Summary: Hermione and her friends go Horcrux hunting at random picturesque locations across the UK. Hours of moping around in a tent puts a strain on the trio’s friendship. Then they destroy a Horcrux and become friends again in the process! But then some other things happen and Dobby dies. (In addition: Snape is extremely hot. Neville is the baddest badass ever. Bellatrix is delightfully insane as usual. Bill Nighy is there for a bit in the beginning.)
Sorry guys, this is going to be another one of those shit-I-don’t-have-time-for-a-real-post rambles. Maybe I’ll have more time for this after I graduate? …yeah.
SO, the other night Stephanie, Kelly and I decided to watch the much-lauded film: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1, which I had never gotten around to seeing before.
Not seeing the film earned me more than a few surprised reactions. You’d think the kind of girl who has “EXPELLIARUMS” tattooed on her arm would be the kind of girl to camp out at the movie theater all day before the midnight showing, right?
I’m not sure if this has been expressed on the blog yet so I’ll make the official statement:
We here at Bibliomantics are… not so particularly fond of the Harry Potter movies. As such. Ahem.
Steph and I like to see the HP films together, and we generally like to go see them when the theater won’t be crowded so our ceaseless heckling won’t get us kicked out, and this year we just didn’t find the right time. It wasn’t exactly a priority in our lives, end of story.
Well, we finally watched it.
What I was most curious about the 7th film (but it was a very low-level curiosity) was how they were going to introduce Bill Weasley. Considering what a big plot-point his wedding is in the book, they couldn’t just leave him out, could they? But since he wasn’t in the 6th film, and therefore didn’t get attacked by Fenrir Greyback, would they give him horrible scars, or not?? And if they did, how would he explain having those scars?? Would he walk up and say, “Hello, my name is Bill Weasley and I have horrible scars on my face because I was recently attacked by a werewolf”? (Which is, it turns out, almost exactly what happened. And it was awful.)
I can’t decide if I was impressed or not that they decided to have the Burrow be under construction. I was pretty pissed off that they blew it up in the last movie, especially since it appeared to me an unfair judgment upon movie-goers that they replaced a scene about the fairly complicated politics of the wizarding world and how Harry chooses to navigate them with A BIG EXPLOSION. At the same time, I respect the continuity within their own story.
Similarly, I kind of wanted there to be a scene where Harry learned how to whooshy-golden-magic-sort-of-fly like all the Aurors can in the films–I figure, if that’s a skill that good wizards who fight evil have, then Harry should learn how to do it. (Then again, did Harry ever even learn how to Apparate? I have no idea.)
I was extremely annoyed about Dobby, and not just because Dobby is annoying. When Dobby popped up at Grimmauld Place just to say, “HEY, I’m a character, remember??” (not dissimilar to Sirius in the fifth movie, actually) wearing shoes but still wearing his goddamn pillow case thing (and not a tea cozy in sight), I was pissed. And then when he died and they were all SO SAD… they interacted with him about three times over the course of six years! I cried so hard over him when he died, and I didn’t even really like him. But I KNEW him. I don’t know why they thought they could make his death emotional or important at all in the film.
The Camping Trip was about as tedious to sit through as was expected. The best I can say about it is that the landscapes were pretty and HOLY CRAP WHEN HARRY AND HERMIONE WERE DANCING THAT WAS AMAZING. They were all upset, and then music was playing and I was like, oh man, are they going to dance? That’s so cheesy, what are they–HOLY CRAP, ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE OUT? As Stephanie said, “It’s like I’m watching a fanfiction right now, but it’s a movie.”
I mean, Harry CLEARLY wanted to kiss her, and would have if Hermione hadn’t awkwardly pulled away. That’s a very interesting interpretation of, “She’s like my sister. I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that.” But I’m not complaining because it woke me right the heck up out of my how-much-longer-is-this-camping-trip stupor. How interesting would it have been if Harry and Hermione HAD actually hooked up, thinking Ron wasn’t coming back, and having to lie about it once he did! DRAMA.
Don’t get me wrong. I basically like the relationships the way they are in the books. But for once the movies made a choice that instead of being unnecessary, was actually interesting and carried weight. I would have liked to have seen some follow-through.
SPEAKING OF MOVIE CHOICES, here’s an interesting one: deciding that in the movie Harry suddenly has this random shard of broken mirror that he looks at obsessively. Question to people who watch these films more often than I do: Does Harry ever actually acquire this mirror somehow, and is it explained? Because I sure as hell couldn’t remember him getting it. So whenever it appeared in the movie we would all shout things like, “WHAT IS THAT?? WHY DOES HE KEEP LOOKING AT IT?? I DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
Which brings me to one of my biggest peeves (Yes.) in any of the movies: nothing is ever allowed to be Harry’s fault. In general the films try to make things less complicated by eliminating characters or rushing through some scenes–whatever, I can understand that. I cried no tears when Tom Bombadil didn’t make it into FotR. But when the goal seems to be to make things less emotionally complicated… does anyone else see the problem with that?
Sirius’s death was Harry’s fault. Because he was too much of an arse to take Occlumency seriously and then too much of a wuss to get Snape to help him again, AND too much of a brat to open up a gift that turned out to be a magic mirror that would allow him to DIRECTLY COMMUNICATE WITH SIRIUS AT ANY TIME, he fell right into the trap Voldemort set IN HIS BRAIN, and consequently went through all that trouble to use Umbridge’s fireplace and then, ON KREACHER’S WORD, decided to go on an insane rescue mission to the Ministry, which consequently lead to Sirius being there and DYING.
Harry isn’t completely to blame. Sirius was going stir-crazy and probably would have put himself in danger some other time, sure. But the mirror thing, and that Harry only finds out about it after the fact, just kills me. I remember thinking after seeing the movie that it had been so much easier to watch than to read, to the point where it was a relief. But it’s not supposed to be easy.
Harry puts Hedwig in her cage for the Seven Potters get-away, and she gets hit with a curse and DIES. Maybe he could have let her fly off before that. He could even have magicked her feathers to be brown or something so she would be in DISGUISE. But NO, he locked her in a cage and dragged her into the middle of a BATTLE. Hedwig’s death is Harry’s fault!
In the movie… well, I guess since they weren’t going to have Stan Shunpike show up (who would remember him anyway?), and the battle was a little too crazy to have time to explain: well, Harry’s going to disarm this chap because he appears to be imperiused and not actually evil, and then all the Death Eater’s would have to shout, “OY, THAT’S THE REAL HARRY BECAUSE ONLY HE USES EXPELLIARMUS EVER!!”… it was probably easier to just make Hedwig the reason that the Death Eaters figured out which Harry was actually Harry. But it also made Harry completely blameless for her death.
Here’s another from DH: in the book, the kids get captured by Snatchers because Harry says “Voldemort” even though he KNOWS about the Taboo. In the movie, the kids just randomly Apparate into a field of Snatchers. Yeah, okay.
Can anyone else think of a time when something was supposed to be Harry’s fault but the films decided to exonerate him? There must be more. Sirius’s death is the biggest and most obvious example to me, and it makes me wonder why Harry the movie hero has to be so much more perfect than Harry the book hero.
Just for fun, here is what I think the perfect verison of this movie would be:
DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1: ABRIDGED
SCENE 1: Snape sexily swoops up the stairs in Malfoy Manor!
SCENE 2: Luna and Xenophilius dance at the wedding.
SCENE 3: Neville’s two seconds of badassery on the Hogwarts Express.
SCENE 4: Harry and Hermione dance/almost kiss on the Camping Trip.
SCENE 5: ALL OF THE THREE BROTHERS ANIMATION. (Seriously, that was the coolest ever. They should do that for all the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Unlike most of the Harry Potter movies, I would actually buy that on DVD.)
***Note: I was not actually drunk while watching this movie, but in retrospect I kind of wish I was.***