Friday, 12 August 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part2: A Deceiving Disappointment

Leaving the cinema after watching the long-awaited finale of the Harry Potter series, I was teary-eyed and very emotional. When the first film came out I was the same age as Harry, Ron and Hermione, so like others my age I feel like I had grown up with them, and as with the series ending, it was an upsetting reminder that my childhood was over.

Do not let the emotional punch that this movie consistently brings deceive you, but by the looks of many film critics and people on my Facebook, it already has. I'm afraid the final Harry Potter is an insult to everything J. K. Rowling created in her books, and to everything the previous films achieved. I never thought that arguably the most expected film of this century so far would feel rushed, unplanned and an overall mess.

Let me make it clear that unlike many fans of books who criticise every film adaptation with comments like you left this scene out, it's nothing like the book. I understand that in order to adapt a book for a film, certain elements must be cut out and others must be focused on in order to keep the film flowing, entertaining and at a reasonable duration. And I am the first to congratulate everyone involved in the previous seven Harry Potter movies for adapting it so brilliantly for the screen. Even the penultimate film which many called slow and boring, I accepted for being less action-packed than the others because it was a build-up to what should have been a non-stop, action-adventure in the final film.

Some of the world-leading artists in special effects worked on the final film, and yet nothing about the effects was spectacular, apart from maybe the death eaters attacking the protective dome around Hogwarts. When Harry and his friends break into Gringotts, it is supposed a heart-racing and terrifying sequence that has on the edge of our seats. If I was on the edge of my seat it was to try and make-out what was going on because the set was much to dark cramped. Not the Gringotts we saw in the first film or as described in the book. And Bellatrix's vault full of gold and other treasures was far from breathtaking. Also, they didn't even explain the Horcrux they were looking for in that vault even though for those who hadn't read the books would be confused why it would be so important to Voldemort, or indeed what it actually was.

The Battle of Hogwarts should have been on an enormous scale of scenes that raise the barrier on battles in film. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the great battle is full of show-stopping moments that literally took your breath away and left you thinking 'how the hell are they going to beat that!'. A never-ending and hideous army shocks us first. Then we see giant trolls, flying monsters, catapults, giant elephants- it is an unstoppable conveyer belt of evil that seems undefeatable. And that is exactly the battle of Hogwarts should have been like. In the books and the films, characters talk of how Voldemort has been regrouping with all the evil creatures of the world, and yet the only creatures we see are the dementors who don't shock us anymore and the spiders. Now I am absolutely petrified of spiders, but even I was disappointed with how they appeared in the film. In the book, Voldemort calls on them, and Ralph Fiennes has shown in The Order of the Phoenix just how terrifying he can make Voldemort when it comes to summoning certain elements in battle. But no, the spiders just appear, scurrying through the crowd. No massive order from Voldemort's lips, no quaking of the floor and everyone looking towards the forest terrified, and no big entrance for the spiders. They just appear out of thin air and last about ten seconds.

Bellatrix and Mrs Weasley are supposed to have a really long and drawn out battle- both are powerful witches going neck to neck. And yet for some reason they have Mrs Weasley wobbling around like an idiot, and the Bellatrix wobbling around. This is supposed to be a tough duel where both witches are equal in power therefore increasing suspense at who will die. But no. It was a short and pathetic excuse for a duel.

When one of the Weasley twins was dead on the floor- unless you had the read the book you wouldn't even know who was dead! They show the back of his head, which could be any of the Weasley's. None of the family are crying except for Ron. It is a joke!

Nevil Longbottom's speech to Voldemort was cringeworthy and too long. It made Nevil look like an idiot, firstly because he was talking total rubbish, and even Voldemort looked stupid, he wouldn't stand there and listen to Nevil for that long. And why did they have the whole Nagini chase in Hogwarts?  Nevil kills Nagini infront of the crowd who are looking at "dead" Harry.

The acting was at it's worst. Now I am a huge defender of the Potter cast. Daniel Radcliffe has had very unfair criticism in the past, he massively improved in The Goblet of Fire. But the acting here was just weird. When Harry has killed Voldemort, Ron and Hermione don't run over to him like oh my god is he dead, are you ok? No, they just smirk and act embarrassed because they are holding hands. Nobody congratulates Harry or gives him a pat on the back even though he just defeated Voldemort.

And don't even get me started on Voldemort's death. This was to be the pinnacle of the film. J. K. Rowling did all the work for the filmmakers- she set the scene. Harry humiliates Voldemort infront of the entire crowd saying how the elder wand never worked because Snape killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore ordered him too. He rips into Voldemort completely saying how Snape never worked for him, and how he is an idiot and it is because of this humiliation that Voldemort gets so furious he casts the avada kedavra spell on Harry even though he was just told that the wand would never obey him, and the spell backfires and kills Voldemort instead. Not only does Voldemort get killed, but he is spreadeagled on the floor, and veryone is staring at disbelief that he is dead. Just think how incredible they could have made this death scene if they had stuck to the book?

All the cast, all the extras in the Hogwarts courtyard watching the humiliation of the villain who has almost ruined their lives. They have Ralph Fiennes, one of the greatest actors in history who is the best at playing villains and for being frightening beyond beliefs when he is angry. And Harry can finally answer all the questions that we have been asking throughout the film; can finally sum up and humiliate this man who has killed all of his family. But no. Obviously, the makers of the films thought it would be better to have Harry and Voldemort flying around the castle stupidly, and that it would be better for Harry to actually beat Voldemort in a battle and for Vodlemort to crumble and disappear into the air (which by the way is the exact same way Bellatrix dies so we don't want to see that twice).

This film, could have been in the same league as The Lord of the Rings finale. A finale where everyone i that cinema leaves absolutely blown away by the effects. So much powerful imagery could have been used. All they had to do was stick to the book for the scenes they chose to include and they would have been fine. But they changed it and threw everything that was great about the franchise down the drain.
This film is an embarrassment! I am gutted that they ruined it. It just feels like they didn't plan it and just wanted the film released as soon as possible. The biggest film of the century, and yet it is not one I would recommend.

The only good part of the film was Snape's memory (even though it was retarded that they changed the location of his death from the Shrieking Shack to a boathouse that doesn't exist). That's the only part they did a good  job on.

I don't care if they did things because of their budget or because of time- that is not an excuse. They should remake the entire film from scratch. I am not one of those die-hard Harry Potter fans but this is unacceptable. Do not let the tears blind you from the fact that this film is a joke, when it should have been one of the greatest adventures that cinema has ever seen.

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