Saturday, July 16, 2011


USA/UK 2011

Can you believe it? It is all over. When I say it to myself, it seems almost unreal. My love of Harry Potter is well over a decade old. I was 11 years old when I read the first Harry Potter book and 12 when I saw the first Harry Potter film. I was the girl who read all the books multiple times, slept outside the night the 5th, 6th and 7th book were released into stores, and attended all the films at midnight. Now, I am 23 and I waited in line for the last time with the excited hoards of super nerds, little kids, and awkward adults trying their best to concele their child-like glee.

Generally speaking, I HATE midnight movies. The older I get, the less the atmosphere appeals to me. People treat the movie theater like their living room and it drives me crazy. Now, I arrived at the theater about 45 minutes early, and I barely got a seat. As I waited for the movie to start, squished between a fat kid demolishing a bag of M&Ms and 2 teenage girls gossiping about bitches they hate, I thought to myself, "Wow, I can't believe this is the last time I will ever get to anticipate Harry Potter." I told myself to enjoy the anticipation because it would never happen again.

Having read the book, I was very pleased with the way they approach the film, minus a few problems. As we all know, books are hard to translate into films, but if done right, the film doesn't try copy the book, but takes liberties and short cuts to create a concise, organized storyline.

My only real complaint about the film is the pacing, it is a little rushed in my opinion. I thought they glossed over the escape from Gringotts and Fred's death. Both events had the potential to be great moments, but before the meaning could sink in, the story had moved on.

I liked that they showed Hermione and Ron in the Chamber of Secrets. I was quite surprised because the moment had been glossed over in the book. I am glad we got to see Hermione destroy a Horcrux. But the best moment of all is when Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), cut the head off of Voldemort's great snake. I was afraid the filmmakers might have skipped it, but they actually treated it with all the glory Neville deserved. Go Neville!

The special effects were great, but I could tell they had shot the film intending it to be seen in 3D. There were LOTS of close up and shallow depth of field shots, which is a characteristic of 3D movies that I hate. Unlike Deathly Hallows Part 1, there are very few sweeping landscapes and beautiful vistas. I am not sure if there was necessarily an opportunity for such shots, but it would have helped balance out the close ups and shallow shots.

Over all, Harry Potter was everything I wanted it to be so it is hard for me to look at it objectively. For me, the end of Harry Potter feels like the end of my childhood. It is hard to sum up into words. All I can say is read the books to your kids, let them watch the movies and maybe we can keep Harry alive for the next generation of muggles. We love you Harry, you will be missed by millions.

A+ I very rarely cry in movies and I shed more than a few tears when the credits rolled for the last time.

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