Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
It opens at the close.
What can I say? My most anticipated movie of the year. The end of my favorite series of all time. It's bittersweet. I've been a Potter fan for a long time and my excitement for this movie has been off the wall. I caught Part 1 and 2 at my theater back to back at midnight on Thursday. I love going to midnight movies, the crowds are always so excited. There was lots of clapping in the screening I attended. Claps for The Dark Knight Rises Teaser, claps for the random that ran through the theater and screamed "Harry Potter..fuck yeah!", claps for Ron and Hermione's kiss, claps for Molly Weasley's infamous line, and loud cheers at the end. Overall, everyone seemed to have left pleased.
Part 2 picks up right where we last left our trio. Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has stolen the elder wand from Dumbledore's grave, and our trio are still at Shell Cottage having just escaped from Malfoy Manor. Harry, (Daniel Radcliffe) Ron, (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) have an idea where the next horcrux is; and its hidden in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at the uber-protective Gringott's Bank. We jump right right into Gringotts, then right to the final battle which takes up 3/4 of the film. The pacing is quick, almost too quick. Part 2 has the shortest run time of all the Harry Potter films.
I've tried my hardest not to compare the book and movie, it's almost impossible but I have to say I really, REALLY enjoyed this film for what it was. It was dark, it kept most of the scenes from the book in there while altering a few for cinematic sake. The one thing I really didn't enjoy was Harry and Voldemort's final battle. Not the battle itself, but the fact that it didn't take place in front of everyone. In the novel, Harry and Voldemort face off in the Great Hall in front of all the survivors, this makes Harry's win more triumphant. Now they fight in the courtyard alone. Even though the fight itself was still good, I thought it took away from the story with everyone else not being there to witness is. I was also a little bummed they didn't show Fred's death the way it was told in the book. That was one of the most emotional parts, and it felt like an afterthought.
But then again, there were a few things changed from the book that I enjoyed. Snape's memories: They added a few scenes and it made it more emotional and raw. Snape was always one of my favorite characters, especially when you hear his story. I'm glad Snape got his moment. I remember reading that Snape's scene wasn't going to take place in the Shrieking Shack and I was a little upset. After seeing the scene in the lake house, I thought it worked perfectly. Ron and Hermione's kiss in the Chamber of Secrets? I'm fine with that. With Steve Klove's piss poor screen writing I was afraid they wouldn't kiss at all. I'll take what I can get. Also a minor change, the left out the part where "fiendfyre" destroys horcruxes. That felt like an "oh, by the way" moment in the book, so when they stabbed the horcrux with the Baslisk fang first, I didn't complain.
Overall, I thought it was a wonderful send off to a wonderful series. I could talk about Harry Potter for days. Do I think this will be an Academy Award nominee at the end of the year? I hope so. I'd love if it snuck into the 10 possible Best Picture nominees. I would love even more if Alan Rickman got a nomination for his performance as Severus Snape. It's a long shot, but he was great and he hasn't been nominated yet. That's got to happen some time soon. The epilogue was as sweet as it was in the book. I was worried about the age enhancing make up, but I thought they looked good and I found it really heartwarming. I'll be seeing this in theaters a few more times.
Memorable Quote: "Not my daughter, you bitch!" - Molly Weasley (Julie Walters)