Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter comes to an end

With my last post primarily focusing on our Harry Potter Party, I wanted to write a little bit about Harry, and the last movie which closed out the series. J and I have been huge fans of Harry Potter, but we really only got into it after college. During our senior year, the 5th (?) movie came out, and our friend Stevie asked us to come to the last movie with her and a few other college friends. We hadn't seen any of the other films, so we borrowed the DVDs and watched movies 1-4 before going. The movies were good, but I was a little confused about the whole story line, and didn't pursue it further. During graduate school, my roommate, Laura, was re-reading the Harry Potter books. I remember one morning making fun of her for reading children's books, and she replied with telling me that they were, truthfully, very good books. So, I decided to give it a try, and started reading the first one. I was hooked almost as soon as I started and convinced J to start reading them as well. I finished all 7 books in one month. During that month, I actually had a conference in Edinburgh and was reading books 5 and 6 in the place (or at least the country) they were written. I even had tea at The Elephant House where JK Rowling wrote parts of Harry Potter. Being in Edinburgh was pretty magical, and it was late fall, so it was also pretty dark, which made it an even better setting for the books (I actually remember getting slightly creeped out at points while reading). From that point on, I was hooked. I re-watched the movies (liking them significantly more after reading the books and understanding the story better). By the time the 6th movie appeared on screen, J and I were excited about the new movies.

The 7th and 8th movies have been my favorites. The 7th book was also by far my favorite, so I suppose this makes sense. But I think it is also because the childhood actors/actresses have grown into their roles, and the films have much more of an adult setting than previously. They are also more true to the book than the ones where a lot of information has to be crammed into one movie (movies 4-6 had the most deviance from story). The 8th movie really does tie everything back together.  

Spoiler alert:  

I love the scene where Harry confronts Snape in the great hall and McGonagall starts hurtling curses at Snape. It is possibly one of the better scenes in the movie. As always, there are a few things I wished they had kept in. Some more younger Snape character development would have been good. Harry's parents come across as looking like jerks without it. Snape is clearly the winner in this film, as he should be. I have loved Alan Rickman's portrayal of Snape throughout the series, and it was exciting to finally see him show some emotion. The pensieve scenes left me crying. The part of the film that we both thought could have been done better was the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort. It is the final battle and it is somewhat of a letdown. It just seemed like there should have been more poetic justice for Harry, who has had to deal with Voldemort's soul inhabiting his body for the past 16 years. Not to mention Voldemort attempting to kill him twice. And the rebounding killing curse was very subtle. I actually didn't even catch it when it happened. J had to explain it to me. More people clapped when Belatrix was destroyed by Mrs. Weasley than when Voldemort was killed. That was a little weird to me. I did love the kiss between Ron and Hermoine. Overall, I think this was a great film, a great ending to the Harry Potter series. But the books will always be better. 

Dumbledore: "After all this time, Severus?"
Snape: "Always"

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