i went to the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, last night. it was the last time i’ll ever go to a new harry potter movie! the fandom will live on, and i will definitely watch the movies and read the books again, over and over, and have parties where we dress up again, but there is something different about the energy when nobody has seen it yet and everybody is lined up waiting for hours and hours (i got there five hours early and the line was already around two corners of the theater). i loved so many of the costumes. mine was an authentic ravenclaw robe.
i had expected to cry. i did not. i don’t know if it was because i was so tired, (i felt light-headed before the movie even started), or if it was because i had anticipated it too much and spent all my tears in the week leading up to it, or if i was unable to get into the emotion of the story because of the distraction of all the things they changed and the audience’s yelling and laughing and cheering and obscuring many of the lines of dialogue that i’m sure were great, or, maybe it was too fast. maybe they really didn’t allow the emotion to develop.
i need to watch it again, under different, move well-rested and less high-expectation-ed circumstances, before i make a final judgment. because there really were so many things that i loved. moments that i absolutely wanted to see included that were, characters that got terrific treatment. i’m thinking of mcgonagall and mrs. weasley, and NEVILLE, and SNAPE!!!!!! and the beginning was good, and the gringots escapade was brilliant, and i expected they would change crap around, because they always do and because they had left out so many essentials from previous films they really had to scramble to explain things in this last one.
i feel like it is the movie’s fault, not mine, that i didn’t cry. i say that knowing i might change my mind after i see it again. and knowing it sounds really arrogant and critical, and like i didn’t appreciate it, when in truth i absolutely loved so many individual scenes. but i feel like the movie was too fast. scenes were slammed together, plot points were included but i didn’t have time to get into the moment with any of them. they were all over too fast, and it was on to something else. what was included was (mostly) terrific, but…i don’t know…i needed more.
i’m glad they split the final book into two films, there is no doubt we got to see more that way. but. they still left too much out, or didn’t properly handle what they included. for instance, they establish the doubt about dumbledore’s intentions and trustworthiness in part 1. they meet aberforth in part 2 and he is resentful towards his brother, and then…nothing. we don’t get any resolve to that, unless you are satisfied by harry resolutely stating “i trusted the man i knew.” aberforth is right to retort “that’s a boy’s answer.” film harry never really confronts the uncomfortable truths about his mentor, not even in the king’s cross station. which i’m sure is because of time constraints and pacing concerns and all that. but i’m just saying, there were a lot of subplots like that about which i felt unsatisfied.
another example–in the trailer, we saw tonks and lupin stretch out their hands during the battle of hogwarts reaching for each other. when i saw that clip i got teary-eyed, thinking, oh! lupin and tonks! they’re going to show them fighting together, and they’ll probably have some really great lines and i will cry. but they didn’t. their part was in the trailer almost entirely. that was it. just a few seconds of them reaching out, they didn’t even touch hands. and we didn’t get to see them cast any spells, hit any death eaters, protect any innocents. just, hands reaching out, and then later, there they lie. i really wanted to see more of the good guys fighting. the battle of hogwarts focused on the trolls and spiders and death eaters and things getting blown up. why couldn’t we have seen just a few quick shots of people like mr. weasley or kingsley shacklebot or lupin or tonks or neville’s grandmother or any of the students fighting back valiently? a hero shot!
neville got lots of hero shots. and i loved every single one of them.
snape’s story got the attention it deserved-snape! i always believed in snape! i was most looking forward to his part. i came the closest to crying then. i physically jumped in my seat when the snake attacked. i wanted to cry at his memories so badly. maybe i will next time. i though alan rickman was perfect. but the memories went by very quickly, too, and were interspersed with these weird quotes and quick shots of other things, and i don’t remember noticing the music. was there music? was it good? oh, snape. my beautiful, brave snape. i love you so much more than the arrogant and reckless harry.
*sigh* whenever i finish reading book 7 i always think, “noooo! it can’t be over, i need more!” so maybe my negative reactions are the same phenomenon translated to movie universe. maybe it’s because anything that didn’t get wrapped up or included never will be, now. maybe it was any of the reasons i’ve already stated.
i’ll watch it again and let you know.