I’ve had a few days to reflect on the move so I thought I should Post my review of the most recent of the Harry Potter installments. If you haven’t seen it or read the book just know that there are SPOILERS!
As is the case for all the moves, this one was very visually impressive. It was constantly set in a darker tone, even during lighter moments, and the camera would often move swoopingly which sucked you into the moment. They chose not to include most of the memories Dumbledore collected about Voldemort, which I at first was not happy about, but by the end of the movie i understood why they did that. Anyone that is going to see this movie knows the ending for the most part. The fact that the screen writer makes people almost forget that is a testament to the directory, writers and actors. I would be caught up and laughing in the kids lives and only remember the ultimate ending whenever Dumbledore was in a scene. In a way, the writers worked hard to make even hard core fan forget what was about to happen and it partially worked. It prevented us from fixating on the end and allowed us to enjoy the journey.
The ending was well done. I had known they were going to move the funeral to the beginning of the seventh movie and I’m glad I knew that in advance. Being prepared for that I was able to appreciate the way it played out. When all of the school raised their wands in the air while Harry cried over Dumbledore’s body I felt the respect and loss that the funeral represents in the book.
As is usual for Harry Potter the female characters are not just side kicks but pivotal role. Since Voldemort is not in this movie it is Bellatrix Lestrange that remains the representative of his evil. I have a mad crush on Helena Bonham Carter and the way she acts here is why. She is evil without being a caricature. The beginning scene where she taunts Snape, to where she returns to her taunt of “I killed Sirius Black” and to the last scene where she gleefully shoots the Dark Mark into the air after Dumbledore is killed. She carries the threat of what is to come in this movie and she does it amazingly.
Lavender Brown is played perfectly although a bit over the top. She is a bit of a caricature of a love sick 16 year old but it’s played to perfect campy perfection with the way she swoons over Ron to the glare she gets when they break up and he is sitting with Hermione again. She truly stills the scenes she’s in, especially when she fogs up the window on Hogwarts, draws a heart with her and Ron’s initials in it and mouths. ‘I’ll miss you.”
Hermoine finally starts to show her true feelings for Ron in this film and the scene where she is crying over him and Lavender is awesome. She asks Harry how it feels when he see’s Ginny with Dean, and after she breaks down crying Harry quietly tell her that it feels how she feels. It was a nice touch that placed both of them on equal footing instead of the usual movie trope of the girl being the love sick one. Instead, Harry and her are both going through the same thing and are torn up and the male protagonist is willing to admit it.
The only real weak point is the character of Ginny Weasley. In the books she is by far my favorite character and the sixth book is where her personality truly starts to shine. She is sharp tongued, smart and reckless and the same time. None of that truly comes through in the movie. You are aware that Harry loves her but the only two moments of her personality that seem to mirror the book are when she chases after Harry after two death eaters and when she is playing Quiddicth and kicking ass. Instead she wafts through the movie like a muse to Harry and instead seems to be something he reacts to, instead of the girl that pulls him into a kiss and viciously fights death eaters.