THAT is how you make a movie. Thank you, Hollywood, for not sucking so much.
I know you all think I’m a terrible nit-picker (right) and that nothing can please me (wrong), so I’m happy to be able to prove you at least somewhat wrong.
I loved the final movie.
As I had been promised, all of my pivotal points were present and accounted for. So was PH’s big request, which was for Neville to kill the snake.
- There were no Nazis. There WAS one random police man, which was stupid, but he was just in the background, so I’ll let it go.
- The invisibility cloak made an appearance, although not nearly as much as it should have.
- The shard of glass was somewhat explained.
- Ron and Hermione’s make-out scene was brilliant.
- The Battle of Hogwarts was beyond cool.
- Snape’s story made me cry.
- Harry was still a Horcrux (although I think the “hearing Horcruxes” thing was a little stupid, but I didn’t care enough).
- Harry sacrificed himself properly and with appropriate ceremony.
There were plot alterations, of course, but I didn’t mind them. I was disappointed not to see Ravenclaw Tower, but I totally understood why they cut out a lot of the running around to find the diadem. I approve of such cuts, which is why Harry Potter Goes Camping annoyed me so, because they replaced vital stuff with long pans of empty countryside, and Hermione cutting Harry’s hair. SNORE.
Similarly, I understand why they decided to combine the meeting of the students in the Great Halls with Snape’s escape from Hogwarts and Voldemort’s ultimatum. That meant cutting a lot of my favourite McGonnagle moments (“Professor Snape has “done a bunk”), but the screenwriters actually wrote her character well and gave her such excellent replacement moments that I didn’t mind a bit. If anything, I felt like I had been GIFTED with extra McGonnagle lines (“Yes, blow it up!”), and since she’s a favourite of mine (I was practically blowing kisses at Maggie Smith in my adoration), that’s all to the good.
I was especially willing to grant such cuts and plot changes because they used that gained time to actually show Ron and Hermione killing the Hufflepuff Horcrux: a scene which is glossed over in just a couple of lines of text in the book. That was awesome, because again, like those great McGonnagle lines, it felt like the movie was adding on to the books, instead of ripping off the books. I like to feel that a movie is a companion or appendix to the book it represents, rather than a pale imitation.
The lack of Crabbe in the Room of Requirement scene was a bit jarring – I realize the actor was all in jail and crap, but I think that it would have been better to make it just Malfoy and Goyle rather than attach a random Black kid. It felt a little too “The Black character always dies”.
However, the fiendfyre was FRICKING AWESOME, and Ron’s excellent line was kept, thank heavens.
Right up to Harry’s death, I was enjoying myself thoroughly.
After, it kind of went downhill.
First of all, do you remember how I complained about them cutting the Invisibility Cloak, a DEATHLY HALLOW, from the first Deathly Hallows movie? And do you remember how I complained in Half Blood Prince that the whole Half Blood Prince storyline seemed tacked-on, as if the screenwriters didn’t get why it should even be there, but had to put it in because of the title? Well, I felt a bit the same way towards the end of the movie.
When Harry had his conversation with Dumbledore, I understood why they cut out a lot of the “I was in love with Grindelwald, ok? I’m sorry,” stuff. I miss it, it makes me cry when I read it, but I understand that they can’t include EVERY story arc. It’s not like the book is called Dumbledore Hearts Grindelwald.
However, I do think that they should have discussed WHY he was able to come back to life.
In the book, Dumbledore “guesses” several things: That Harry’s mother’s sacrifice, now living in Voldemort’s veins, tied Harry to the mortal realm. That’s important in the book, because it explains why Dumbledore looked triumphant in The Goblet Of Fire when Harry says that Voldemort took his blood and was could touch Harry without pain. I can’t tell you how much that line had worried me, especially in the start of Deathly Hallows when all that bad stuff about Dumbledore started to come out.
So that’s important in the book, but if they had cut it out, I would have understood. The triumphant look thing didn’t exist in the movie, so they didn’t need such a complicated explanation.
Instead, I expected them to attribute it to the Master of Death thing, but oddly, they didn’t. I mean, all it takes is one line: “The invisibility cloak is a hallow, the resurrection stone is a hallow, and Harry is the true master of the Elder wand, so therefore he is the master of death.”
Seems logical considering that it’s THE NAME OF THE MOVIE.
The fact that Harry goes to meet his death wearing the invisibility cloak, while holding the resurrection stone, is significant. We don’t know it yet, but he is also the master of the Elder wand, which means that when he goes to die, he is the master of the Deathly Hallows and consequently of death himself. Considering that he survives AGAIN, I feel that that is a big deal, and no one even points that out in the movie. Harry doesn’t even use his invisibility cloak when he goes to meet his death, OR afterwards, so we don’t even know if he has it on him. Maybe Hermione has it in her purse.
So I really think they should have been clearer on that point: Instead of repeating “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it/deserve it” again and again with significant eyebrow wriggles, Dumbledore could have been like “by the way, you know that you have the hallows, right? So I think you’re still alive.”
I also feel like the return of Voldemort scene could have been better done. What’s with Neville’s sappy little speech, and then why delay the death of the snake for so long, taking up precious movie minutes? Have him whip out the sword and kill the damn snake already, and then LET THE BATTLE BEGIN.
I also think it would have been better to have everyone trying to cast curses at the good guys, only to have the curses rebound. Harry died to save them, just as his mother died to save him, so they are protected in the same way. That’s a big deal, and really awesome because it means that Voldemort screwed up big time.
And that’s my final beef: I am a vindictive little snot, so I like the bad guy to KNOW that he is well and truly beaten. If I were a bad guy myself, I’d be the kind who starts monologuing, thus giving the hero time to save the day.
I love that in the book Harry gives Voldemort a big dressing-down, basically telling him:
- You still don’t understand the power of sacrifice, and you’ve just done it again, YOU MORON.
- You forgot that Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, not Snape, so you killed your favourite dude for no reason YOU IDIOT.
- Oh, by the way, I defeated Malfoy, so now your wand actually holds its allegiance to me, SUCKER.
- Your horcruxes are all destroyed, and I own your wand, so you had better start repenting. GO ON, REPENT!
Not to mention that this is done in front of everyone, Death Eaters and all, so EVERYONE gets to see how wrong Voldemort is, and then watch Harry triumph.
The way they did it in the movie was a lot less exciting for me. Voldemort was just like “Huh?” and crumbles, and no one is even around to see Harry’s big moment. That’s just disappointing and anticlimactic, that is.
All in all, though, it was an excellent movie and very enjoyable to watch.
I’d see it again.