Every time a new Harry Potter movie comes out I go through the standard stages of movie nerdom. Excitement, Concern, Extreme Anticipation, Fear, Joygasm.
An explanation for those not accustomed: Excitement at the prospect of the movie itself and how awesome it’s going to be. Concern that it’s going to be somehow lacking and not live up to its potential. Extreme Anticipation for its release in theatres…(when is it coming out already?!? How are they going to handle that part???) Fear that you are hyping it up too much and it’s going to fall way below your expectations and then you’ll be pissed at yourself for being excited for so long. Joygasm that the day is finally here and you’re sitting in the seat you reserved over a month ago and ZOMG it’s going to be SO AWESOME.
Thankfully, when it comes to Harry Potter, my fears have so far been unnecessary as each movie seems to get better and better (unless you’re name is Hayden and you have a real hard on for Richard Harris – Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam). Much like the books, the movies have gotten darker and more mature as they’ve gone along. “Deathly Hallows, part 1” even managed to earn itself a PG-13 rating. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that it’s supposed to be a “kid” movie.
Because it’s the first of two parts, it’s a little strange to judge the movie on it’s own but there are a few things that I would like to point out. Depending on if you’ve read the books or not, there may be spoilers here.
You’ve been warned.
- Anyone who thinks the traveling/camping sequences were drawn out in the movie definitely didn’t read the books. In the books you forgive JK Rowling because you know something big is coming and these extended sequences are temporary. I think that David Yates did an excellent job of conveying the feeling of it being drawn out without actually drawing it out. Bravo.
- Just a small quibble but George is supposed to lose his entire ear, not just a sliver of it. In the books Snape uses the sectumsempra spell introduced in The Half Blood Prince to cut it off in the battle to get Harry out of London. In the movie they didn’t show it post bloody mess (just wrapped up in gauze in a hilarious Big Brother scene) so maybe they will rectify this in Part 2.
- I’m a little sad that Hedwig’s death was altered. In the book it felt much more operatic. She was stuck in her cage but the words used to describe her death made it at least a two tissue event. In the movie she displays bravery by helping out in the battle, but her death warrants only a long sad look from Harry and a small mention in the discussion afterwards. I was expecting to need Kleenex during that part and was sad that it wasn’t necessary.
- Same for Mad Eye Moody. One of the people I was with (who hasn’t read the books) actually got confused as to whether it was Mad Eye or Mundungus they were talking about.
- Way to abbreviate Bill’s werewolf encounter!! I missed the humorous interaction between Fleur and the Weasley women. Poor Fleur has really gotten the shaft in the movies.
- Where was Harry’s Weasley disguise at the wedding??? It’s true that they can’t have everything in the movies and some subplots need to be cut but we’re talking about the safety of The Chosen One here. JK disguised him for a reason in the books.
- Nagini is awesome. Whether she’s in creepy old lady skin or indulging her taste for wizard flesh, there’s just no denying she’s kick ass. I’ve got a thing for snakes though so maybe I’m a little biased. Her sequences are what had them debating the 3D conversion, I’m sure of it.
- The Deathly Hollows sequence was one of the greatest story within a story pieces I have ever seen. The sheer creativity that went into it totally blew my mind. I want to watch an entire movie of just that.
- Maybe I’m a sadist but I wanted Bellatrix to torture Hermione more. You’ve got the PG-13 rating, use it!
- The Elves got creepier in this movie. Someone decided that they needed busted veins and capillaries and slightly translucent skin. Just because computer animation has gotten better doesn’t mean you should change what’s already been established. Dobby and Kreacher were just kind of freaky looking and, I’m sorry to say, but it distracted me during Dobby’s death…that and the girl in the movie theatre who was crying hysterically…oh yeah, and her friends that were laughing and making fun of her. Way to ruin the moment everyone.
- Friend-who-hasn’t-read-the-books had no idea whose beach house they ended up at. Readers of the books know it’s Bill and Fleur’s house but they probably should have mentioned that for the movie-only folks.
- I had no idea where they were possibly going to end Part 1 and I was VERY interested to see how they handled it. I was pleasantly surprised and thought it was a fabulous idea to have it end on Voldemort finding the Elder Wand.
Ok, so maybe that was more than a few things…and I was actually much more critical than I thought I was going to be. But you stick me in front of a keyboard and I cease to have control over the direction of my brain. But I will say this: I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I loved it so much that I’ll be seeing it at least two more times in the theatre. At least. I love Harry and Ron and Hermione and the actors who portray them. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alan Rickman. The way he chews the dialogue he is given is positively delectable. I can’t wait for Part 2. I can’t wait to see how they utilize Neville. I can’t wait to see Mrs. Weasley kick some ass. I can’t wait for more Hagrid, he’s my favorite giant among men (aside from The Tall Blog). I can’t wait to see Friend-who-hasn’t-read-the-books’ reaction to Snape. I can’t wait for the dramatic climax!
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m in the Extreme Anticipation phase.
5 out of 5 SCI-FIVES!