Harry Potter Movie Commentary: Deathly Hallows pt 2

Last night I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2, and I think it’s been long enough for me to have processed a few things. My observations are below the “more” cut to contain the spoilers.

  • I loved this movie, and part 1. I think, of all the movies since the first one, they were the most faithful to the book. Very few things were changed, and those that were made sense in terms of making it film-friendly.*
  • One thing that bothered me was the sudden addition of the mirror shard. I don’t recall it from any of the other movies. Given the serious lack of explanation but the importance of the mirror, I’m surprised people weren’t thoroughly confused. I know there have got to be people who’ve seen all the movies and never read the books thinking “what on earth is that?”
  • I loved the scene with the dragon escape. It was beautifully done, and I like that Hermione not only provides a brilliant method for escape but also frees a tormented animal in one go. That fits her so well, and hearkened back to Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • I wanted to see more explanation of the kids in the room of requirement fighting back against the Death Eaters at Hogwarts. In terms of just the movie, I didn’t understand why they were in that room and why they weren’t being punished for not sleeping in the dormitories… but were still expected to be at school assemblies. If that doesn’t make sense, then ponder the fact that they had to be questioned by Snape, but that they didn’t seem to be punished for not being in their (assigned) beds after curfew.
  • Helena Bonham Carter is a really amazing actress, but my favorite thing in this movie was when she was playing Hermione playing Bellatrix. The change in her facial expressions to match Emma Watson was very good.
  • I also loved the change in Alan Rickman; when he portrayed all of the bottled up emotions in Snape it was almost like a totally different character… but at the same time was so true to the character that it was just right.
  • I liked Neville and Luna together in terms of the movie, but I’m still glad that they weren’t together at the end of the books.
  • What happened to Kreacher? One of my favorite scenes from the book was when all the house elves charged forward to defend Hogwarts, led by Kreacher. It would have fit because they already had him in part one.
  • I liked getting to see Hermione destroy a Horcrux. Hers (besides Dumbledore and the ring) is the only one that’s “off-camera” in the book, and I think it made sense, what with Ron, Harry, and Neville all destroying one, that she should have her moment, too. I do wonder why none of the other Horcruxes fought like the locket, though. Didn’t Hermione have to face something scary?
  • The bit where the camera faded on Fred and George and Fred was the first to disappear made me cry in the theater.
  • Why does Ginny stay totally awkward with Harry? What happened to fiery Ginny (from the books) who had an amazing personality and confidence and was probably the most powerful person in her family magically? She’s a match for Harry for a reason, and not because she’s a shy, wilting flower. Come on, filmmakers. You should’ve given the girl some spunk.
  • I didn’t like that Neville didn’t know about the snake. I mean, it was super brave of him and all, but (from a storytelling perspective) I thought it was better when Harry told Neville in order to ensure that the Horcruxes would all get destroyed. As it was, Harry went into the forest unsure if the job would really be finished.
  • The resurrection stone looked different than I imagined, but I still liked it.
  • When did Tonks and Lupin have a baby? I mean, I know they did, but the movie never says so. It alludes to it when Tonks asks Harry (in part one) if he’s heard the news… and then nothing until Harry tells Lupin he’s sorry about his son not knowing him. Or did I miss something?
  • Most of these thoughts occurred to me afterwards, but the thing that bothered me the most while watching was that Harry’s death didn’t protect the people inside Hogwarts. The whole point (besides killing the Horcrux) was that he made the same sacrifice for his friends that his mother made for him, so that none of the spells would touch them. Maybe that was just against Voldemort, but there was an awful lot of bloodshed after the death scene.
  • I want to go see it again.

 

*I am not someone who gets upset when movies don’t follow books exactly, as long as the movies maintain their own inner consistency. The first experience I had with things being changed a lot from a book I loved was when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out in 2001; at the time I was beyond frustrated with all of the changes, but at the same time I really loved the movie… and so I learned to separate the two. Books are books and movies are movies; they are produced differently and often reach different audiences, though in the case of huge, popular things there’s a lot of overlap. The thing about movies is that they cannot perfectly reproduce a book scene for scene, or the movies would be several hours long and, frankly, boring. Some things have to be changed to be cinematic, and I’m okay with that. I am bothered by plot holes in the movies, though. The biggest one I can think of at the moment (besides those I’ve mentioned above) was that the Mauraders’ Map** never ever got explained in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Who are Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs? Well, we don’t know that unless we’ve read the book. So how does Lupin know how to work the map? Why does Harry’s Patronus take the form of a stag? And so on. That, to me, is a gaping plot hole for anyone who hasn’t read the books.

**I now own my very own Maurader’s Map!! ^_^

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