Saturday, November 20, 2010
I hereby declare UAE movie theater audiences (at least the one in Ajman today) to be the worst ever in my personal experience. First there was the listening-to-music-out-loud-on-the-cell-phone thing, but that was only during the previews, so whatever.
Then there were the cell phones ringing. And the cell phones beeping loudly to announce the arrival of text messages. And then the continued ringing of phones and then the answering of said phones and carrying on conversations on said phones at normal voice volume. During the movie. I don't understand it. Why did you pay 30 dirhams to talk on your cell phone with Harry Potter 7 on as background noise?
Anyway, HP7. My verdict: good but not great. I'm going to withhold final judgment until I see Part 2. There were a few important things that I felt were skimmed over too much, but who knows - they may get their due in the final movie. (Highlight to reveal possible spoilers: Specifically, I was wondering why the movie left out the fake/real part of the sword of Gryffindor plot and the Hogwarts students' role in its recovery, Dumbledore's history or at least more than a mention of his brother, and the kids' ingenious use of the invisibility cloak.)
Another weakness was the lack of humor. The previous two movies especially have been careful to balance all the dark and scary stuff with plenty of light moments. This movie, not so much. There were a few attempts but honestly they couldn't help but fall flat when you stopped to think that their safe little Hogwarts world was in tatters.
However, I loved the director's continued focus on relationships, especially that among the three main characters. That's really the best thing about the three most recent movies. HP1 and HP2 were mostly just astonishingly faithful to the books. I remember being shocked by HP3 because it took so many liberties with but was still faithful in spirit to the source material. HP4 was entertaining if rushed though the end was actually quite moving. But it wasn't until HP5 that I really started to feel for these characters beyond a surface-level interest in the story I loved from the books. I loved that the movies at that point became more than just a story about a boy. It was a story about a boy and his friends who stood together for good.
If I had to choose a favorite, it would be HP6 because not only did we get a brilliant and often hilarious movie with a strong central relationship among Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but Dumbledore was added into the mix for extra poignancy.
So again, I really liked HP7. But for now HP6 is, in my opinion, the better movie. At least until I see Part 2. I can hardly wait!