Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 2

My efforts continue to document the passage of American movies through the onward march of the summer month with my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. This movie marks the 8th of the series, which is rivaled only by The Lord of the Rings in the book-to-movie genre for it's extensive scope and long term dedication to the franchise. 


I spent many years avoiding this series, battling past many friends in my attempts to remain ignorant in regards to this series. In 2008, I watched a handful of the early films but walked away unimpressed and with a few extra minutes of sleep by the conclusion of each movie. Roll around to 2010 as Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows came to the big screen, and I acquiesced to Jenny's request to see it with her. Leading up to that, we watched each of the movies in succession, again leaving me with additional moments of sleep and with a melancholic view of the series. 

Enter HP7, which grabbed my attention and held it throughout. Finally, a film worthy of all the chatter surrounding this series. 
Consequently, I make it a mission to read all 7 books prior to the July release of HP8. Audiobooks to the rescue, as I spent the subsequent 3 months listening to the book series in rapid succession. Rowling's development of the writing is a fun river to ride through, as is the development of the primary characters. Her writing is seldom approaching the greatness that the muggle-nation has imbued upon it. Rowling is no Steinbeck (to be fair, it is a novel clearly intended for a youthful audience)
If the primary point of a fictional yarn is to propel onward interest in the characters and their outcomes, it excels. An intricate and complex web of a story is woven that becomes increasingly epic, aided as it is by numerous flashbacks to help reset the setting of the story. This is the book series of Harry Potter.

The movies do a disservice to the universe, although I have a firm belief that this is not the fault of the production nor screen writing nor acting, but is a consequence of the novels themselves. This is not a series that lends itself neither quickly nor easily to the screen. 

To describe HP8 I turn to analogy. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is like a two-day old re-heated tortilla, one which contains all the necessary ingredients structured in the proper fashion and containing a modicum of warmth and yet leaves only a sallow taste in the mouth after mastication. Reverting to the true colors of the film series with a severe disregard for maintaining a compelling pace, it takes a terrific crescendo of a conclusion penned in a book and serves it up stale. 

The soundtrack is a treat. Visualizations of imaginary magic are both potent and intimate. The characters say all the right things most of the time. There is little to point out that is wrong with the movie, but it just failed to resonate with me nearly the entire time.
I am likely alone in this assessment and will likely remain so for a long time. That would not be unusual for this blogger. 

5/10, The bestfriend will be sticking it on our DVD shelf for sure. 

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