I am not a Harry Potter fan in the common understanding of what that means. I have read all the books once, I have watched all the films, and I have been excited about the movies coming out (and maybe was coerced into attending one midnight showing along the way). But, I am by no means a die-hard follower of the series. I felt the need to make that statement before I went into my thoughts on the movie. This will not be a “detailed comparison to the book” kind of post.
Anyway, I think that this movie was excellent and could stand alone from all the others and still be excellent. I think a Harry Potter newbie could have walked in, sat down, and enjoyed the film from start to finish with few moments of confusion. And, the fact that this is the seventh installment of a story makes it an impressive achievement.
We all knew this was going to be the darkest (so far) of the Harry Potter stories but I think I was most impressed with the way it truly captured the feelings of despair felt by Harry and Hermione when Ron leaves them for a spell in an amazing way. Those scenes truly showed the depth of character the actors had achieved at this point and I was quite impressed.
Overall, I think the film captured this portion of the tale beautifully. I loved the graphics of the recounting of the “Deathly Hallows” tale and the CGI was phenomenal of sweet little Dobby the House Elf. I would be willing to guess that many a tear was shed upon Dobby’s death. How could you not when the elf has just saved Harry’s life and even though he is dying, says he is happy because he is with his friend. It just wrenches the heart!
I would like to comment on the “scandalous” scene of the film. While Ron is trying to defeat a horcrux (for you non HP-ers, Voldemort–the evil nemesis of Harry–divided his soul into pieces and hid them/protected them with dark magic all over the world so that he would not die unless all the pieces were also destroyed), the evil spell on it tries to manipulate him by showing images of Harry and Hermione in the throes of passion.
Ron loves Hermione and of course these images break his heart. However, the film took what could have been a simple, innocent scene a bit far and showed them naked and pressed chest to chest. A bit much for your average 12-year-old Harry Potter fan? I think so…
This really was such a great film and a wonderful representation of JK Rowling’s book. I want to see it again and cannot wait for Part Two.