AKA The Harry Potter #7 movie review
Just a short one, and I’m aiming to be spoiler-aware here for those few who haven’t actually read the book of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [click here to read my book review from 2007]. I expect that’s not the majority of my normal readers (whom are as charming a bunch of bookgeek swots as one could hope to meet), but one ought to be nice to strange googlers on the internet.
If you have found this post by Google, and if you have not read the books, please take the PG or M rating (depending on your country) seriously. Do not take small children who love Harry Potter to this film. This film is not fun – there is no Quidditch, no funny mishaps in class, no charming Hogwarts traditions. JK Rowling deliberately wrote the books to be age-appropriate for people the same age as Harry is in each book, 16 year old Harry is very different from 10 year old Harry, and the films also reflect this age difference. People die and people think about sex. Younger children should only see the film if they’ve already read the book and remained undevastated.
I’ve had high expectations of this film ever since I heard they were splitting it into two parts. Where some others see a deeply cynical punter-squeezing exercise, I see a not-entirely-cynical creative team trying to make sense of adapting an exceptionally complex and lengthy novel into something that moviegoers can actually sit through and enjoy (remember how much plot explication there had to be in the dialogue of the last one? How it seemed like they all did little but talk talk and more talk (when they weren’t snogging)? How much of the middle section seemed to be disjointed ticking-the-box scenes pandering to devoted book fans, which really is not at all a coherent way to make a movie? Thank goodness for that last half-hour!).
I reckon this time they’ve cracked it. From a poignantly miserable opening the action rattles horrifyingly along past danger after danger, and the mood varies winningly to give the audience welcome moments of relief from the tension before plunging us back into our team’s mortal peril. The central trio’s relationship continues to develop through being tested in more than magical ways, made all the more crucial in this film by them questing alone for most of it, without either the distractions or the support that Hogwarts has previously provided. Ron (Rupert Grint) has less comedic foil work to do this time, and shines as he finds his emotional strengths. Emma Watson’s Hermione is more vulnerable than we’ve seen her before, but icily determined and as inventive as ever. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) seems stolidly resigned to completing the task which Dumbledore has assigned him: finding the Horcruxes which are the key to defeating Voldemort forever.
We see very little of Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) really, but she steals every scene that she’s in and she does form the heart of an important subplot. I love her beautifully simple delivery of the truths nobody else is willing to say.
The moment at which they choose to end the film is thankfully not a cliffhanger, but it is an excellent choice for the “to be continued” moment. I was happy for the film to take a break there. In an ideal world I’d be seeing #8 tomorrow, but I guess I’ll manage to wait until June/July next year. In the meantime world, more Evanna please.
At least there’s always http://fuckyeahlunalovegood.tumblr.com/
Categories: arts & entertainment