Monday, July 25, 2011


It's done. It's over. Finished. I've seen it: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

Of course, to stretch out the enjoyment (and delay the sad inevitable), Jeremy and I re-watched HP1-7.1. I wasn't really sure that today was the day for HP7.2 until we finished HP7.1 last night. Then it was time. And now it's over.

There's not much to speculate about HP7.2 as a film. There's no more, "maybe they'll pick that up in the next movie," or "I wonder where they're going with that story arc?" or "if they changed that here, they'll have to fix it later on." The HP film canon is set in stone now and can be examined as a whole. I thought HP7.2 was a brilliant conclusion, a capstone that finished off HP7.1 as well as it did the other six movies. Coming down from the high of watching it, no serious deficiency comes to mind: it was well paced, action-packed, thoughtful, and emotional when it needed to be. Consider that I knew exactly what was going to happen in this movie (having read the book a couple of times), and it was still thrilling to watch.

The acting was solid (as well it should be, lo these ten years on), and we got to re-visit all the people and places that we've come to care about. The final battle was terrifying and exciting, and perhaps even more lucidly carried out than it was in the book. The most delicate part of the book, dealing with Snape's dying memories, was treated with the utmost care and detail and ended being one of the most poignant parts of the movie. That was one of my favorite sequences, along with the part where Helena Bonham Carter got to play Emma Watson playing Hermione Granger playing Bellatrix Lestrange. Hilarious.

I went into HP7.2 hoping I'd have at least as good of a time as I did watching HP6. My expectations were blown away.

However, I said earlier there were no serious deficiencies. There are certainly some minor quibbles. Some of them can be excused because until HP6, they were making movies before all the books were even out. So things were left out or adjusted here and there that ended up being important later on, but what can you do? You can read the books, that's what, and that way when you watch HP7.2 you won't be completely in the dark re: the broken piece of mirror, or the room of requirement, or the sword of Gryffindor, or any number of other details that understandably didn't get the rich treatment in the movies that they got in the books. I wonder if the movie would have been better served if it had left out subplots like Dumbledore's sister (or even Grindelwald) entirely, rather than give them such short shrift.

Anyway, I can't wait to watch it again, that's for sure. And even though there will never be another first time (or will there?), the books and the movies will always be there, waiting for another run-through.


Nancy said...

We went to HP7.2 the other day...and then watched HP1 a few days later.

Wow. The differences were shocking. Like the vault? It's all cob-webby in HP1 but sparkly clean in HP7.2

After we got over feeling like we were creeping someone else's baby book, though, we ended up enjoying ourselves. :)

I'm glad you watched HP7.1 before going to 7.2 because we didn't and we found ourselves going, "Wait. What? Where are we? Why is Snape there and how many horcuxes in are we...?" Anyway, I would recommend watching 7.1 before going to anyone.

Liz Johnson said...

Ok, please don't hate me, but I have never seen a HP movie. And I only read the first book (and wasn't a huge fan).

That said... I kind of want to watch the movies. Is it complete blasphemy to watch the movies without reading the books first?

Nancy said...

No. I didn't read the books until 2007. But I did see the movies with my family when they came out...

I could not, could not, could not read the first book. It bored me to tears. I tried time and again.

My husband told me to start with book 3, so I did and it was much more interesting...and I got introduced to the world and ended up loving it. I'm not like, die-hard, dress-up, trivia-knowing or anything, but I do find it enjoyable. Now. Not before. But definitely now.

Bridget said...

Liz, I think you could watch and enjoy the movies, but you'd have to accept that there are going to be holes here and there. But maybe it would all make sense. I can't help myself from filling things in from the books so I don't know how it would be for you.

Nancy, I don't love the HP books until book 3 (and then book 5 is another lower point for me).

Tyler Ball said...

I agree, they would be enjoyable without reading the books, but for sure you would be confused at points as many clarifying details are left out. I think books 4 & 5 almost made better movies than books, but 3, 6, & 7 are very exciting reads.


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