I have to admit that it fell short for me - not terribly so, just a yard from the finishing line and that moment of euphoric glory - I felt as if the movie had fundamentally missed something and while it totally kicked ass in terms of spectacle etc, it didn't pay ultimate service to the story and/or characters and us as an audience that have invested time in absorbing these cinematic treats for so many years. I am absolutely thrilled that another movie blogger who I admire in bucket-loads, The Incredible Suit, pretty much validates my thoughts.
The old argument of book vs film is always going to sound stale at this point but the argument of story vs spectacle is always relevant - without paying service to the former, the latter is a weak and somewhat 'airy', not securely grounded in the real truth and heart of the narrative - and subsequently the character revelation and growth is stunted. Lemme break it down...
Part 1 really, really did it's job. Part 2 didn't capitalise on that quite well enough - Yates decided to forego any 'explain-y' moments, having done a fair share of that in Part 1 but then Part 2 all became a mad rush of frenetic goings on that missed real, core material. I would have preferred if the film went on for another half an hour and did the ending PROPERLY - Peter Jackson wasn't afraid to do that with LOTR and after 8 HP friggin movies, I don't think it would have gone amiss to pause and/or explain:
- that some of Harry's blood was in Voldemort when he took it from him in Goblet of Fire and so some of Lily's 'love-protection' was in him, making it nigh impossible to kill Harry if Voldemort still lives.
|I'm pissed because I didn't have any Purpose!|
- SNAPE's noblest moment - all that was breezed over and though the most poignant, wasn't given time or tact to echo and resonate and have us sniffling for a good five minutes - Snape deserved our tears to fall for longer than that! It was supposed to have turned Harry's world upside down, stripped everything away. Instead, Harry walks down some stairs, exchanges a few lines of dialogue with Hermione and blah...we're moving on.
- the Hallows vs the Horcruxes - off shoot of the Elder Wand back story - the main dynamic and the reason that Harry ultimately becomes the 'master of death'.
OTHER concerns with the directing:
- More dialogue and reactions please! Was Yates afraid to use this basic device to actually do its job in giving weight to the narrative? The much awaited 'kiss' scene was stupid and rushed and of course we saw none of it because it was one wide shot (anyone else notice that Yates' choice of shot means we never actually 'see' anything?) and half of Ron's head was in the way.
|Let's not extend our embarrassment by talking in this pivotal moment|
Additionally, when Fred dies, we could have suspended that moment because that was the death that really knocked the wind from Harry because the Weasleys are his surrogate family. And the deaths of Tonks and Remus were just...?...emotional impact, we wanted it hitting us hard in the chests. After Fred's death, George is obviously changed, he becomes more serious etc - the whole idea that after the end of the battle, people have come out of it scarred wasn't brought home at all.
Considering Yates had two films to do this right, I'm surprised it wasn't aligned well enough and we didn't see the creatures of the forest outside Hogwarts come to battle and protect the school, Ginny wasn't given her briefly much needed moment to show that she is bad ass, we didn't reference the prophecy which would have made Neville's importance all the more significant and the Dumbledore tale wasn't expanded on.
|I thought I was supposed to have a 'role'?|
Then of course, there was the end and I'm a little worried that Yates didn't see fit to cast older actors in the end sequence because what he had came off as just silly, leaching the gravitas of that timeless end line 'The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.'
I look forward to the extended version on DVD and then watching Part 1 and 2 together - somehow I think that will work better.
How I rate the films in order:
1. Order of the Phoenix
2. Deathly Hallows Part 1
3. Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Philosopher's Stone
5. Deathly Hallows Part 2
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Goblet of Fire
8. Half Blood Prince