You guuuuuys. I am so tired right now, and kind of cranky and weepy and generally foot-stompy, because I don’t want Harry Potter to be over now. I think everyone who sees this movie ought to also get a free ticket to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as consolation. When people cry in funeral homes because a loved one has died, people get tissues. Theme Park Tickets could be our tissues.
Okay, but enough maudlin sadness. Who here has seen Harry Potter 7.2?? Who here could not possibly care less about seeing Harry Potter 7.2? Only you guys may enter the cut. For the rest of you, THERE BE SPOILERS HERE.
My first overwhelming thought, right off the bat? I didn’t like it.
Ha ha, just wait and hear me out. As a movie, it was awesome, and as an adaptation of a book, it was seriously one of the better ones, but as My Very Last First Harry Potter Experience, it was rubbish. I didn’t want to see wars and fighting and Voldemort and wizardry! I just wanted to sit in a big room with all of the characters I have grown to love over the past 15 years and just talk about our feelings and give each other hugs. Seriously, at one point in the film, I thought, “Ooh! We could just turn the Room of Requirements into a comfy group therapy room with beanbags and floor pillows and just sit around and give each other cuddles for the next two hours!!” Cause I don’t want to say goodbyyyyyyeeeee. I AM NOT READY.
But, for better or for worse (for better; for much, much better), no one has tapped me to direct Harry Potter: The Mumblecore Version. Yet. So let’s talk about the actual movie instead.
HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS IT WAS OFF THE RAILS!!! I seriously have a section of my notes that just says: “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” And that was in long-hand. I’m not even sure which part of the movie elicited that reaction, because since it was so dark in the theatre, I accidentally wrote over half my notes with the other half. That part, for example, was written over another note which just said “must find Bill and Fleur’s seaside cottage on VRBO.com.” And then just the word “teeth.” I . . . don’t really know what that was in reference to.
Okay! My thoughts are all scrambled and my notes are a mess, so the following are some parts I found HILARIOUSLY DELIGHTFUL:
- Ron and Harry changing shirts on the beach while Hermione just pointedly looks on. Dear David Yates: We, the heterosexual women and homosexual men in the audience, appreciate your ridiculous attempt at injecting some sexiness into this film. But honestly, I never need to see Dan Rad’s happy trail. Focus the camera more on Rupert Grint next time! Oh, wait. There is no next time. SHIT.
- Helena Bonham Carter playing Hermione playing Bellatrix was hysterical.
- The fact that Neville spent the last half of the movie busting up shit left and right and killing a giant snake . . . in a fucking Cosby sweater. Oh, Neville.
- Did anyone notice how immaculately clean Luna looked at the end of the film? She sat down next to Neville in her cute little outfit without a speck on her. It made me chuckle with delight.
- I know the scene in Bellatrix’s vault when all her gold started multiplying was meant to be tense, but it just reminded me of Scrooge McDuck swimming through his pool of gold. You should totally take that opportunity to have fun, kids! You are living every child of the 80s’ DREAM!
- When Ginny sees Harry again and completely ignores Ron for Harry. “She hasn’t even seen me in six months. I might have gotten a ‘hello.'”
- Oh, ha. Speaking of Ginny, the most hysterical part was, of course, the epilogue, but no part of that was more hysterical than Ginny’s Big Texas Hair. GINNY. What has become of you? At least Hermione looked like a pulled-together, professional mom. Ginny had soccer mom hair. WHAT IS WITH THAT?
Parts that they skimped on which I imagine confused audience members who don’t read the books:
- The Order just sort of shows up at Hogwarts, magically. And yeah, Neville does say something like “Dean, contact the Order” but it’s all a bit of background noise and then all of a sudden, Molly Weasley is there. And Lupin and Tonks (sniff!), who no one who has only seen the movie even cares about. Well, I imagine they care about Lupin, but did they get that Tonks totally got her man after months of fighting for him and then they had a baby and got married and were super, super happy with life and then they DIED? DID THEY EVEN UNDERSTAND?
- They pretty much glossed over all of the Albus and Aberforth backstory, which I found sad, because I really liked finding out that Dumbledore was so flawed in the book. I see why they made that choice, and everything, but then the whole plot point of Aberforth actually helping them out sort of fell flat. I guess probably if you don’t read the books, it doesn’t even register. Okay, moving on.
- Because the previous movies have skipped so much of Tom Riddle’s unique connection to Hogwarts, the whole hunt for Rowena Ravenclaw’s diagram probably seemed sort of dumb to non-book-readers. I don’t know – I can’t imagine I would have cared about that part of the movie at all if I hadn’t read the books. As it was, I was like, “Ugh, okay, just go to the Room of Requirements already and get the diadem and let’s get on with this shit!”
- I felt like they could have spent a little more time developing the scene between Draco and co and Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Room of Requirements and then Draco’s actions during the last battle. I realize that they filmed it pretty much exactly like the book reads, but there is that noble part of Malfoy that blossoms there which makes his hesitation to go back over to Voldemort’s side all the more gutwrenching. I probably wouldn’t have had this complaint if I’d watched 7.1 and 7.2 back to back, though, because they do spend a bit more time on Malfoy in the scenes in Malfoy Manor.
Fist pumping action!
- When Prof. McGonagall and Snape have their wand battle, it is AWESOME. You go, Minerva!
- When Neville shouts out “Yeah? You and what army?” to the Hogsmeade villagers working for Voldemort. Ha ha, oh, I laughed.
- Kissing!!! KIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIING.
- Molly and Bellatrix’s duel at Hogwarts!
- Neville killing Nagnini! FUCK YEAH NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM!
- Oh! Also, his speech about how Harry lives in all of them blah blah blah, and then whipping out Godric’s sword! Yay!
Parts they really could have screwed up but miraculously didn’t:
- The King’s Cross scene after Harry dies. In the book it drags on a bit, but it actually worked perfectly in the movie. (Though I wouldn’t have minded a little more detail to show that it was, indeed, King’s Cross. Although is King’s Cross even open anymore? Or does everything go into St Pancras now? THIS IS SO SAD TO THINK ABOUT.) Dumbledore’s line: “Of course this is in your mind, Harry. But why should that mean it is not real?” was so perfectly delivered that I’m choking up just thinking about it right now. Oh, Dumbledore! NEVER LEAVE ME!
- Narcissa’s aid to Harry. I was really worried that they were going to cut that bit, but they didn’t, and it was just lovely.
- Every fucking scene with Neville Fucking Longbottom. Just pitch perfect, every single one.
- Snape’s death. Oh, this was my biggest fear – that they would cut parts of it or wouldn’t say it right, but it was all so, so perfect. From Baby!Snape (who actually was a total cutie!) and the origins of the Lily/Petunia feud, to James Potter being kind of a dick at Hogwarts, to Snape’s fearful insistence that Dumbledore do something to protect Lily, to the crying, and, most of all, to “After all this time?” “Always” Oh! Snape! I love you so much!! Please don’t ever leave me!!
- And, actually, speaking of Snape’s death, how much did you flinch during it? I was halfway down in my seat, covering my hands, crying and whispering “No, stop, please!” Much to the delight of the frat dude next to me, I’m sure.
And now, My One Complaint That I Realize Isn’t The Movie’s Fault, But Still:
- The deaths. Oh, how I wish they could have spent more time on the deaths. I realize that they are exactly like that in the book – half of the people die off screen – but at least in the book you’ve had some time in earlier pages to hang out with them. At least in the book you’ve usually read the first six books in the few weeks prior to Book Seven’s release, and you’ve felt like you at least got to spend time with these people before having to say goodbye. I just . . . I wish we could have spent some time saying goodbye to Tonks and Lupin and Fred and little Colin Creevy and everyone else who died. Damnit, now I’m crying again. WHERE IS MY GROUP THERAPY ROOM OF REQUIREMENTS?
In the end, I thought this movie finally lived up to the promise of the books. I don’t know that this was the best movie of the lot, as a movie, because there was just so much action that it took a good hour and a half to get to the part where we learn what’s going on. But it was a faithful adaptation and I thought it really – and FINALLY – got to the heart of the series, that none of us are alone, that we’re better together, and that we should always work for what is right, even if what is right is what is hardest. I thought it finally showed how strong love can be – that it can protect you from death, that it can send your friends out to fight in your name, that it can stay with you all of your life and drive all of your actions and that, in the end, it will always be what saves you.
Oh. And the round 3D glasses were seriously an amazingly nice touch.
Alright, guys, it’s your turn! What’d you love? What’d you hate? And does anyone want to join me on my bean bag in the Group Therapy Room of Requirements?