Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The end of a fandom era.
Reading Deathly Hollows was a swift blow. Tears and laughter and joy and all the more tears. No more books. But we still had the movies left to enjoy.
And now it’s done. The last movie has been released, and short of locking JK Rowling in a cellar and making her write more (and believe me, we all have ideas), there will be no new Harry Potter.
It’s sad. And it may explain why I cried more during this movie than I have at some funerals I’ve attended.
Many people, including TBF’s hubs, have said they were disappointed by the film. They expected more. I am rewatching the film as I write this (which accounts for the horrendous cam-quality pictures I’ll be interspersing throughout the entry), but I cannot see anything in this film that would cause me to be grossly disappointed in it. The bits that were left out were for obvious reasons, and what I was annoyed about most pales in comparison to what I loved.
So, let’s begin.
There were so many wonderful small bits of humor in this movie. So many times to giggle. And yet I bawled my eyes out almost from the start.
It should come as a surprise to no one that I was dreadfully upset by the dragon chained up under Gringott’s. From our first glimpse, I was upset. The chains digging into the bloody skin, the fear when the clackers started. When Hermione said, “That’s barbaric”, I couldn’t hold in my glee. That’s my girl.
As the dragon fought to fly again, slamming into buildings, and we got a shot of the torn wings as he finally took flight, it was such a beautiful visual. As much as I wish this scene had gone into the first movie, it was such an incredible start to the film. Including my love Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Hermione-as-Bellatrix. That was a real treat. Between falling over in her boots, and her fearful orders to the goblins, it was just awesome.
The beginning of the movie feels off. I think this plays into my belief that part 1 felt like filler, rather than a whole movie. As I thought about the movie the next day, I realized with a laugh that if they cut out the only bits of the book I hated, which is all the damn walking through the forest, they could’ve fitted the Gringott’s scene nicely into movie one, and then DH2 would be complete Hogwarts battle, plus the Dumbledore back story that got the shaft.There’s an insufferable, unnecessary loose end in the movie. We meet Aberforth, a man who hasn’t been mentioned in the movies, and who does bear a nice enough resemblance to Albus to show that he’s a Dumbledore. They do a rapid explanation of the mirror1, and we find Aberforth is a bitter man, angry at Dumbledore, and willing to toss him merrily under the bus and tell us that he caused the death of their Arriana.
That’s perfectly okay, because we2 know it’s going to be cleared up. No problem. Except…
King’s Cross scene. Well played by both, dying Horcrux suitably creepy. And not one mention of Grindwald, Arriana, or the asshole muggles. The scene ends, and I want to throw something at the screen. Where’s the talk? Where’s Dumbledore crying? Where’s the closure? Goddamit, movie makers.
The only time the HP movies have pissed me off is when, in my opinion, the stupid viewer3 misses something crucial. The exclusion of Dobby in the last four movies, the exclusion of Sirius in Goblet of Fire, everything about Prisoner of Azkaban. Crucial plot is left out, and necessary details are missed.
This movie shit on Dumbledore, and then didn’t bother wiping it away. The reader spends the majority of Book 7 having kittens because, apparently, Dumbledore wasn’t a solid citizen. But we get to the King’s Cross scene, and goddamit, all is well.
If it was just that they left out the Grindewald part, this wouldn’t have been so bad. But between the Arianna mention, and then in Snape’s memory, the conversation about saving Harry to have him die when it is needed. This isn’t cleared up at the end of the movie, and Dumbledore looks more like a villain than Snape ever did.
More on Snape later.
Who loves Neville? I DO!
You can’t help but love Neville throughout the book series. He is completely put upon. The bad stuff always happens to him. But he got into Gryffindor for a reason, and we got to see that reason ten fold in this movie.
I wish with all my might that, instead of the boring woods bullshit from the book, we’d gotten a glimpse into what life was like for the students during the Death Eater Occupation (why, yes, I am watching BSG a lot lately, why do you ask?). Neville and the rest of the DA were fighting the Carrows and Snape at every turn, and we saw none of it. Fuck the woods, show me more Neville!
I was very worried they were going to steal Neville’s glory. When Neville limped up to the waiting Death Eaters, Sorting Hat in hand, I leaned forward in my seat. Nagini was so close, the sword was right there. Shit was on! Then he pulled out the sword, Harry leaped down, Death Eaters scattered like chickens, and…great big doughnut hole of nothin’.
Then Neville comes back, looking confused, and I leaned forward again. God.damned.amazing. I wish Neville had been included in the epilogue. He and Luna made adorable batty clumsy babies, and we all know it.
The expression “BAMF” gets thrown around a lot in fandom, and on the internet.
You have never seen a BAMF before this movie. Allow me to introduce you to Minerva McGonagall. She was amazing in this movie. Between the fight with Snape and the prep to secure the castle. More than Harry confronting Snape, this was the start of the battle, and it was incredible. This started the pounding heart and led to the girding of the loins for tears.
The less said about the Ravenclaw ghost, the better. It irritated me to no end in the book. She was never mentioned, in 7 books. Every single detail was tied together beautifully, and this bitch just gets thrown in for convenience. Terribly annoying, and I couldn’t have even an ounce of enjoyment for this scene.
She was scary as shit, though. I’ll give them points for that.
Oh, dear, how did that slip in there?
I hated that we were cheated out of the destruction of the cup in the book. They only showed it to Harry afterwards, with a reference to Ron mimicking Harry’s parseltongue. I was THRILLED that we were going to see it, and even more so with the big dramatic kissage. I squealed with joy, and TBF said, “Woah. Didn’t see that coming.”
It’s scenes like that one that cause me to avoid spoilers. Yes, obviously Ron and Hermione will be macking in the movie. Obviously they destroy a Horcrux. But if I’d known ahead of time it was going to be in the same scene, I would’ve been cranky. And since they didn’t mention SPEW in any of the movies, I was curious what would cause the lovefest. The giggling afterwards feels real, like the director kept the film going afterwards, and Emma and Rupert were cracking up about their much-hyped kiss.
I’ve been feeling cheated out of Malfoy action for the past few movies. Not much difference here, though the Room of Requirement scene was actual perfection. I was slightly miffed that the diadem was not done away with like that! But after a moment I went, “Yeah, that’s way too nitpicky, even for me”, and let it go. And Ron pelting after the three as they ran away was absolutely hilarious.
I was far less interested in watching Harry, Ron, and Hermione run through the castle than in watching the Aurors and Students vs Death Eaters and Magical Creatures. I wish we’d seen more of that.
Before the movie started, I forgot the cardinal rule. Always use the bathroom first. So, by this point, I was in a bit of pain. And then.
Oh. Oh, no.
During the entire conversation between Voldemort and Snape, I had my arms crossed in front of me, one hand pressed to the side of my face. Eventually they moved up to clutch at the sides of my neck. And then Snape told him he had his mother’s eyes, and I bawled. TBF reached over with what would not be the first napkin of the night.
I calculated. They were going to dawdle before the best scene, Snape’s memories. I had time to run to the bathroom. I whispered to TBF, and then it was on. We were in the top row, in the middle. I flew down the aisle, and jumped down the stairs. I came very close to doing a nose dive down the steps, and wrenched my knee running down the ramp. Small children parted as I flew down the hall to the bathroom. In record time I was running back out, up the ramp, up the stairs, and then paused at the end of the aisle because the heavy breathing may have distracted my seat mates from the movie.
They were too busy being distracted laughing at me and wondering if I was having a heart attack.
I can’t even begin. People who are disappointed with this scene are pretty much insane, and I fear we will never be able to maintain a friendship. It was perfectly done. It’s a memory montage, as they should be. Mind, I cared less about the Dumbledore bits, but the stupid people must have their closure.
And yes, TBF had to hand over more napkins.
The moment Harry realizes he’s got to die was wonderfully done. Absolute silence, and all you can hear is a heartbeat. And then I realized what I was hearing was my heartbeat, going a mile a minute.
The acting in this movie is just mind blowing. I thought these three were phenomenal in part 1, but they positively sucked in comparison to here. In fact, if I had to venture a criticism of any actor, it would be Ralph Fiennes. Voldemort was just not Voldy enough for me. But he was close enough. Amazing job by the lot of them.
“You’ll stay with me?”
Bawl bawl bawl bawl bawl.
So, we scroll past the irritating King’s Cross scene, back to life. Voldemort smacks my Bellatrix, and they send Narcissa to check on Harry. The Malfoys haven’t done anything for me since…yeah, Book 2, really. But I have a serious soft spot for the lot of them. Their sense of self preservation is impeccable. When Lucius and Narcissa are calling Draco over, and he hesitates, you can’t help but hope he will stay still. Have to appreciate family loyalty, despite the White Hats saving your ass from some serious fiery death.
So, we’ve discussed Neville’s ass kickery. The battle begins once more, with far too much of a lull for my taste. I want all battle, all the time. And I was most looking forward to everyone’s favorite line from the book. It was a scene I’d damn well demanded TBF not know about. It didn’t have nearly as much impact on her as I’d hoped. Maybe it’s a book thing, since the stupid people seem to have no appreciation for it.
I love Molly Weasley. I love Bellatrix. I loved everything about this scene.
A lot of liberty was taken with the final bits of battle. And I’m okay with that. The only part that made me really cranky was the breakage of the Elder Wand.
It didn’t have to follow the same path as the book, that’s fine. Break it. Go for it! But goddamn, it would’ve taken three effing seconds for Harry to pull out his broken wand and “reparo!” and I’d have been satisfied.
The epilogue cracked me up precisely because of my steady complaint of Harry/Ginny. Bonnie Wright still looks 12, even "19 years later". Just with poofier hair. Hilarity.
And as adorable as he is, Albus Severus is definitely going to get his ass kicked.
So, yes, I do find the movie messed up a few things. But I’m not complaining. It was beautiful. And the only way to do the thing properly would’ve been three movies.
Which I wouldn’t have complained about.
1. Though, hey, how’d Harry get one sliver of that mirror? No one bothered to toss a bone into one of the earlier movies. Again, Hollywood, why do you hurt me so? ^
2. Those of us who don’t suck and actually read.^
3. i.e., They Who Shall Not Read.^