A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I've seen the movie twice now, and I am still a little fuzzy on all the details I want to zoom in on... however, my feelings for the film are set. Below are the MANY reasons why I liked it, with some spoilers and a few things I didn't like...

I chose the Snape poster for this entry since he's one of my favorite characters, but is not really in the story until Part 2. Probably my favorite comment about this film came from the FugGirls over at GoFugYourself.com and it ran:

: "One of my fave things about : Snape's hair is MUCH more lustrous & voluminous now that Lord V is back. Voldy demands volumizer! - J"

My thoughts exactly, ladies!

Overall, I LOVED this movie. Having just finished re-reading the book, I was extra critical of the movie, and even so, the movie satisfied me and I was very impressed with the adaptation. I can say with no reservations, this was the best adapted of all the films so far. I kind of wish they were able to go back and split the last 3 movies, too. It seems to have helped!

One thing I loved about Part 1 is it really hit the emotions like it should. Sadness, fear, doubt uncertainty, etc. The movie opens showing how the trio is cleaning up and preparing their lives for what comes next. The most moving of all, in my opinion was watching Hermione erase her parents' memories of her existence and watching her disappear from framed pictures throughout the house.

Then, it switches to the Malfoy Manor. I thought this scene was TERRIFYING. I kept wondering how younger kids who love Harry Potter would react to it because it was so frightening even to me, a 24-year-old woman who has read and knows what to expect. I loved seeing Snape, even for a moment. Alan Rickman never disappoints. Plus, the moment where Voldemort asks for Lucius' wand was perfect. Jason Isaac plays Lucius so terrified in this scene that I actually felt badly for him. And when finally, Voldy kills Charity Burbage, I love that the first reaction shot is on Draco, and Tom Felton plays him perfectly. He does not want any part of this and he is NOT ready to be a Death Eater or to kill or even be near someone being killed. LOVED this scene. I knew we were really in for a great film after this.

Maybe one of the funniest moments for me was in the 7 Harrys scene, and this wasn't meant to be funny... but it was: Everyone comes into the house on Privet Drive and in about 10 seconds we get  a bunch of exposition that they skipped in the other movies. It's like "Hey, I'm Bill! I'm the oldest and most forgotten Weasley brother. I was bit by a werewolf! I'm married to Fluer!" and then Lupin comes in and makes a joke and Tonks is like "Hey, remember how we're married! And we're pregnant and...!" and then Mad Eye interrupts, thank God. It was PRETTY hilarious, but I am glad they included that. I bet anyone's who hasn't read the books head was spinning at that moment. It was also wonderful to see the twins again, just because they are so precious. I was actually appreciative of the change that George walked in on Harry and Ginny kissing at the Burrow, rather than Ron, because George's "Morning" was spot on hilarious!

I love the chemistry between the trio, as always. The moment they are together, it's seamless.  There is real friendship and affection as well as comedic timing. They can play off each other in both types of scenes, dramatic and funny. I guess working together in 7 movies will do that to you, but also, these kids are SO talented. I especially love watching Rupert Grint looking with puppy eyes at Emma Watson, finally giving us Hermione/Ron lovers what we've been wanting to see. And he does it SO well. It's subtle, and funny, but real and genuine. Every time there was a little nuance of their relationship growing, I got more and more excited for what's to come in Part 2.

They changed a lot having to do with Kreacher, I guess, for time. They didn't have time to show Harry mend his relationship with him, even though it proves very important in the end as Kreacher leads the house elves on a rebellion against the Death Eaters in Part 2. Instead, they insert Dobby into this part and have him help Kreacher bring back Mundungus. Because of this, Kreacher is almost completely overshadowed... which upset me because I love Kreacher. I'm one of the weird ones who isn't a big fan of Dobby in the least, so I was mostly just annoyed during this part, though I did understand why they did it. However, the tiny aside where Ron goes to shake Dobby's hand and Hermione looks on lovingly was precious. AND I really enjoyed Kreacher continuously poking at Mundungus threateningly with a small fork as though it were a wand. HILARIOUS.

The ministry scene was great. The adults they had play the kids were awesome, and Harry's even tried to walk like him. I didn't like that Harry changed back into himself before they left... though that was a weird decision, but overall it was a really great scene, albeit not my favorite. 

With that said, the scene I was really hoping to be satisfied by was the scene where Ron leaves. In the book, Hermione's reaction is what really gets me, and so I really hoped they would hit that on the head as best they could. Without conveying that emotion, it would be hard for the viewer to understand what a blow it was to their quest that Ron left. Thankfully, this scene was played out very well. The boys' argument was raw and furious as Hermione looked on helplessly. I could feel Hermione's tension and desperation as Ron asked her to choose between Harry and him, then leaves. It was in this moment that Emma had me sold on this scene, when she leaves the tent and all you can hear from her are her pleas to keep Ron there. Broke my heart! It was perfect.

They added a little scene between Harry and Hermione after Ron left where Harry comes over to her and they dance to a song on the radio. At first I was super awkward about it because I didn't know where the movie was trying to take it, and I was like "SEXUAL TENSION WHY OMG!" But, the second time I watched it, I understood it much better and saw that it was just a very sweet moment between two friends, one trying to cheer up there other. I was glad for the addition! Again, chemistry x 10000000000000. The same can be said for when Ron returns later. SO cute and funny, and perfect.Their chemistry cannot be complimented enough.

I was really thankful they cut out Harry's obnoxious obsession with the Hallows. I love Harry so much, but there are moments I want to slap him for being so irrational. He's like my precious little brother that, sometimes, I just want to shake. So it was nice in the movie to not have to deal with that. I also thought it was interesting that they didn't talk too much about Dumbledore's past and all of the doubt and anger Harry shows towards him throughout the story. They talk a bit about it, but in the book it consumes him, almost. I am sure that they are saving all the details (such as Aberforth's resentment towards his brother, the coffin-side brawl, his mother hating Muggles) for the Kings Crossing scene in Part 2. It may just be too much for them to deal with in Part 1 and have to recap in Part 2 when the answers are revealed.

It goes without saying that I loved the Godric's Hallow scene. There really is no way to capture on screen the beautiful writing JK put into it, but they did a good job anyways. And the Bathilda Bagshot part was horrifying, also. I thought it would have been a bit scarier.. but then Hermione finds a fly-infested room with blood on the walls, and that made it hit the mark. GROSS! How frightening!! It was awful in the best way.

Which brings me to the Malfoy Manor scene part 2, AKA: The Hermione Torture Scene. In the book, this scene absolutely HORRIFIED me and so I was expecting a whole lot. The first scene at Malfoy Manor delivered, the Bathilda scene delivered, so I had high hopes for this one, too. However... as awful as it was... it didn't hit the mark for me. I think Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix sitting on Hermione, holding her down as she carves into her arm was so unnerving... but then later on you see that she carved "Mudblood" into her arm and it's a teeny tiny little thing. I'm not saying that wouldn't hurt, I'm not saying that isn't a HORRIBLE thing, and I am not even saying that I didn't like that idea... I just wanted MORE overall. I wanted Ron to be more concerned, I wanted there to be more urgency overall in the dungeon, I wanted more violence upstairs, and I wanted Hermione to look a lot more beat up.

I MUST disclaim that Emma and Helena's acting in this scene was awesome and they both did GREAT. I mean, especially the second time I saw it, I was just haunted by hearing Hermione's screams and seeing her struggle. It was truly awful. I just thought she needed to be bruised, she needed to be bloodier, she needed to look like the WORST most FRIGHTENING witch in the world was TORTURING her. Because that's what was happening, but she did not look like that at all.

As for the Dobby stuff, as a stated before... I am not the biggest fan of him, and I am sorry. Therefore, all the extra lines ("Dobby only meant to maim or injure...") he got were really just unnecessary to me, though everyone else in the theater seemed to enjoy them. It just seemed like it made the scene less frightening and just... silly. It didn't match with the tone of what was supposed to be going on there. But it made the death scene hit harder, I guess, for those who haven't read. I thought that the death scene was sweet and touching, and I did feel sad then.

Does Hermione REALLY look like she's just been tortured? NO! She's gorgeous and there is no blood! Ron looks like he was more tortured than her... Pssshhh.
I was glad for how the movie ended. I thought that it was wise to skip the interrogation and save it for the beginning of Part 2. It may be a good way to review everyone on what has happened so far. And then, for the first time, David Yates does NOT gloss over the sad atmosphere of the ending and he allows the bad guy to win! Hooray, David Yates! There was no uplifting music... there was no trio looking hopefully into the sky even though someone important just died. There was exactly what was supposed to be: grief, fear, and what seemed like Voldemort winning. Then it blacks out and leaves us totally wanting more. I think I made the comment that I wanted to just sit in the seat until summer when the next one comes out, haha.

I never felt like the movie dragged. I never felt like any of the little things I disliked overshadowed anything else that was more important. There was nothing within this movie that upset me or was fundamentally wrong. This was the BEST adaptation of all the films. And maybe with a few more viewings, it will become one of my favorites. Cannot wait for Part 2! Even though I don't want Harry Potter to end... ever. Is there a way to do both?!


  1. I've only seen it once, hence, I am holding back on a full and proper review, but I overall loved it as well. It's in the top three films in the series (I can never decide whether I like Prisoner of Azkaban or Half Blood Prince more, now this one makes that harder). From an adaptation standpoint, this one is the best one they've done. As cool as a two movie per book thing would have been, the franchise would have gone on for like 20 years if they did that, it's already going to be one full decade after Part 2 comes out. I know the two movie thing would've have been great fan service, but in film, it just wouldn't really have worked IMO.

    I agree with most all what you've said here, though while I'm not like huge uber fan of Dobby, I find him sweet and adorable and his death made me cry. Lots of people were doing the same in my screening. :P I thought the ministry stuff was HILARIOUS.

    On a technical side, the cinematography, score, art direction, etc were the best in the series IMO.

  2. "...all the extra lines ("Dobby only meant to maim or injure...") he got were really just unnecessary to me..." Yes, yes, YES!!! That was the CHEESIEST thing I've ever seen! WHY the extra lines!?

  3. thank god they FINALLY let it end sadly. i was so pissed at the end of the 6th one where the looked into the sky happily....ummm dumbledore just died guys, remember?

  4. YES YES YES! I agree with everything said here...maybe because we already discussed this over AIM but whatever :)

    Like I said before, Godric's Hollow...best scene they've ever done. And yeah the return to Malfoy Manor was just...not all there. Emma had the perfect scream for it though, it was everything I was hoping. And when she was crying she actually looked terrified.

    The Kreacher snub was completely infuriating to me though. GUH.

    Desplat's score was epic. I was very pleased.

    AND YES! Yates scored for me by leaving the ending on a sad/scary note. Not that gay crap like the endings of...well...the previous three movies. *frown*


  5. I cried three tears in this movie. One when he was at his parents' graves. Two when Dobby died. I cried at that part in the book, also. I'll see it again this week, but won't cry a second time. I did love the movie, though.

  6. YES YES YES!!!
    I loved the scene at the beginning as well...especially Hermione. AND I thought starting with Rufus in the Ministry worked as well. I love how the shot started with just his eyes and opened up to show the whole scene. Almost like showing how the Ministry was trying to hide that Voldy was back, but then it just grew until they couldn't keep it hidden any longer.

    Hermione's torture scene was actually one of my favorites. Not because H was being torture obviously, but because of how well it was done. B crawling all over her and then that shot of H with the word on her arm, that blank stare on her face, and just those few tears in her eyes...perfect. I feel like we were supposed to get that her torture was inside, she wasn't being tortured so much on the outside...but I've always felt that the Cruciatus Curse causes pain that can't be seen (which is usually worse than pain that can be seen).

    I was also upset that the relationship between Kreacher and Harry was more pronounced. Kreacher's turn-around in the book was so special to me. But I also understand why they changed it. But I feel like we were left hanging about RAB, even though they figured out who he was...the story was sketchy.

    There were times when I was actually scared during the film and I, too, wondered how smaller children would react. The snake...both in Malfoy Manor and in Godric's Hallow. EW!

    I also felt that they did a great job with Harry's connection to his parents. I have always tried to put myself in his shoes...I can't imagine visiting my dad's grave without memories of him. The emptiness in Harry's heart must be so deep.

    And the ending: YES! Just what I wanted. It was powerful.

    Sorry this is so long. I couldn't shut up :(

  7. Meredith, I LOVE your responses. And I forgot about the Cruciatus Curse. I kept thinking it was physical torture, but you are right. She used spells, too.

  8. I pretty much agree with your review. I had a few complaints of my own. But overall, I really enjoyed this film.

  9. This goes to show how much of a disservice the other adaptations are to the 7th movie. Now they have to tie up all of these subplots that they disregarded in previous movies because they're now vital to this movie. I understand why they cut some of them out but one of my favorite parts in the book (and probably everyone elses) is when Hermione kisses Ron and why she finally crosses the barrier in their friendship. I know that no matter how incredible it is in the movie and the amazing job I know Emma and Rupert will do I feel like we will all be a little disappointed because in the movies Hermione's passion for house elves has never been stated before. I can't even imagine how they are going to build that scene up.

    It's hard for me to see how they'll show Kreacher raising the house elves to rebellion because they're just bringing that subplot up now (and it's barely) but I hope that they just say bollocks to the people who haven't read the books (because who would watch them if they haven't read them?) and just put it in! They put that shard of mirror in this book without explaining it so I hope they realize that if they are really curious about the details they will finally read them!

    I've seen it three times already and it's my favorite movie! Everything that they changed I can see why because of the previous movies, and the things they added I enjoyed because of the great character development. The only thing that really irked me was Wormtail but like you said if they do change his death I hope Lupin gets to avenge Prongs and Padfoot.

    Daniel did such a great job with the polyjuice potion scene I can't wait to see Helena as Hermione!

    I love the corruption and propaganda scenes in the Ministry! Something else I was really impressed with was the tension they created with the horcrux sound. After they steal the locket you can hear it in the background.

    Great review, Audree! I hope we can all discuss it tomorrow!

  10. I haven't seen HP7 yet and was really worried that it would be boring when they try to convey the emotion present in the book to screen. So thank you sooooooooooo much for the awesome review! I'll be seeing harry soon!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

  11. Lol I agree with all you had to say. Its been a while since I read the book so I didn't remember if Dobby's scenes were actually true but I appreciated the effort & understood the reasons like you.

    Im surprised you didnt talk about what Ron saw...my mouth was agape when I saw what they showed... Mostly cuz she's so hot.

  12. Bahaha, yeah naked H/Hr kissing was pretty intense.

  13. I think you basically said every single thing I thought after having watched the movie. Overall, I was really impressed though. Only 228 days to go!

  14. i agree with pretty much everything you said in your review (altho i did enjoy dobby's line about maiming lol)
    this was by far the best adaptation, splitting it worked VERY well for the story, and i agree that 2 films per book would've just been way too much.

  15. You have brilliantly explained about this movie completely. It's very easy to understand and I have learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing such a helpful material.