Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: MuggleNet's spoiler-free review
(more to come)
Thanks to MuggleNet reader Mercedez, we heard about a mysterious test screening taking place in Chicago this weekend. Based on test screenings WB has held for Potter in the past, we assumed that the time and place was right for this one to be Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
We were very nervous going into the screening as we still didn't know whether or not it was Potter. Once director David Yates had entered we knew we were at the right place. He was joined by producers David Heyman and David Barron and editor Mark Day.
Since this screening took place so far in advance, we know you don't want to be spoiled. We're keeping this report as spoiler free as possible.
The film was exactly two hours in length and still needed a lot of visual effects work. The plot line followed the book plot line better than the other films had. While you may think that two hours is short (especially compared to the other films), we actually found it to be a very satisfying length.
Fans will be pleased with the adaptation when it comes to the crucial scenes, but at least one important scene left us feeling underwhelmed.
EDIT: We used the word "underwhelmed" when initially writing this report, but to clarify I would say we were "surprised and disappointed" by a change in a critical scene towards the end.
The large majority of this film is the Battle of Hogwarts. As interviews had revealed in the past, the battle itself is close to a hour and keeps an impressive pace. Intermixed with the fighting is, like in the book, Harry's hunt for the remaining Horcruxes.
It was interesting to watch Voldemort and Harry's reaction to each Horcrux being destroyed. In the book we see Voldemort's rage as he realizes what is going on. This is brought across nicely in the film.
Unlike in the book, we get to go to the Chamber of Secrets with Ron and Hermione.
You'll find that the filmmakers attempted to insert humor into the plot at some points. While the book doesn't strive for those laughs, the film does. It's understandable that the filmmakers did this as it's what makes a good movie. There are a couple of times where the laughs - in at least one of our opinions - was not needed. This part of the story is obviously very serious and the large amount of action makes up for the need for a laugh or two.
Two surprisingly prominent characters in this film were Neville and Professor McGonagall. They both have shining moments that will get the theaters cheering.
Harry's decision to go to Voldemort is easily one of the best moments of the film. You're pulled into his realization and execution and it will make you emotional.
The Epilogue is bittersweet, but several people who saw the film say they wanted to see more.
Snape as Headmaster is great. Alan Rickman puts on his Snape character more than ever when it comes to the way he speaks.
An interview with Ciaran Hinds suggested that Aberforth Dumbledore's role in this movie was a "blink and you'll miss it appearance". This is not the case. You see Aberforth for a good bit of time, but there are adjustments from what's in the book.
Overall, this film is quite the thrill and will live up to the expectations of most fans. A couple of changes left us bothered, but we won't get into those here. More to come!
More spoiler-free thoughts on Deathly Hallows - Part 2
(thanks to our Twitter followers for some set up questions!):
Harry and Ginny's relationship in the film is highlighted a couple of times. Bonnie Wright again fills the role of a competent caregiver for Harry's sporadic needs.
Molly's shining moment in the book is seen in the film.
More on Aberforth: He actually acts. He has an important role to play all throughout the final battle, and the Two-Way Mirror subplot is wrapped up the way it would've been if the mirror were actually ever introduced in the earlier films. We do learn about Ariana.
Hermione has an amusing time trying to fill Bellatrix's boots - it is definitely one of the funnier scenes in a dramatic film.
The mood: Even though there aren't many huge laughs, the pace of the film sits right with us and there is no melodrama.
Many were concerned when we heard that Snape's death was modified for the film. The scene moved us and highlighted the relationship between Voldemort and his followers.
Speaking of Snape, The Prince's Tail is wonderful. It's an extensive collection of scenes spanning Snape's life. There are some really fantastic looks at his character.
Gary Oldman is back. His advice to Harry is heartfelt.
Lupin adequately fulfills his duty as an ex-teacher and protector of Hogwarts.
Neville's wit and bravery is wonderfully accented against the background of a dismal, dangerous Hogwarts.
There's a good chunk of the film (particularly towards the end) that will make most fans emotional as we see Harry and his friends experience important life moments.
- Report by Andrew Sims and Eric Scull, 4/2/2011Back to MuggleNet