action movie adaptation (literature) coming-of-age Drama fantasy female hero great actress male hero people Teenager

Harry Potter 7.2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011) by David Yates

This is where Potter continues – and ends. And it is as many have said: an era ends. We have all grown up or older with him and his friends and it is sad to see them all go. But if you have to go, go in a blast of fire and rubble and don’t look back, I guess.

First of all, the movie was dark. Those who have thought it was darkest last, have come to know an even darker dark. But it was magnificently shot – just think of that early shot of Snape standing in that window, it was fantastic. The dark figure, the grey backdrop… fantastic.

Finally, we got to see all of Snape’s (Alan Rickman) story and it is a bitter one. Having been in love with Harry’s mom, Lilly, from an early age, he had to watch her falling for that no-good Potter guy. Don’t tell me, you did not feel for him there, it was so sad. And, of course, he was an almost good guy in the way he protected Harry and even killed Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Well, I was one of those who always thought that the headmaster’s faith in him was not misplaced, so there.

And another one got part of the action: Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis). And he is the secret hero of the whole showdown – as he was also in the book. I love the scene where he walks into the middle of the baddies and says: “I am Neville Longbottom.” and everybody laughs but he certainly raises the spirit. Another thing I love with the Harry Potter-franchise is, that I think all actors stuck to it (I think Dumbledore was the only main character who was played by more than one actor – due to Richard Harris’s death). To see those boys and girls grow up. Remember Ginny (Bonnie Wright) from the first movie? I do. And Neville has grown into a man before our eyes – he was always brave but he finally got to be the hero.

While I loved most things about the last installment, there are some things… well, what happened to Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), people? Suddenly, she grows all soft on us and just drools over Ron and tells him how awesome he is? WTF? You know, Hermione is my favorite character (Bellatrix Lestrange is a close second – go figure), and she has always been quite the heroine, someone little girls can look up to. And then she kisses Ron and is turned into his lapdog? Wrong move all together. Because it feels like girls have to be sweet and doleful to get a guy, because Hermione did not get much from Ron when she was always better at everything… it just feels wrong, is all.

I have already mentioned the difficulties I had with taking Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) seriously. That still holds. Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) was such a great villain, she was so mean, so… evil. And Voldemort never got his s**t together. I mean, he couldn’t even be called evil because he failed at every attempt at it. His minions were always more successful at spreading terror than him. Maybe next time we just need a strong female adversary for our superhero (or preferably superheroine) and not some dude without nose and strange manerisms. Just saying.

All in all, though… it is hard to believe that Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) gone, that Hermione’s gone (and a wife and mother – I did not like the ending in the book or in the movie… it’s too heteronormative, and altogether disturbing…), that Ron’s (Rupert Grint) gone. We’ll miss ’em. We will even miss Draco (Tom Felton) and his weirdly colored hair… another thing I would have liked to see (again in the book and the movie): a coming out of the wizarding world. I mean, there has been much that happened in the muggle world that was related to the war between good and evil wizards and you, Joanne K. Rowling, are telling us that after the final battle we have all gone back to normal? Pity that, ’cause how great would it have been if the Hogwarts Train in the end had left from platform 7, instead of 9 3/4?

Oh, one last word to Maggie Smith: KAZOOM, lady, KAZOOM!

action movie adaptation (literature) coming-of-age Drama fantasy Teenager

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) by David Yates

I did not watch HP and the Half Blood Prince at the movies, it was mostly my stupidity that got me left with watching the DVD when it was finally available and I wasn’t that impressed… maybe because it was only the DVD. But this one… I LOVED. And I mean it.

Given, the 7th book had its lengths, especially when they were waiting for something to happen in the woods, in the tent, but fortunately the movie does not have these – or maybe only a little. I finally thought of the sight of the tent as a running gag, it cheered me up during the dark narrative when Ron leaves and Hermione and Harry are all alone…

Okay, I put that in there on purpose but I had this notion ever since the third movie: don’t you think that visually Hermione and Harry are a much better match than Hermione and Ron? Of course, Ron and Harry make a cute couple also, but… I don’t know. Could be just me.

I think what I liked best about this movie was that there was soooo much Hermione. For me, who always thought that she should be the hero of the books, it was perfect. Emma Watson was perfect.

So was Helena Bonham Carter. I like Bellatrix’ approach on things, straight-forward, mad-eyed. She’s such a wonderful villain – much better, by the way than Ralph Fiennes who seemed almost comical at times (and I am still wondering if his nose will ever grow back…).

There were some things that were missing in comparison to the book, of course. I mostly missed Dumbledore’s funeral. Hence, one (read: me) was a little confused at the scene when Voldemort plundered Dumbledore’s grave. The scene looked a little out of place…

We finally meet Ron’s other brother, though. What was his name? Bill. Still, no word of Charlie, and Percy seems to have disappeared as well and with him the whole discussion of him being a spy for the Ministry of Magic. A pity, really. I liked his pompousness in the first (I think) two movies.

Still, an overall very powerful movie. Loads of action, fast editing, great additional characters, though I think Narissa Malfoy is a little colorless (well, her role is not very elaborate, so, I guess it is to be expected).

In the end, Ron was right: He and Harry would not last two days without Hermione (or two hours, for that matter).