Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Decade of Fans Not Knowing What's Next

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2: 4.5/5

I was really nervous to see this movie, as well as over-the-moon excited. With this melting pot of emotions jumping around in my stomach, it's quite shocking I didn't throw them all back up. Sitting in the IMAX theater was torture. One moment I was whispering to my boyfriend "I'm not ready for this movie yet," and then I would be squirming in my fo-leather chair squealing "This is it! One more hour!"
Finally the Warner Brothers logo appeared and the whole theater was silent (well, except for the one Texan guy who shouted "Well, Hello Voldy," but he was promptly threatened to shut up by his hissing girlfriend seconds later). Munching on popcorn and politely sipping at my cherry coke, I laughed, I cried, and I cheered until Harry's Wondrous World play at the end credits.
The film was so different than I imagined it from the books; and sure, almost all of it was previously teased in trailers, clips, and featurettes, but there was something about it that made this movie deeply contrast from the book (by far more than any previous film) that no clip of trailer could have forewarned me about.
Though many of the changes were subtle and albeit unnoticeable to some, there were many and surprisingly a lot of the changes actually worked! This film skipped chapters, deleted scenes, killed new characters and changed the course of events ever so slightly, that the film was drastically different. I feel like I experienced the whole end as new again, and I am forever grateful to experience that wave of emotion twice in my life.
So that being written, I must start out with my favorite things! Pardon my bullet-point style, but I feel like in this case it flows best! I must also say now, many of these contain **SPOILER ALERTS**.
- We'll start off with the one thing I can't stop raving about. One name, two words: Narcissa Malfoy. One could have never guessed from the unbreakable vow scene that it was the beginning of a beautiful crafted, fabulously acted subplot about the Malfoy family. The focus on her love for her son and husband was a lot more focused than the books. Everyone got the gist of what went on with the Malfoys and made very accurate educated guesses, but our wonderful JK never really let her readers dive into the Malfoys train of thought because we followed the train of thought of our hero protagonist. The key scene here would be Narcissa holding hands with her son Draco, quickly walking away from the Dark Lord as Lucius looks back timidly. WONDERFUL <3.
- Lavender Brown dying was so shocking and tragic. Her character was so much biggest in Half-Blood Prince, that it was almost perfect that she had to die. I couldn't handle the surprise, and I burst into tears repeating to myself "Lavender's not supposed to die." It was just the type of shock-value the movie needed for the hard-core book fans who lined up 13 hrs before the midnight movie.
- George asking Fred how he's feeling prior to the battle was so beautiful. I cried as well, knowing Fred's soon-to-be deathly fate.
- And oh how Lord Voldy was ruthless. Reading the books, you know this, but you can't possibly fathom his wickedness. The movies clear that right up for you. He kills people that are on his side when he's furious that his plan in not going accordingly. His cruel laughter at Neville when he discovers he's in fact a Longbottom. His order for Nagini to repeatably bite Severus to his death...even after the awkward hug he hands Draco, I still found him unbelievably sinister.
- Though I love the majestic quality of the Ravenclaw common room, for the film I am glad Luna warned him against this pointless measure (even though she leads him to it in the books).
- Ron and Hermione's Chamber of Secrets kiss was as exciting and sudden as the books and their undying lvoe for another really sparkles and shines through. Also when Ron chases after Draco and his gang in the Room of Requirement shouting "That's my girlfriend!" the waterworks started yet again.
- Neville really shined in this film. He some some great heroic moments, like killing the snake obviously; but his detroying of the Howarts bridge was very brave, and when he fell with it I was genuinely scared for his life. And when he realizes his feelings for Luna, I squealed.
- Hermione hugging Harry and saying "I'll go with you," before he turns himself in is really great.
- Snape's memory was so simple, and like the books so impacting. His love for Lily Evans was pulsing through the screen. Holding her dead body was devastating. It seems Alan Rickman knew a deeper, more passionate Severus than possibly JK knows, even though it was she who revealed Snape's true remedial qualities quite early on to Rickman.
- And finally...the finale. Playing Harry's Wondrous World got me wishing there was more, but knowing there was not. The shot being so similar to the first film made me really want to go back and experience this all again. Sadly, this is not possible.

And now for the disappointing and slightly nerve-killing parts.
- The pacing of the movie was really fast, but I'm sure if watched back to back with Part 1 this problem would cease.
- Was Neville going to really kill the snake?! Oh my god, I didn't know and I was worried. Harry, Hermione, and the Ron all threaten to do the deed that gets Neville his brownie points, and I wanted to punch them all when I thought this was going to happen.
- Harry does not break the Elder Wand before fixing his wand, and when he does not go to the bridge with his two best friends and threaten to jump off it either. WRONG. I refuse to believe this ending, it still makes me angry. Luckily the 19 years later part kept my mind off it, because if I ended on the furious note, things would have been a lot uglier in this review.
- And where was Dumbledore's back story? I really did miss this, even though one article I read said it was really unneeded for a feature film that's supposed to be focusing on Harry. I get it, I understand that, but they cast Grindelwald, so why not include the subplot???
- And I really did miss Grawp and the house elves at the very end. Disappointing and so sad.
- Oh, and there's goes Hermione stealing all the good lines again. Sorry Harry, I know it's your idea to take the dragon, but you have been put in quote time-out with Ron.
- And movie Harry, you seem to know so much more than you let on. In fact, I believe you can read minds! How did you know the mirror was Sirius's? He never showed or gave it to you! And knowing about Lupin's son?! Well, apparently I wasn't watching the films closely enough to see these hidden powers you seemed to possess.
- And finally...the finale. Apparently red heads grow up to be fat or chunky, while all the others stay skinny and young looking. Poor Ron, he never stood a chance.

So this is it, the end of the Harry Potter era. There are no new books to be read, no new movies to be seen. This is the end of everyone's "childhood." But it's not really, is it? Because "the ones that love us never really leave us," and "have a way of coming back to us in the end." Because Hermione's heart-filled words are true, and as she hugs Harry telling him she will go with him, we all feel the same way. As Dumbledore states in both the book and the movie, "Of course it is happening inside your head...but why on earth does that mean it is not real?" Harry Potter is real and lives on in all great fans' hearts, even when his story has come to an end.

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