July 24th, 2011

Silver Doe Puff

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

My (belated) thoughts on the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2:

My brain has been thoroughly steeped in Harry Potter for a few weeks now, and that really hasn't been the case in a long, long time. Even when the last book came out four years ago, I was engaged and actively participating in fandom, but I wasn't exactly obsessed. But about a month ago I decided to re-read Deathly Hallows, in anticipation of the final film release, and after I had finished that, I started re-listening to the audiobooks, starting from the first book. I'm now on Order of the Phoenix, and when I started that book, I realized that I also wanted to start re-reading fernwithy's companion stories that begin with a story concurrent to OotP, so now I'm alternating between that and canon. (It suddenly occurs to me that I could have re-read Hermione, Queen of Witches and Ron Rants during the first four books. Missed opportunity—oops!) I've also been reading some Snape-related essays and fanfiction. And between all that, and, of course, going to Wizarding World and the new movie release with several fandom friends last week, I've been very much back in obsession mode.

Well, I've decided to take a break from all that consuming, fannishly speaking, and do a bit of producing. There will be no carefully organized film review here—just my thoughts, more or less off the top of my head. But before I start, I think it's important to recognize that different types of audience members—FREX, 1) fans of the books, 2) casual film-goers who haven't read the books (or maybe read them ages ago but haven't re-read, obsessed over, or particularly remembered what they read), and 3) critical film-goers who may be anywhere on the spectrum of familiarity with the books but have more concrete ideas about what makes a good effects-heavy action/adventure film—may have a hard time seeing things from the POV of the other group(s). Realistically, I can make guesses about what would or wouldn't make this film “good” for the other types of audience members; in the end, however, I can only really speak as a fan who knows these books very well, loves them very much, and is probably a bit less picky about how “cinematic” a film is as long as it's true to the books, especially in terms of characters and themes.

My overall reaction to DH part 2 is very close to my overall reaction to DH part 1, which is that I love it. It was lively, engaging, and it portrayed many of the great moments of the book with near accuracy, including word-for-word dialogue of some of the best lines. I have several quibbles and just a handful of major criticisms, but unlike most of the films prior to DH part 1, I feel that these issues are forgivable, because the overall package is very good.

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One of these days, I do want to go back and view the pre-DH films again, as most of them I haven't seen more than 2 or 3 times at most, and nearly all of them I haven't seen since they were in theaters. (Yeah, can you tell I haven't really been a big fan of the films? The odd thing is, there's only one, Prisoner of Azkaban, that I would say I really *dislike*. I just haven't liked them enough to sit down and re-watch them on DVD/TV.) Perhaps I'll find that I like them more now, or perhaps not. Either way, I would like to re-visit them and see how I feel, now that the franchise is complete.

Joie

This entry was originally posted at http://hymnia.dreamwidth.org/144416.html.