Harry Potter has been the greatest story of our generation, and one that has truly captivated the imaginations of children and adults alike. The seventh book in the series, The Deathly Hallows, has been split into two movies, the first of which came out on November 19, 2010 and has been without a doubt my favorite Harry Potter movie to date!
Warning 1: I am a huge Harry Potter fan.
Warning 2: If for some reason you have not read the book or seen the movie yet, then STOP. Spoilers up ahead.
Let’s ignore the all-star casting choices that include acting greats Jason Isaacs, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, and Michael Gambon to name a few, and focus instead on the tripod cast. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have been the same three characters throughout the entire series, and as a result, we as an audience get to see our young heroes grow and mature with each passing film. This has allowed for a far deeper character to audience connection than would have otherwise been possible.
The Opening Scene
When first reading the book, I was surprised to find out that Hermione erased her parents’ memories. Her logic was simple: Death eaters know she is close with ‘Undesirable No. 1?, so they would probably try and find her through her parents. In the book I never really stopped to think how hard this must have been for her and how she must have felt.
The opening in Deathly Hallows is Emma Watson in a very well acted and directed scene of this emotional moment. It truly makes the audience appreciate what it meant for Hermione to have to erase all memories of her from their minds, watching her vanish in all of the photographs on the shelf. Her parents never even knowing she existed.
Pretty much everything Malfoy related in the film was bang on. Lucius’ desperation and fear upon giving his wand to Voldemort, Draco’s fear and refusal to identify and give away Harry, and Narcissa’s desire to protect her family, were all supreme acting scenes that conveyed true emotion in the characters. The subtilities in everything from the facial expressions to the scenery accurately portrayed the frustration and fear that even the death eaters felt under the leadership of the Dark Lord.
Picture perfect. From the snow filled small town on Christmas eve to the cemetery, to the Potter’s ruined house, Godric’s Hollow felt sentimental on multiple levels to the audience. Even Bathilda Bagshot/Nagini scene was just how I imagined it.
What Was Missing
Not much was missing from this film that I wish was included or changed. In fact, I can only think of two!
The first was Dumbledore. I wish they included more Timbits (I’m Canadian) of information on him such as the strained relationship with his brother, Grindelwald, and the accident with his sister. Things were only hinted at so far, such as the ‘blue eye’ appearing in the mirror shard and the meeting with Ron’s Aunt who to paraphrase “You don’t know shit about Dumbledore”.
The second thing is kind of corny, but I felt that the moment was kind of ruined in the film. After Ron rejoins Harry and Hermione, he is broody and angry at himself for having left. In the book he says something to the effect of “…even Dumbledore knew i’d leave, even he knew I was weak”, where Hermione’s reply is “but he also knew that you’d want to always come back”. In the film, Ron just says all of that by himself almost immediately after returning.