Harry Potter movies just cannot win.
Being a franchise fueled by rabid fans, they are somewhat doomed to fail from the outset, thanks to the merciless nitpicking that is just part of the rabid-fan package. Of course, this same crazy-ass audience also guarantees that every one of these movies is a box-office hit, if nothing. So of course, I went in to watch the seventh installment with my skeptic’s hat very much in place (albeit tempered by nostalgia and the hope that this one would somehow be Different).
That being said, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part- I was a pleasant surprise. For once, this fangirl at least was left satisfied with the plot-coverage. Although much like its predecessors (except, perhaps, movies 1 & 2) it will still be at best hard-to-follow for anyone who hasn’t previously read the books, I thought the essence of the story was well captured. The explanation of the Deathly Hallows was well done and the animation that went with, was downright lovely. The same can be said of the locations of shooting. Director David Yates had described the movie as being shot in a ‘road-trip’ (but better: apparition, ha ha!) style, and I think that definitely came through. On the acting-front, I will go so far as to say that Emma Watson may actually be developing some acting skills, Rupert was fun to watch seeing as Ron is not treated as caricature/comic relief this time around, and Daniel is decent, as well. The movie ended at a smart point plot-wise, so I give my approval there, too.
It’s not all good, though. The most obvious disappointment was that Dumbledore’s back-story was missing, except for a reference to Rita Skeeter’s ‘scandalous’ book on the subject. Seeing as it was an important story-thread in the book, I am baffled by their ignoring it completely. It would definitely have added to the plot and will, I think, leave some gaping plot-holes, come part-2. My second gripe is about the Harry/Hermione “moments” that were obviously designed to add another layer of drama to the mix for those who hadn’t read the books. I wouldn’t complain about this if it weren’t for the fact that it caused them to leave out the great Harry/Ron confrontation scene (Chapter 19, DH) as this would obviously clear up the triangle they’d been projecting through the movie. NOT a good bargain, WB! They also left out the Lupin/Harry confrontation scene, although I missed this less.
Other things I enjoyed:
* The entire sequence at the Ministry of Magic– the actors playing the trio playing Ministry officials picked up their (trio’s) mannerisms and were really fun to watch.
*Dobby’s death-This really was painful to watch as it was to read.
*Xenophilius Lovegood: (Short version)Whoever told Rhys Ifans he could act told a blasphemous lie.
* Will Helena Bonham Carter ever tone it down?!
* Neville calling Death Eaters ‘Losers’ ? Yeah, I don’t think so.
All in all, I think it will satisfy fans of the series and is much better than movies 4-6. Bottom-line: 3-stars. And I’ll throw in a recommendation, why not?