This was a terrific weekend. On Saturday, “N” and I went to see Deathly Hallows. I’m very glad I stuck to my personal tradition and re-read the book in anticipation of seeing the movie. I will re-read it yet again before part 2 is released in July.
Overall, I liked the movie. I liked it a lot. My least favorite is Half-Blood Prince because it seemed to me that, if you hadn’t read the books, you’d have no idea at all what was going on. The same thing is true here, but for some reason, it bothers me less.
At the very beginning, we see Hermione at her parents’ home, and she’s modifying their memories so that, if Voldemort and his Death Eaters come calling, they will not be able to tell them where she is. As we see Hermione’s face disappear from the photographs, we feel her pain and sadness. Her commitment to helping find and destroy the Horcruxes is of primary importance. Another made-up scene that I liked was Harry and Hermione dancing in the tent. Neither one is a particularly good dancer in this scene, but it shows just how hard he’s working to cheer her up after Ron has left.
But it’s the scenes that are left out that can make the resulting film difficult to understand if you’ve never read the books. The most glaring omissions include the fact that, after Ron opens the locket, Harry never explains to him that he and Hermione are not in love with each other and that she spent days crying after Ron left. Another is that we don’t get to see Luna’s bedroom and see just how important her friends are to her. Then, at Godric’s Hollow on Christmas, Harry and Hermione visit the graves as themselves. But in the book, they disguise themselves as an older Muggle couple. What I found odd is that, in the movie, they made a point of telling us that they could have used Polyjuice Potion but did not do so. But what really struck me is the scene where the doe helps Harry find the Sword of Gryffindor. In the book, one of the things Hermione takes from Grimmauld Place is a portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, a former Headmaster of Hogwarts. It is because of this portrait that Snape learns where Harry and Hermione are so he is able to get the Sword to them. But in the film, Hermione never takes the portrait, so it is very difficult to figure out just how Snape knows where to put the Sword. Also, since we never learn that Harry saying the word “Voldemort” alerts the Snatchers to their location, it’s hard to figure out how and why the Snatchers were able to find them in the woods. One very weird thing is that, in the movie, Wormtail doesn’t die. A lot of other people do (and will in the next installment), but not Wormtail. I just don’t get it.
As an aside, in Half-Blood Prince the book, we know the students take their Apparating lessons so those of us who read the books know why they now Apparate to wherever they need to go. But, since those lessons were omitted from that movie, anyone who only saw the movie might be confused as to why they Apparate all over the countryside instead of taking brooms.
But in the grand scheme of things, these are inconsequential. I loved this movie. I particularly loved the part at the beginning, when we see the 7 Harrys preparing to help him escape. Daniel Radcliffe did a very good job pretending to be, say, Fleur pretending to be Harry. It was hilarious. I also thought that the scene at the Ministry of Magic was very well done — the man playing Runcorn did an excellent job pretending to be Harry. Dobby’s death was heart-breaking, and very well done.
I’ll probably see it again and may even post again to reflect any new insights I may come up with. I’ve only seen it once, and it’s already a desert-island keeper.
The rest of the weekend was stellar also. “N” and I hung out with the Jets Fan Club of Tampa Bay and watched as the Jets once more tried to take even more years off my life than they already have. It was so much fun, hanging out with other wild-and-crazy former New Yorkers all dressed in green and white. If the bar weren’t 60 miles from home, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.