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29 September 2013 @ 04:17 pm
Film Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (Part 1 & 2)  
I've never been a HUGE follower of Harry Potter, both the books and films. Yes, I've read all the books but I never got obsessed with them. I had largely ignored the last two installments in the film franchise because I actively hate it when filmmakers decide to split a book into multi-part movies. But finally I sat down and saw these two.

Admittedly, the splitting of the book into two films wasn't badly done for this particular novel. But in watching the movies I was reminded of how by the time we got to the last half of this universe, I'd grown less and less interested in the main characters and more invested in the smaller ones.

I ended up getting emotional at the most random times during the films. I barely felt anything when the body count started to rise as I knew from having read the books who would fall. But I did get rather sad during Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding as I knew this would be the last time all the Weasleys would be together and happy. Actually, that entire sequence made me sad because we also saw Luna with her dad (hi again, Rhys Ifans), the latter who would betray Harry in order to try and save his daughter. From what we know about the Lovegoods, I could hardly blame Xenophilius' actions. And this is why I knew I got more invested in the smaller characters. JK Rowling really excels at portraying many of the supporting characters with good complexity. Such as Xenophilius, Sirius Black, and Fleur Delacour. I like that Sirius was sort of an ass until the end. In watching these movies, I realized that I found a lot of common themes between Sirius and Gary King from World's End which is not a comparison I thought I'd be making. But to get back to HP, it was really the actions and motivations of the smaller roles that revitalized my interests when they began to wane.

I'm one of the only people in the world who found Snape's backstory completely boring. I remember getting to this part in the book and rolling my eyes. His love for Lily Potter felt like an overused storyline to me and I was actually disappointed that this was the crux of all his actions. Sure, it set him up as a misunderstood hero but I find those dull. Consequently, despite Alan Rickman's good acting, I was barely invested. I gave the acting award to Ralph Fiennes whose portrayal of Voldemort was surprisingly multi-layered despite not having too much to work with and having to fight against make up. Voldemort's character is very straightforward in his evil and thus, I suppose he's less interesting on paper than say, someone like Snape who had layers. But I'd always loved Voldemort's origins as the child of a love potion. Rowling once said that if Merope Gaunt had lived and raised Tom Riddle, he may have turned out differently. Ralph Fiennes said in an interview that he really latched onto the idea of Tom Riddle as a child being shunned from the world and thus turning on it. It made a nice parallel to Harry who had a similar upbringing at first but was a child who literally lived due to his mother's love while Riddle was created by a union completely devoid of natural affection. Despite being a fairly one note villain with all his pure evil, I thought Voldemort's entire existence alluded to the kind of damage that could happen when people are coerced and/or completely unloved. This is why I gave Fiennes the acting award. He played Voldemort with all the cackling evil one expects in a 2D villain but something about his portrayal never let me forget the larger implications of Voldemort's entire existence and how easily someone like him could be created in someone like Harry.

Overall, watching the films didn't have me wishing to re-read or re-watch anything. But it was nice to finally say goodbye properly to everyone.
X-parrotxparrot on September 30th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Ehhh, Snape was my favorite character for most of the books but I was SO disappointed by his backstory, it was so pedestrian and yeah, overused and boring. I was really hoping we'd get more about what drove him in the final book, but then that it really was all just because of Lily, that he only even cared for Harry because he had her eyes or whatever...sigh.

I liked the last movies about the best of any of the film versions, though - not my favorites or anything but I thought they kept the spirit pretty well and improved on the pacing. Also the kids growing up and into their acting ability helped...