Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Movie Review

Last Friday I had the day off so I decided to go and watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Usually when I watch a Harry Potter film for the first time I know that there will be scenes that I wish were included and scenes I wish were not added. While I was disappointed with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I was pleased with David Yates's adaptation of Half Blood Prince but with Deathly Hallows being my favorite book, I wasn't sure what to expect. 

Right away the film starts out like the book with Snape arriving at Malfoy Manor. After this scene however there is a new scene involving Hermione and her parents mixed with shots of Ron at the Burrow and Harry at Privet Drive watching the Dursleys get ready to depart. I loved the added scene. It really sets the tone for the film as the trio says goodbye to the safety of home as they prepare to hunt horcruxes.  The feel of this film is very different as it is not set at Hogwarts but all over Britain. My favorite scenes include the seven "Potters", Harry and Hermione at Godric's Hollow, and scenes with Dobby. In the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets I found Dobby to be annoying but here his scenes are touching. I also liked the creative way that The Tale of the Three Brothers is told but it does take you out of the moment in some ways. 

One thing I will note is that it appears that Harry seems to have forgotten about his invisibility cloak. It did not make a single appearance. I don't remember him using it in the Half Blood Prince film either and I wonder if perhaps the filmmakers don't like the special effects used to render Harry "invisible" but show us the cloak. For whatever reason, it is not used although it has a bearing on the story in Deathly Hallows. I also found myself laughing at Harry as Runcorn in the Ministry. In the book, Runcorn is a threatening figure and Ministry employees are afraid of him. He may not be a Death Eater but he very visibly shares their views. Here, the Polyjuice Runcorn walks like he needs to visit the facilities very badly and raises a laugh from the audience instead.

The film is mostly true to the vision of the book with a few changes and of course the typical lack of explanation. Really anyone who watches the films without having read the books is probably very bewildered by this point! It is entertaining to read Roger Ebert's reviews of the Potter films because he has not read the books.  Overall, I thought this was a fantastic movie and I will probably go and see it again (and watch it many times on DVD). As it was coming to a close I couldn't help but wish that I could watch the whole thing at once instead of waiting until July to see the conclusion!

Have you seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? What did you think of it? Did you feel that it was true to the spirit of the books?

1 comment:

  1. I had the same thought about the invisibility cloak. If he didn't want to use it in ever scene thats fine, but remind those who haven't been reading that he has it.

    I was really impressed by how much Yates included. I've been so used to being disappointed in the films the first few times I see them, but after seeing Deathly Hallows twice over the weekend I just enjoyed it more.


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