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harry potter & the deathly hallows part 2
“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” It’s hard to believe that the end has come and gone, but what an end it was. Like the crazy fan I am, I went to the midnight premiere with my sister, our best friend, and her mum. We waited in line for three and a half hours in order to get a good seat (we ended up first in line for our showing!)! It was absolutely and completely worth it. Walking out of the theatre afterward, I was unsure how I felt about the film. It was just so big and huge that it was hard to process, not to mention the fact that it was about two-thirty in the morning. Anyhow I had a hard time focusing and creating any cohesive thoughts about it, so I decided to wait until I saw it a second time before writing out how I felt.
The following commentary contains major spoilers for the book & film series.
I will begin by simply acknowledging that the acting of every single person in this film was completely, bloody brilliant!! Everyone took their job and skills to a whole new level. A second thing I want to comment on is just how gorgeously this film, the entire series really, has been shot. It just has such great visual beauty. From the smallest sequences to the landmark places, all of it is just lovely to watch. Also before I began to comment on the things I was not a fan of, I want to make it clear that I adored this movie. It’s a glorious, emotional end to an amazing, fantastical journey.
01. Fred’s death, or lack thereof
One of my least favorite and most emotionally upsetting deaths over the course of the series is when Fred perishes in the early stages of the Battle at Hogwarts. The only thing I could find comfort in was the way his death is carried out. It is only fitting that he would die with a smile. All that said, I was EXTREMELY disappointed at how his death is not at all shown onscreen. We only get to see his family grieving over his dead body, while emotional, it is just not the same, and it was quite a disappointment.
02. Nagini’s death
I love, love, love the way that Nagini is killed in the books. It is such a huge moment for Neville. Harry has died, it appears Voldemort may have won, and Neville is willing to face Voldemort to do what Harry told him was necessary. It is such a heroic scene. The way they changed the moment in the film makes it feel more like Neville’s just in the right place, right time. It does not seem like such a deliberate act, a choice for Neville.
03. Harry’s return revealed
The scene when everyone gathers in the Great Hall, when Voldemort threatens punishment unless Harry is turned over, and the Slytherins are questioning why he is not, is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE moments in the entire book. The way the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and the Hufflepuffs all rise to protect him is chilling, in a good way.
“Before Harry could speak, there was a massive movement. The Gryffindors in front of him had risen and stood facing, not Harry, but the Slytherins. Then the Hufflepuffs stood, and almost at the same moment, the Ravenclaws, all of them with their backs to Harry all of them looking toward Pansy instead, and Harry, awestruck and overwhelmed, saw wands emerging everywhere, pulled from beneath cloaks and from under sleeves.” – Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, p. 610
I love the following part as well where McGonagall offers anyone of age the chance to stay and fight.
“Slowly the four tables emptied. The Slytherin table was completely deserted, but a number of older Ravenclaws remained seated while their fellows filed out; even more Hufflepuffs stayed behind, and half of Gryffindor remained in their seats, necessitating Professor McGonagall’s descent from the teachers’ platform to chivvy the underage on their way.” – Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, pps. 610-611
Seeing Hogwarts, well most of it, unite like that is completely and utterly epic. Seeing it on film would have been….it would have been something that is impossible to describe. Unfortunately the scene that ended up in the film is much more underwhelming, although I do love Harry’s confrontation with Snape that was written in for the film. Plus in the film McGonagall orders the Slytherins taken to the dungeons, but in the book they are simply escorted from the castle. Having them taken to the dungeons just seems very out-of-character for her. I really did not like that at all.
4. Harry leaves
When Harry determines that he must die in order for Voldemort to truly become vulnerable, he leaves Hogwarts without telling anyone of his plans. This changes in the film as on his way out he meets Ron & Hermione and discusses it with them. The biggest reason I do not like this is because it takes away the emotional punch the reader/audience would get when Ron & Hermione would really have to discover, shockingly, that Harry has died. Yes, in the film they still must see Harry dead, but it is not a surprise to them and it changes their reaction.
“Ron’s, Hermione’s, and Ginny’s voices were worse than McGonagall’s; Harry wanted nothing more than to call back…” -Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling p. 730
5. The casting of the patronuses
This ends up being a very brief and minute sequence in the middle of the battle during the film. In the book, however, this scene is quite a touching moment, especially between Harry & Luna, it’s absolutely beautiful.
“That’s right,” said Luna encouragingly, as if they were back in the Room of Requirement and this was simply spell practice for the D.A. “That’s right Harry…come on, think of something happy…”
“Something happy?” he said, his voice cracked.
“We’re all still here,” she whispered, “we’re still fighting. Come on, now…” -Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling p. 649
6. Snape’s Memories
I think the memory sequences is very nice in the film, but it does not do Lily & Snape’s relationship justice at all. I think, perhaps, if they had included more of the memories from when the two were teens it would have had more of an impact.
Plus the way they tried to make Alan Rickman young just kind of creeps me out at times.
I really wish that they had shown Hermione, Luna, and Ginny dueling Bellatrix. I especially do not like the way Bellatrix just freezes or stuns(?) Ginny in the film like she is nothing, when Ginny has been proven as a very capable, powerful witch.
Changes I Loved
1. Neville & Luna <3
I was never happy with how these two ended up in the book. Luna with Dean just did not feel right to me. When I watched Order of the Phoenix, there is just the smallest moment, but for some reason I have adored Luna & Neville ever since!
When Neville pulls her out of the way, saving her, it just gets me. Yes, I know I am strange, but ask my sister, the oddest little things in film/tv attract my attention & love. So the way these two end ‘together’ in the film was a huge plus for me!
02. “The boy who lives…come to die.”
In the book, Voldemort casts Avada Kedavra after simply saying, “the boy who lives.” In the film the, “come to die,” part is tacked on and I really love it. *chills*
03. Harry & Ginny’s mid-battle kiss
These two have really grown on me recently. I really was not sure I liked that they ended up together, but that has definitely changed. I think the kiss is really fitting and it just shows how well the two of them understand each other.
There were other changes that I really liked, but at the moment they are completely slipping my mind. The film really as quite impressive. Helena Bonham Carter, as always, is absolutely brilliant as Bellatrix. The Trio and Alan Rickman are also given some more heavy material to work with here, which is beautiful to see. There were many small/big things that irritated me a bit, but in the great scheme of things, I think the film is quite good. I’m not sure I like it more, or as much, as Deathly Hallows Part 1, which is my favorite film, but it is probably a close second. This is a must see film for anyone who has followed the series and enjoyed it thus far.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Screencaps are from Home of the Nutty.