the crappy small theater with the bad sound system and broken seats that we didn't bother to clean because you're unworthy." Which, if you live in a rural area, describes 90 percent of the non-3D equipped theaters. (Based on my experiences in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado and California over the last few years.)

Oh yeah, the movie. The movie was fun. I liked Part 1 and 2 better than any of the other Potter movie. Neville and Ma Weasely's moments of awesomeness were, simply, awesome. I was disappointed that Hermione didn't get to do more. And actually, I thought that Ron was the only one of them who genuinely looked older in the final scenes.

Poor Snape.
Loony
33. AndrewB
Let me say that I liked the movie, but did not love it. I think several items would have improved the movie (and thus allowing me to love it).

1) I would have liked the movie to be about 15 - 20 minutes longer.

a) You could have used this time to focus on more duels not involvnig Harry, Hermione, and Ron. The duels were Team Hogwarts defeated the death eaters during the second round would have been appreciated.

b) I thought the duel between Molly and Bellatrix was short-changed in the movie. It should have been more like the book. Bellatrix taking on Ginny, Luna (and say Cho to replace Hermione). Bellatrix nearly killing Ginny and then Molly taking over the fight. As it was, I unfortunately blinked at the wrong moment and missed Ginny almost dying. The fight Molly - Bellatrix fight was much too short.

c) as dsolo @25 noted above: Fred's death should have occured on screen. It would not have been necessary for Ron to witness it on screen as in the book. Instead, one could have had George witness Fred dying and then chasing after the death eater who killed Fred.

d) the movie should have shown Hagrid giving himself up to the spiders.

e) I would have preferred for Neville to kill the snake when he confronted Voldermort and the Death Eaters rather than during the middle of the second round. From a cinematic point of view, I would have kept in Neville's speech. I just would have had Harry throw on his cloak and disppear; Hagrid yell where is Harry, and then Neville kill the snake.

f) I think that it was necessary for the people of Hogsmeade, the centaurs and the house elves to assit team Hogwarts in the second round.

2) I can live with how Harry and Voldermort dueled in the movies (although as I stated above, I would have had Harry reveal himself to Voldermort in a manner more similar to the book). However, I would have had the end of their duel witnessed by everybody. I thought it was more effective in the book how their duel caused everybody else to stop what they were doing and watch. Having others witness the Harry / Voldermort duel would have allowed everybody to congratulate Harry.

3) A minor pet peave I had. Harry's parents were too old. IIRC, they were about 21 when Voldermort killed them. James and Lilly's spirts, however, looked closer to 30 than 20. (I understand the need to keep Sirus and Remus the same as they appeared on screen.)

To give the devil its due, several aspects of the movie turned out to be better than the book.

A) As I said above, Neville's speech about Harry living on in people's hearts was better than his stoic defiance in the book (and Neville's attempted burning by Voldermort). I would have like him to kill the sanke at the end of the speech.

B) In Snape's memory scene, Sanpe entering James and Lilly's home and holding Lilly's dead body. That was much more powerful than Snape finding a letter and photograph of Lilly in Sirius' house.

C) Ron and Hermione's on screen destroying of the horocrux. (Scene only related after-the-fact in the book)

D) Neville's scene on the bridge. (No counterpart in the book)

F) Harry's conversation with the Gray Ghost. Much more effective and dramatic in the movie. I thought it was a nice touch that it was Luna who suggested that Harry talk to her.

Comments and reactions welcomed.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Andrew
Loony
34. Amal
That part about Bonham Carter playing Emma Watson playing Bellatrix... I too now find myself wondering... Was that Emma Watson...?? Or Carter... The movie does to you doesn't it??? Haha...

Brilliant movie, I'd say. One of the best scenes of the movie is, hands down, the sequence in which McGonagall Transfigures all the statues and then like a kid, rejoices in performing the magic. Maggie Smith rocks.

But the show stealer was Alan Rickman. The scene in which he holds Lily's body and cries(another improvisation from the book) was marvellously done and actually made my heart stop. There are talks about his chances of receiving an Academy award nomination. Well, I'd be very happy.
Loony
35. Nadi
Although the movie title is Deathly Hallows there didn't seem to be much reference to the owner of the three being master over death etc. I liked Dumbledore's explanation in the train station sequence in the book. The movie did not explain why Harry did not die in the forest, did it?
Bill Reamy
36. BillinHI
I don't do crowds, so I waited until the 27th to see the movie. Overall, I thought it was very well done, especially in following the book more closely than most of the other movies have. Rickman's Snape was extremely well done. I first saw him in Dogma, so I always associate him with the Voice of God.

I was somewhat disappointed in the final duel between Harry and Voldemort being over-dramatized. I don't do 3D either, so I didn't realize until seeing the comments here that most of the extra stuff in their duel was probably done solely for the 3D effect.

I also thought Neville should have killed Nagini earlier and was very disappointed to see the extra attempts to kill Nagini with the basilisk fangs. Totally unnecessary, IMO.

I was also disapointed in the absence of Dumbledore's explanation of his past, especially exactly how his sister died (and how she got to be the way she was), but this was not absolutely necessary to the story, I suppose.

There were several other, mostly minor, points that were glossed over (omitted) in the movie, but they were minor and to be expected. I certainly realize that a book cannot be turned into a movie as is.

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