As with every previous Harry Potter movie, I was with my friends at the midnight showing checking out people in costumes, overly excited and chock full of caffeine to stay awake (It is way harder to stay up until all hours at 27 than it is at 16). This time, however, was accompanied by a tinge of sadness, as this would be the last HP movie (unless Hollywood keeps up its ridiculous “we have no more ideas, so lets keep re-making old movies” thing. In that case, we will be back at HP midnight releases in about 20 years). On top of my nostalgia over the end of an era, I was also filled with dread, as I was not sure if I could ever be prepared for so many deaths that I knew were coming.
We’ve held off discussing our opinions with each other until now, so enjoy!
Sword Mistress: Ok… I have to say it. Why didn’t Fred get a better send off?! And what about Lupin & Tonks? I was hoping that in the movie they would get to go out in a blaze of glory! I was also really sad that there were no house elves with kitchen knives hacking at Death Eaters ankles and crazy Trelawney chucking magic balls at people! Maybe scenes like this will be in an extended dvd version…
Princess Consuela: Yeah, they cut pretty much everything that wasn’t directly Harry-related. Fred was barely in the movie at all! Of course, had they reproduced the scene from the book, I would have been reduced to a sobbing mess in the theater, and I would have missed the rest of the movie due to the uncontrollable weeping. I managed to hold it together as it was. I can’t believe that Emma Thompson didn’t have any lines AT ALL. How do you get Emma to be in your movie and give her NO LINES? I think she got a couple of passes with the camera, and that was it. (ETA: I saw the movie again, and she does get a line. Clearly it wasn’t memorable enough to make an impression on me the first time. But I am very glad that she got to speak.) Also, can we take a moment to discuss how awesome McGonagall is in this movie? LOVE.
Captain Awesome: I would have liked to see just about everyone, especially the house elves, fighting a little more, but it was probably WAY too expensive to do for scenes that weren’t essential to Harry’s story. My one big complaint was that nobody was around to witness Harry and Voldemort’s final battle! I don’t particularly care that it wasn’t in the Great Hall, but I think we really miss out on that cathartic moment when the whole crowd goes nuts once they realize that Voldie is finally dead. Plus I like to imagine that everybody is really confused when Harry starts going on about Horcruxes and Elder Wands. But overall I thought the movie was great. Especially the way that they handled Snape’s back story. Alan Rickman is a genius.
SM: Absolutely! I loved how they did his memories. They didn’t shy away from his violent death either. If anything, it was more graphic and violent than I remember it. Snape is forever my favorite character. Please, enjoy this tribute to Snape with fan art AND BON JOVI!
Anatasia Beaverhausen: I sobbed audibly through the last 45 minutes while clutching my friend Jessie’s hand. Our knuckles were white once the movie was over. And what I missed from the final battle was Percy’s redemption. That moment is one of my favorite’s from the entire book. BUT! I thought they did a great job on including details, but focusing on the main action of the narrative they chose from the book. And I loved getting at least the nod to characters they couldn’t include. Professor Sprout!
rhymenoserous: I thought this movie was perhaps the most visually impressive of all of them. It was really beautiful, even when the scene was just dementors floating over Hogwarts. And I actually preferred how the movie handled some of the horcrux details. One of my biggest beefs with the book is how Ron and Hermione get basilisk fangs off camera. It seemed really amateur of Rowling to just mention that they went and got the fangs and destroyed the cup, and that was all done, moving on, etc. I’m glad the movie gave us more of an even pace.
However, in the book you get much more about Dumbledore’s back story, and his life and the secrets he kept from Harry. They hinted at it in the movie, but we really didn’t learn anything new about Dumbledore. And I was really looking forward to seeing Dumbledore as a kid.
PC: How did you feel about them moving the (AWKWARD) kiss to that scene? We missed out on Harry yelling at them for kissing in the middle of a battle, which is one of the only funny things that happens in that half of the book. I was looking forward to that.
AB: I was ok with it, mostly because there were already enough (too many?) funny, tension-breaking moments in the battle. Which was frankly a lot more in your face and brutal than I had expected. I like that honestly, but wow, seeing the student bodies lying around was very jarring.
SM: I did laugh a lot more than I had thought. It wasn’t too much though. And yeah, I was hoping for more of the Dumbledore backstory, but realistically, it was too much to put into a movie. There was very little of Riddle’s backstory as well. I liked how they had Harry “sense” the horcruxes because he was one. It explained a lot about how they found them, Voldemort in his head, etc., otherwise, there would have been all of this jumble about Hogwarts founders and everything that would only make sense if you read the books.
CA: Another departure from the book that I enjoyed was when Harry steps out of the crowd in the Great Hall to announce his presence in the castle. I love the scene in Ravenclaw Tower in the book, but there is something so satisfying about Harry confronting Snape face to face one last time. Plus McGonagall gets to act like a badass and the remainder of the Order of the Phoenix (which pretty much of consist of Kingsley, the Lupins, and the Weasleys at this point) gets a dramatic entrance. I said it before, but Alan Rickman is amazing in this scene. You can tell he doesn’t want to blow his cover, but it is killing him that everyone else can’t know the truth.
SM: It is clear that we should all be members of the Alan Rickman Fan Club. You know there has to be one.
PC: I want to be a member of the Maggie Smith Fan Club, too.
Robin Sparkles: Indeed. And the scene where Snape died? I agree with whoever said it was even more graphic than they remembered in the book. I was a little worried that they would gloss over the violence of his death, so I was so happy to see that they went full force into that scene. Well… happy may not be the word. I believe Captain Awesome and I were in the middle of a major sobfest by this point.
And speaking of sobbing, can we talk about the scene in the woods between Harry and his parents? And yes, I do mean all of his parents, Lupin and Sirius included. This was one of the most touching scene for me in the book, because he’s had to be this big hero for the world but in that moment, surrounded by all of these parental figures he’s lost, he can be a scared little boy in the few minutes before he walks to his death. And the movie did not disappoint. I really feel like Daniel Radcliffe stepped it up a notch with both parts of this movie, particularly in the more quiet scenes. Rupert and Emma as well. I thought they all did such an amazing job.
AB: That was one of the scenes that I was most looking forward to seeing (and worrying that it wouldn’t live up to what I had in my head). Luckily, I thought they did a great job, though I wish we had gotten a shot of him walking with them through the woods, surrounding and protecting him. The other scene that I wish had been played slightly differently was Hagrid reacting to Harry’s death. He’s supposed to be a complete wreck, which is pretty much the only way he would notice that Harry isn’t actually dead. Robbie Coltrane played his silent grief beautifully, but one of the things I love about Hagrid is his giant heart and how he wears it on his sleeve.
RS: I actually went to see the movie a second time yesterday, which helped a lot because much of that final battle was just lost on me the first time. You know, due to all the crying. Anyhoo. I sort of agree about Hagrid, but then I wonder if he’d been sobbing if it would have played out as to over the top for such a serious scene. But really, I hardly noticed anyone else in that scene anyway because of Neville stepping up and being AWESOME with his speech and pulling out the sword and… gah! How is he so fantastic? Love him.
One scene that really grabbed me, particularly yesterday in my second viewing, was the scene with the trio right before Harry goes into the woods. Just the heartbreak on Hermione’s face when she realizes that he’s not coming back, and her “I’ll go with you.” And then Harry and Ron just looking at each other over Hermione’s shoulder. Amazing, amazing scene.
Okay gang, we could probably talk about this movie forever, but that would be a very long and ultimately boring post, so what are your final thoughts? Mine? Loved it! Overall, I think parts 1 and 2 of Deathly Hallows are the best of the series. They are gorgeous and intense and everything I wanted them to be. They veered off canon in just the right places to give the movies a great pace and their own special scenes (dance between Harry and Hermione in part 1, I’m looking at you), while still staying true to the book. I’m so sad that this series is over, but this was the perfect ending to one of my favorite book and movie series of all time.
PC: Final thoughts? Loved this movie. Must go see it again before it leaves theaters. Gorgeous? Check. Compelling? Check. Gut-wrenching? Check. Amazing. I grieve for the end of the series, but there is always Pottermore to look forward to! *hangs hopes on shiny new site* Don’t disappoint me, JKR. You’ve already assigned me a stupid Pottermore username, but I will withhold judgment until I get in to look around. I hear there’s McGonagall backstory. It could help.
SM: I not so secretly loved it… both times I saw it. Yes, I went back and saw it again. It was better the second time around. There was a lot that I missed the first time. It was a solid end to the series and I want McGonagall to be my best friend. And Nevile in his Cosby sweater. I wonder if he has a whole closet full of those?
Rhymenocerous: Sad that it’s over, but we have Hunger Games to look forward to now!
CA: I’ll miss the excitement and anticipation of a new Harry Potter movie, but the series definitely went out on a high note. I was on the edge of my seat, despite knowing what was going to happen, and every secondary character got at least some small moment to shine. I think I ran through a gauntlet of emotions watching this movie: joy, terror, triumph, sadness, amusement, sadness (it bears repeating.), pain, and contentment. And I look forward to doing it all again, although hopefully with a bit less sadness. Now, who wants to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
(Robin Sparkles here with a few little extras that you should go watch, just in case you weren’t already sobbing from the movie… Dan, Rupert, Emma, and JK Rowling at the movie’s London premiere, last days on the set, and the cast describing their past ten years in one word. Pass the tissues!)