Ok, I saw it. I saw the film sensation everyone’s talking about. And I am not even kidding, I left the cinema feeling a little dead. Admittedly, it gave me a headache, or I happened t have a headache afterwards and felt really spacey and out of it 😦 -sad face- But – I’m gonna give you the lowdown. AND BE WARNED – IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THE FILM, DON’T READ AHEAD AS I LOVE SPOILING THINGS . So:
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
First things first. WHERE we left off.
Ok so as we all know, Harry’s on the search for Voldy’s HORCRUXES [bits and bobs that mean something in which the Dark Lord has placed part of his soul]. We left the guys on a beach near Shell Cottage just after Dobby the house-elf had been murdered by the EVIL Bellatrix Lestrange (though I cared more about Hedwig dying: man feel like I’d grown up with a pet owl). And before you see the film, MAKE SURE YOU SEE PART ONE otherwise you won’t know WHAT THE HELL is going on.
Anyway, anyway, anyway – the film starts basically where we left off, Voldy stealing the WORLD FAMOUS Elder wand from the tomb of Dumbledore. The opening scene is almost EXACTLY the same as the one ending in Part one, save a little cut up and made shorter, as though to hurry us through it. Then we head out to Hogwarts and meet Snape, newinstated headmaster – and seeing his face you can just read his thoughts [if you know his backstory already] – he’s clearly saying “What the hell has all of this come to?” As the children of the castle march in over the Entrance Cloister and into the Great Hall. Then we buzz on over to Shell Cottage where the trio interrogate Griphook the goblin and Mr. Ollivander to give us a bit of a lowdown on what’s been doing on and what now needs to happen.
I thought it was a bit spoonfeedy and slow so far, but never mind. The action’s about to begin, and it did.
The film had a LOT of things I liked. One of these was the Gringotts’ venture – down to the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange to steal a horcrux from her vault. It was much more stress-inducing and tense than the book, and I loved the use of Imperio, as well as the Dragon [though, I always thought it was an Antipodean Opaleye rather than a Ukranian Ironbelly, as Ron points out that it is, but never mind]
Once they’ve escaped there’s a lovely shot of them coming out a lake they jumped into off the dragon’s back [yeah did I mention they escape on the back of the dragon, a plan which Hermione understatedly refers to as ‘mad’] and there’s the usual Harry merging with Voldy’s thoughts thing, which I am SO bored of . I always got, even in the books, that everything was so fucking easy for them. I think I’m gonna re-write them for JK Rowling, and every time that something just happens to help them along [McGonagall perfectly refers to it in Philosopher’s Stone as ‘sheer dumb luck’] I will re-write it NOT HAPPENING and see how fucking far they get. These kids have felix felicis IN THEIR BLOOD. Rowling of course pretends they’re all lonely and vulnerable and are doing everything themselves, but they couldn’t have done it without the convenience of Aberforth [as we find next as they return to Hogsmeade] nor of course, Dumbledore, who had EVERYTHING planned anyway! >Rolls eyes< SO UNSATISFYING.
But that’s a digression really, from the book and the film. I loved the Caterwauling Charm that went off in Hogsmeade, but you got to wonder why Death Eaters wouldn’t pretend to be Harry’s friend and usher him inside a building and then say “Oh actually, we’re death eaters taking advantage of your nature to trust, now we’re handing you over to Voldy :D”
I am nitpicking. SO then they plop along to Hogwarts, and we have some really wonderful and impressive spells from McGonagall, Slughorn, Flitwick and Weasley [Mrs, who is helping barricade the castle wi McGonagall, YES] and some amazing lines back to earlier films like “Filch get these children to the dungeons,” “I’ve always wanted to use that spell,” [after Piertotum Locomotor] “Mr. Finnegan you may blow the bridge up if need be, considering your history with pyrotechnics” and all these bits that I thought YES I REMEMBER THIS FROM OTHER FILMS 8D
And the protection over Hogwarts was truly beautiful, as was the interrogation of the Grey Lady by Harry – who, true to many account of ghost-sightings, was smoky, orb-like, angry, malleable to whatever form she liked – though I wasn’t quite sure where their talk happened, it appeared to be the base of Ravenclaw tower, which I thiiink is the reason for the new tower change on the East side of the Quadrangle. It appeared to be pretty beautiful to be honest – you could see the rest of the castle below and yet it appeared to be a cloister. Could have been the bridge to the Tower. I loved her character as well.
Once she was talked to however, things began going a little downhill. Voldemort, now in full knowledge that Harry is fucking with his horcruxes, begins to lose it a little – you see him getting a little unhinged, and kills someone in rage when another is destroyed by a kissing Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets. I think I just got a little bored – the battle on Hogwarts didn’t seem to be making much headway and the Castle being attacked wasn’t defending itself much. There were moments – like roots coming from the ground and pulling a giant down, and Kingsley freezing a death eater in midair and sending him flying backwards, Neville exploding the covered bridge with a firework enchantment and Goyle’s fiendfyre, that were truly amazing pieces of magic ! And yet, there was little of this elsewhere. Once, then done. The rest was bangs and whizzes and flashes of light, and it was a bit sort of .. unrewarding almost. I’m watching a film about magic, and all I’m seeing is fireworks and flashes.
Then came Snape. Dear, sweet Snape. We all love Snape, right?
And here, it was all done right. Oh no wait – you just got the impression that he and Lily were friends in a field with propeller seeds and daisies, rather than loving friends throughout school. They showed no connection once at school, but still there were moments in this sequence that brought a solitary tear to one of my eyes.
Then, Harry walking to the forest was basically the book, and a tender moment from Hermione, and seeing the dead bodies (none of which you saw die, I might add. It was very much Harry’s film – no one else’s].
And then came the Kings Cross scene – which was as tacky and echoey and light and weird as it is in the book, and the mutilated portion of Voldemort’s soul sat beneath the bench in a truly repulsive twitching mess. It was really spine chilling.
And then the final battle raged – a lovely moment from Neville telling us that it didn’t matter Harry had died because he lived on in everyone who cared about him – and then of course Harry pops up again and whizzes off away from Voldemort. Why Harry would run I’ve no idea – why not just battle there and then?
And then as they whizz off in a chase around the castle [going over the hospital tower twice in succession I might add], in the Great Hall Molly does her trademark line and turns Bellatrix Lestrange to stone and blows her up, and Ron, Hermione and Neville kill Nagini.
The line “Why do you live?” – “Because I have something worth living for” was omitted, and I really don’t know why, I really liked that from the trailer – and then Voldy and Harry plummet to the earth and end up back in the Entrance cloister, where they Priori Incantatem each other’s asses and the Elder Wand is beaten by Malfoy’s stick of blackthorn. Voldy crumbles away into paper, which was horrible to watch, but ultimately unsatisfying – great, there could be bits of Voldemort in the tea we’re drinking in the Great Hall, and of course, where the fuck do the death eaters fuck off to?!
Then, WITHOUT FIXING HIS OLD WAND WHAT BROKE, Harry snaps the Elder wand and chucks it over the viaduct.
AND THEN IT’S THE END.
Oh no wait – nineteen years later the trio barely talk, and just stand there looking all old, and harry has a son, and I don’t feel remotely attached because it’s ended way too quickly.
Never mind. It would have been so much more rewarding to see Voldemort as this dead body you can just roll off the cliff, and Bellatrix. In a way they had better deaths than the poor victims in the Hall.
But – I hope you enjoy it. If you see it, please see it in 2D – David Yates’ way of doing things is very dark and cold, and it doesn’t work very well with 3D at all, as most of the film takes place at night. It is another film where they’ve just added 3D so you can be like WOW IT’S ALMOST REAL – when in actuality the only bit where you’re like OMG IT’S 3D is right at the beginning, when a dementor looms into view from a misty darkness. That was proper freaky like it was actually in the cinema.
But otherwise – to enjoy the beauty of it, see it in 2D, pleeease.
Anyway I’ve ranted enough. I’ll see it again a couple times I think; maybe I just got my hopes way up. I’ll probably like it when I see it again.