Saturday, 16 July 2011

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 2

Well, that's it - my childhood is officially over. On Thursday night, I went to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part Two" at my local Vue (do NOT get me started on their crappy customer service team who told me that there would be no 2D screening when there actually was one) because I just had to see it as soon as it came out. Because it was the end of an era. And I was so ready to be completely devastated.

But weirdly, I wasn't.

"Deathly Hallows" is not my favourite of the books. In fact, I find the first half of the book really quite boring, so I was impressed by the first half of the film. I didn't come out of the cinema bitching about everything they'd done wrong, which was a first. The second half, on the other hand, didn't meet with the same reaction.

It started brilliantly (don't worry, I'm going to avoid spoilers as much as I can. I might refer to things from the book, but I'll try not to give them away to anyone who hasn't read them. Also, if you haven't read the books, read them.) The scenes in Gringotts are wonderful, they're beautifully done and I was very impressed. I wanted to cry when I saw the dragon, that was how involved I was within, say, ten minutes. I was also quite impressed with the way they handled Harry finding the Horcruxes (I won't tell you, but you'll remember that Dumbledore didn't give him enough information in "Half-Blood Prince" to be able to do it.)

So, the film's going along nicely, I'm completely engrossed, and then it hits my favourite part of the books. The part that upset me more than anything else. For those of you who are wondering, it's the part where a pivotal character dies and their history revealed. And it's amazing. It really is, I loved it. I wept. I was trying to cry quietly, because there were only five other people in the room and I was very conscious of how noisy I was being. It's easily the best part of the film. And that's the problem, in my opinion.

After that, nothing comes close to being as upsetting. And I know, it doesn't need to be upsetting, but I thought it would be. And a part of me wanted to come out of the cinema in floods of tears (I can't explain it, I'm afraid.) But after that point, it was...fine. There's a surprising amount of humour, which keeps it from becoming too dark, even when beloved characters are being slaughtered left, right and centre. And as in the book, the scene in King's Cross Station (the one that isn't the epilogue) is an annoying break away from the story, though, mercifully, it has been shortened significantly in the film.

Of course, they've changed things. We knew that from the trailer - "let's finish this the way we started, together" by jumping off a cliff - but, actually, instead of making me furious, I felt the changes worked. Now, I haven't read the book in a long time, but I seem to recall that the climax basically involved Harry walking around in a circle and explaining things. Which, let's face it, would have been pretty dull to watch. The changes they've made have improved the film, they add drama, and I can't complain about them.

This brings us to the epilogue. The epilogue that, if I remember correctly, they went back and reshot because it looked ridiculous. I dread to think what it was like before - it is unintentionally hilarious, and instead of being sad or proud or whatever else I might have felt, I was trying so hard not to laugh. [OKAY, THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK, ALTHOUGH I HIGHLY DOUBT ANYONE IN THE WORLD DOESN'T KNOW HOW IT ENDS. EXCEPT MY DAD. I TOLD HIM HARRY DIED AND HE GOT MAD. OOPS. ANYWAY, POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT] The four main characters (I'm counting Ginny in that) don't look any older, clearly they've had their hair done and then put on grown-up-clothes. Draco Malfoy (who I love, who is my favourite character after Snape) looks absolutely ridiculous. But you only see him for a moment, long enough for your brain to register that he looks ridiculous and make you start laughing, but not long enough to figure out why it is. So if anyone's seen it and knows what it might be about him that looks so stupud, please let me know.

So, that's it. The end of an era. The end of the most successful film series of all time ("Deathly Hallows - Part Two" took a record-breaking $95 million on its first day of release alone.) The end of my childhood. And, honestly, the actual ending was a little disappointing. If only those brilliant scenes had been a bit closer to the end of the film, rather than coming in the middle and marking the difference between the first and second halves so clearly.

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