It’s time for me to end my Harry Potter reviews, and the last one is naturally for the last two movies (I finished the books a week ago).
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was released in 2010, and I remember not being able to wait for this one bit as an eleven year old. I’d gone with my mom and a friend who’s younger than me, and I think it’s safe to say that it isn’t really a movie for younger children. And that’s not a problem, because the book is definitely not for, say, a seven year old. The first three are, maybe, but as the whole series progressed, it matured a lot more.
I’m not just talking about the theme of the movie, which is much, much darker than anything before it, but also, some kids would just be bored out of their minds with this film, and understandably so. The first act of this movie is the best one for me, because it felt magical yet highly dangerous, much like the book was. I don’t think this movie would lose anyone in its first act, that’s for sure.
Then the second act happens, and everything just falls flat. There’s a part in a Harry Potter movie in which Ron, Hermione and Harry are just being montaged through with radio being played over in the background, and in the book, even though it’s even less eventful than the movie, there’s always an interesting way of saying it, and you’re never lost. In this, it’s not quite the same, and that’s natural. Right from the time Ron gets Splinched, all the way to Harry’s and Hermione’s visit to Godric’s Hollow, it’s dull and drags on desperately, but I will say that the third act is also really entertaining, and even the place in the book that the movie decided to end on was pretty interesting to me.
Now I’ll hold true and say that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows absolutely needed to be made into two films (and every other franchise that followed suit did it just to milk money out of people), because although it isn’t the largest book, there were really too many important things to have in. But did that really happen in this movie? To an extent. Two things that were left out, which really should have been a part of the movie, are Lily Potter’s letter to Sirius which Harry finds in Grimmauld Place, and Potterwatch, the radio show run by Lee Jordan and different people. Those may not be large things, but they’re important. The first is important because it would make a beautiful moment, and really show a bit of Harry’s early childhood, and the second because this movie doesn’t care about what anyone else from the Order of the Phoenix are up to. I would also add Remus Lupin’s visit to the trio at Grimmauld Place, and his later visit to Shell Cottage, to emphasise that other people have a life too, and to show that Harry becomes a godfather.
I mentioned earlier that I think the ending is interesting, because, if the second act was much shorter, which it most certainly can be (just why was there a Hermione and Harry dance scene?), then I think the movie could have gone through the Gringotts sequence at the start of the next movie too, and finish just when Harry realises that the last Horcrux is at Hogwarts. The run time may be a little bit longer, but there wouldn’t be any boring bits, and the next movie would be all out war and nothing else. But as it is, it’s a good movie, but that’s it. Good. Definitely not great. Most definitely not my least favourite Harry Potter movie. I actually do like it. But there are flaws, and things that I would have taken out and things that I would have had in. Some other positives are the performances and the incredibly consistent tone of the movie, as well as the visual representation which is scenic and stunning. Also, I would want more insight on Albus Dumbledore, but I think this movie does him enough justice as far as it could.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1: MIHIR
Now comes the highest grossing film of the series, simply because people like to go to only the last ones for some reason (look at The Lord of the Ring: Return of the King; The Dark Knight Rises).
Before I get started on the review, I’d like to display something that most people wouldn’t notice, and that would be the evolution of the Warner Brothers logo from the first movie to the last. It starts of shiny, and golden, but slowly gets darker, dirtier and rustier. Isn’t that just beautiful? It’s such a small thing, but it expresses so much.
Okay, now on to the actual movie.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was released in 2011, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such contrasting emotions going in to a movie and coming out of it. I was extremely excited and cheerful going in, and pretty sad coming out, because I knew this was the end. Was it a bad movie though? No. Not one bit.
This movie receives a lot of critical acclaim, and it’s well deserved, for the most part, but I’ve got some things to say as well.
Unlike the previous movie, there isn’t a boring second in this movie, and it deserves props for that. The Gringotts scene was fairly spot on too, and then it was pretty good in Hogsmeade, though I think Aberforth Dumbledore could have said a lot more about Ariana’s death and Dumbledore, because this movie is really short in comparison to the others, and that could have deepened it a bit.
As far as the rest of the movie goes, it’s just something you can’t hate. It goes from place to place to place and everything hooks you on, and everything is somehow cohesive and just makes for a great movie altogether. I could praise this more, but I’ll stop and talk about something that bothers me.
The finale. It was fine in this film, but different to the book, and I do think it shouldn’t have been. In this, Harry and Voldemort go around Hogwarts and end up dueling with nobody around, and it’s mostly wordless.
In the book, they didn’t go around a lot, but I loved it because of how everything beautifully comes together, and how Harry, for the first time, completely outsmarts Tom Riddle. The two of them are in the Great Hall, surrounded by everyone who’s a part of the Battle of Hogwarts, and they’re just circling each other, with Harry methodically explaining the flaws in Voldemort’s plans, and Voldemort slowly becoming more scared than ever, and finally, when it’s all done, everyone cheers and lifts Harry up on their shoulders. That was perfect. The film version isn’t bad by any means, but the way Rowling wrote it out, I think it’s just better. Also, I would have liked to have seen Percy’s return, and Fred’s death, because that added so much emotional weight to the book, to actually be able to see it happen.
With that said though, it should be noted that this is one of the best movies of the series, but not quite the definitive best. It’s a very satisfying conclusion, no doubt, but I would have changed the climax.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2: MIHIR