I am obviously going to have a lot to say about this, as I can basically chart the last 10 years or so of my life based on the release of HP books and movies. To know how I felt about the movie (you are reading this, so lets assume you care) I would start by reading This…
I agree with basically everything that is stated in that review, right down to his description of how moving the sound track was. I am typing this through puffy eyes as I spent the better part of the hours of 12am- 3 am in tears last night. The best thing that I think I can say is that the film did not disappoint. If you know how seriously I take my criticism of Harry Potter movies, you know how big of a statement this is.
I have read, and reread the last 4 or five chapters of Hallows over and over the last few weeks. To me, the story from the time of Snape’s death, to the time of Harry’s rebirth is the most crucial period in the entire series. It was my deepest hope for this film that they would not do what they did with so many other key factors in the films (I speak now to you, guy who never mentioned that Harry’s patronus was a stag for a reason in film 3) and blow it.
I can say now, they simply did not. I could literally almost talk along with the characters during the final scenes, because the film makers did such a good job sticking to the source material (FINALLY!!!).
The major themes of the book… love, loss, friendship and self-sacrifice, were all well represented. The key theme to the entire series, that it matters not who we are born to be, but who we chose to be that truly matters, was (DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN”T SEEN IT) heart-wrenchingly apparent as Severus Snape held the lifeless body of his life-long love, Lilly Evans-Potter.
My biggest criticism of the films to this point has always been, I simply cannot understand why they make the choice to cut what they cut and add what they add (I still have not been given a good explanation as to what the hell Belatrix and Greyback were doing attacking the Burrow if film 6). This time, the changes were almost all for the better. Most of the small changes made no difference to the film, and in many cases, made it a better film (Harry confronting Snape in the great hall before he “does a bunk” was an awesome addition).
There were still a few head-scratchers (how did Luna get into the Room of Requirement before Harry, Ron and Hermione?).
To me, the most important part was, The Princes’ Tale, Into the Forest Again, and Kings Cross were perfect. And for this Harry Potter fanatic, that was all I really needed. Could it have been longer? Yes, of course. Could they have done a bit more with the Dumbledore-Harry-Hallows back story that was largely left out of the films (both 7.1 and 7.2) yes, of course. Could Harry have explained more to a confused and scared Tom Riddle about how and why the Elder Wand did not work for him as it should, yes, again, of course. But for me, finally, I am able to separate the books from the films and enjoy the two individually.
The question has always been, how badly are they going to butcher my books? This time, they simply did not. As a side note, after re-watching Chamber of Secrets with Av yesterday, I have a new respect for films 1 and 2. They were meant for a young audience, and she absolutely loved it. I can now set these films aside in my mind, hold them in a special place, separate and apart from my books and enjoy them for what they are.
“The Last Enemy that Shall Be Conquered is Death”