Friday, November 19, 2010
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
As I start this, it is3:23am. I am completely wired from the 40oz Diet Coke I had at the theater and the movie's score has been purchased and loaded onto my iPod. Here we go.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the movie yet: Cave Inimicum!!! (Defensive spell to keep enemies away. Thank you Harry Potter Lexicon).
From the moment I heard the first chimes of the theme my inner fangirl began to squeeeeee like crazy. I was instantly ridiculously excited.
The movie opens with our three heroes readying themselves for the unknown challenges ahead of them. At home, Ron waits. Before leaving, Hermione heartbreakingly eliminates all traces of herself from her house and from her parents' memories. Harry has packed his things and the Dursleys have left the building. He opens the door to the cupboard under the stairs one last time and I am reminded of how far we've come since he last resided there. Except that as small as he was then, he is still just a kid. They all are. The very thought of that weighed very heavily on me throughout the rest of the film.
For the sake of keeping this review from becoming as long as the book itself, my most essential notes:
• The beaten and grotesquely positioned woman hanging suspended in the air above the table full of Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor made me squirm. When Nagini pops up to snack on her after she's been Avada Kedavra'd I was so startled I spilled Skittles all over the floor.
• At the Dursley's, they do enough only slightly awkward exposition to make up for some of what had been left out of the previous two films (Bill & Fleur, Remus & Tonks). If I had my way each movie would have followed each book to a T and spared no detail. Though, if that were the case we'd probably all still be sitting in the theater watching Order of the Phoenix.
• The banter and exchange of barbs throughout the making of the many Harrys was perfection. I nearly died laughing at Daniel Radcliffe in a white lacey bra.
• The death of Hedwig. *sob* I feel a bit robbed that my reaction to her loss was more heartbroken than Harry's seemed to be.
• Harry and Ginny. Sigh. When she asked him to zip up her dress and thanked him with a kiss I wanted to do my little girl clap SO bad! These two just have not had enough time together to satisfy me. And the looks on all of their faces when they were interrupted: priceless!
• The girl with the headphones in the cafe where they are found by the Snatchers made me wonder how much I miss when I am lost in iPod land. Kidding aside, it was sad watching Hermione remember the last time she had used the Obliviate charm.
• Grimmauld Place is scary! Between the Dumbledore ghost charm, Kreacher and the overall shabbiness, I was officially wigged out the whole time they were there. Hermione’s, "We're alone," declaration upon arrival only made it that much more foreboding.
• The actors playing the body-napped Ministry of Magic employees were phenomenal. I was both amused and terrified watching their portrayal of the kids under the effects of the polyjuice potion.
• Just the sound of the cat plates mewing in Umbridge's office made my skin crawl. I really hate that woman.
• I had completely forgotten about Ron being "splinched" when the trio apparated out of the Ministry and the entire sequence had me in a bit of a panic. Bless Hermione’s rock star heart though, she begins to cast the spells to protect them all even with Ron's blood still on her hands.
• Their journey from place to place, always alone, always to desolate locations, was just as bleak and wearing on screen as it was on the page. The feelings of isolation and frustration, due to the locket and to their situation, were beautifully portrayed.
• I loved Harry's attempt to cheer a grief-stricken Hermione with a dance (and I loved that song. Anyone know what it is? Anyone? Bueller?) I also love that it only worked for a minute or two. Her feelings of love and longing for Ron were as exquisite as they were painful.
• Harry in the cemetery looking over the grave of his parents was seriously heart crushing. As was the tearful exchange of "Merry Christmas" greetings between him and Hermione. Not gonna lie, there were quite a few tears.
• I'm aware that this is not a horror movie but the whole time they were in the icky house with Nagini wearing the Bathilda suit it really felt like one. I was biting my nails, peaking between my fingers and I swear to Albus I came this close to screaming several times. Truly terrifying!
• Side note: the in-theater whistles as Harry stripped river side were a real treat. Way to set the mood kids.
• Harry and Hermione's mega make out scene was a tad disturbing. But also really HOT! Which I also find to be disturbing.
• Ron's efforts to make his way back into Hermione’s good graces were darling! And hilarious! And I think may have caused me to develop a major crush on Rupert Grint.
• Not like this is a huge newsflash but Bellatrix Lestrange is a super evil mega-bitch. The screams she solicited from Hermione (whoa Emma!) were excruciating to listen to. I wanted to sob and scream and cover my ears.
• After being away for so much of the last 4 films, and knowing what would happen in this one, I felt extremely grateful and triumphant to see Doby get his moment to shine, his last heroic stand. They did his character real justice with the rescue and his final words. That said it felt a bit awkward to have Harry state that he would dig his grave without magic. Couldn't they have just left it at showing him do it?
• Damn that grave robbing Voldemort right to hell! I had been wondering where they would cut it and how this one would end and I could not have been more impressed. I think fans of the books, fans of the movies and fans of both (like me) will have to agree.
Now, is it July yet?