JULY 14th, 2011: BEFORE
At the premiere of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows and it is about 9pm. Grandma called me at 2pm and said people were waiting in tents! There are a dozen or so Hermione’s and other girls in various lengths and patterns of plaid skirts. I even passed a dedicated Lord Voldemort in the mall after eating the Muggle fare. I wore my time turner, Hogwarts pin and favorite Ron Weasley t-shirt while carrying my worn copy of book 7 and homemade wand. I made it and another for my best friend out of the handle of an old Japanese style decorative umbrella when we dressed up as Rita Skeeter and Delores Umbridge for the release of the last book at Barnes & Noble. (See my other Harry Potter article that details how nerdy I actually am and another that responds to an article I read that said the Harry Potter films were better and “more epic” than the books!)
Right now I’m sitting in line watching everyone show up. I brought my forbidden jawbreakers and set my phone to silent. I am ready to get inside where Harry, Ron and Hermione are waiting but I get to listen to smart phone babble and Twilight dribble. No one speaks to me… it is strange that I’ve never attended a film alone before now but it seems fitting. The last Potter. How did I end up here… and all by myself… and I don’t mind at all?
I feel a bit like Harry. I am surrounded by distorted yet familiar faces that smile and live with little regard of what is to happen in a few short hours. I have come in anticipation that this will change everything. This will mark me as Muggle Mandy, forever expelled from the world of magic, the promise of an envelope delivered by a hooting carrier. Usually my best friend would be sitting beside me, making fun of the sappy parts. Then a boyfriend or two had taken me over the years… None of them were to be bothered or found that night. I did get a few archaic text messages on my Tracfone when I checked the time. The battery was dying and I placed it in my bag. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to face the end alone. Alone with all the characters I came to consider friends long ago…
JUNE 15th, 2011: AFTER spoiler warning!
Time and anticipation are strange things. I look at the same moon that I saw rise over the theatre much earlier tonight. Faces from the crowd are imprinted in my final memories of a franchise that was so much more than just a franchise to me. The last film cannot be compared fairly to the last book but when compared to the other films it is right up there with Alfonso’s Prisoner in style, tone and character development and is truly epic according to nearly every review I’ve read (and I’ve consumed dozens).
Some of the scenes were hauntingly beautiful if not completely surreal. Dementors hovered in the sky and were blasted back by an amazing blue light, the magic was literally in the air and it was all very breathtaking.
Neville got his moment and then some… Ron and Hermione’s kiss was something I had been waiting for since the fist time I read the Yule Ball scene in book 4. I will admit to being a fangirl in that regard. I love me some WEASLEYS! I am also a bookwormish know-it-all so I have rooted for Hermione since no one liked her in book one, poor little Miss Smarty Pants :)
Disappointments? Of course, that is the nature of turning one of the most loved books of all time into a two hour movie but there was nothing that ruined the film and its other qualities forgive a few things they had to gloss over. I love Luna but I was torn about the Helena Ravenclaw scenes but as a plot time saver I understood (though I did miss the little nod to the Bloody Barron and the fact that Harry doesn’t talk to Sir Nick again) but since they used Luna in place of ghost knowledge before it was an acceptable choice and I loved to see Luna get stern with Harry for a moment! I also missed Dumbledore’s back story although it was alluded to. I really wanted to see more of his adolescence and his relationship with Grindelwald :)
I was entirely pleased with Snape. I loved his memories and the editing that was done in that scene. His death was one of the most frightening in the series because you don’t see it happening. You see the shadow and see the snake strike and the noise makes it almost unbearable to watch but it is perfectly done. Snape is one of my favorite characters and I feel he was done justice in this film but I was impressed at the ending as well. The battle was done well and I am not the biggest fan of action only sequences.
I loved the quiet moment in the forest with Harry’s loved ones surrounding him. They did cut my favorite quote a bit short but I felt that scene was handled well. I had high expectations because those pages made me weep like a school girl and I was over twenty years old reading them!
Overall the film is worth watching. I never go to movies anymore but this was a special occasion. There are so many funny and sweet moments sprinkled throughout the darkness (a true gift Rowling had and enforced throughout the books) and there really is something for everyone. A few characters don’t make it back and a few have their time cut short (their lives or their screen time) but be sure we will be seeing more Potter on DVD extras and in Rowling’s new project, Pottermore.
Thank you for reading my observations and feelings about the last film. I will write a more detailed review as well as give you a comparison as far as 2D and 3D goes! Make sure to get out and see the film and if you haven’t already, read the books! If you need to borrow one I’m sure I have several copies of each hiding in a cupboard somewhere :)
I am working on detailed reviews of the books as well. Mostly for my own amusement and because I can’t believe it’s finally over :( Here are brief film reviews I wrote quite some time ago (1-5) and a book review for 7.