Sunday, January 9, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (David Yates, 2010)

I won't go too much into this one, as despite all the film blogging I do, I still don't feel I am a film blogger. I am a Harry Potter fan though, so I wanted to mention it.

We finally got around to seeing this one, and I really enjoyed it. To be truthful, I have fallen out of love with the film series. Part of it has been all the in-fighting among the triad or Harry, Ron and Hermione. These are a rather vital part of the books, but I never felt they had enough time in to films to waste the amount of time afforded it. This time, however, they have much more time, approximately four hours, yet they have decided to keep the high school aspect to a minimum.

An enjoyable part was that I have not read the book since the week of its release, so while I remember the skeleton of the story, many of the details were lost. Yates and company do a nice job of making the film exciting, and I would imagine that even to those who have the book fresh in their mind will be impressed. I am sure they made some changes, but in my mind they are for the better. The hardest part of making a film from a beloved book is making a film out of it, rather than rehashing story elements that do not translate visually well.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, certainly you will see it, but if you are like me and stopped enjoying the films, give this one, and the sequel I am sure, a try. I think they know that this is their last chance, and they want to really make it the best adaptation possible. Oddly, Yates also directed the films that drew me away from the film series. Maybe I need to revisit them?


Lisa said...

I think they've lost some very important things out of the first part and I am interested to see how they are going to make the second part work without them. Or if they throw them in, although this can't really work with some things (for example the picture).
I enjoyed this film, but I had higher expectations. Since I am part of the generation that literally grew up with the books and was framed by them, I am very deeply connected with the story, the characters and the world. But I think that Yates (and the directors before him) did a really good job in making the films not only viewable for kids, but also an adventure for grown-ups. Which is important, since me and the other people my age are indeed grown-up by now, but we still visit the cinema to watch the films ;)
What was a big plus in this HP film, was that they finally decided to show all of the violence that was also portrayed in the book. In the films before they always tried to keep it as 'kids-friendly' as possible. This time they dared to show a bit more (for example the snake coming out of the women, I never expected them to show it as graphic as they did).
The films will never be as good as the books for someone who is a die-hard fan, but seeing other books getting ruined by their film adaptations, one can say that they did a great job with Potter. They also made great actor choices.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I like that they did not pull punches with the violence, as this is a pretty violent story. Lots of characters die, and you cannot sugar-coat it. I have seen the retouched ads where Hermione's bloody hands are cleaned up. I think that cheapens things, and certainly would have if they made the film that way. Kids are allowed to see people die, and not have them just "go to sleep."

I want to reread the books now. I really miss the magic of the first book, but then everything was new to you just like it was to Harry, so it is hard to go back to the wonder of it all. How can you outdo the wonder of all the discovery?

I think the second part will be pretty gruesome/depressing. I'll fully admit I cried when Hedwig and Dobby died. They glossed over Mad-Eye, but I forget how that went in the book.

Lisa said...

Dobby's dead was really gruesome. I am bothered that they did not include him more, since he was nearly always present at some point in the books. He brings a lot of love and additional character.

Mad Eye & Hedwig were handled nearly the same way in the book. They are dead and gone. Though Hedwig is still in her cage when she dies, in the film she is free. I think that takes away a bit of the pressure.

I already started crying during the first scene, which isn't in the book at all, but it's great and fits perfectly. It also helps people who did not read the books to connect with the story and its characters.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I guess they were always trying to avoid the whole S.P.E.W. story line, which is fine for a book, but probably was hard to fit in the films. He definitely played a bigger part than that, however.

Lisa said...

S.P.E.W. ... ah, that was amazing :D

But yeah, it's definitely too much for a film ;)

Darius Whiteplume said...

S.P.E.W. was a totally believable Hermione project :-)

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