My Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (MINOR SPOILERS)

Tonight was the beginning of the end for the Harry Potter series, as the seventh film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 finally made its way into theaters. I attended the midnight screening with much anticipation, and also some trepidation; would they stay faithful to the story of J.K. Rowling and give Deathly Hallows the proper adaptation that it deserved? In my opinion, the answer was a definite and resounding yes.

As a fan who has been disappointed in the past by the majority of the changes that has been made to canon, I was pleasantly surprised that there were fewer changes in this film than in the past four. Yes, there were changes and omissions that did bug me, but I feel that overall, David Yates and company did a fabulous job of giving the story the proper respect it deserves. The casting of new characters (Rufus Scrimgeour, Bathilda Bagshot, Pius Thicknesse) was spot-on, as usual and the performances given by the veterans was some of the best I’ve seen. Here are some of my likes and dislikes of the film, and I will include a few spoilers as possible.

LIKES:

  • The Tale of the Three Brothers – This sequence in the movie was the BEST in the film, and in my opinion probably the best scene in ANY of the Harry Potter films to date. The look and feel of the animation was so completely different from anything we’ve previously seen in the franchise, and really gave the tale a sort of haunted quality when accompanied by Hermione’s voice.
  • RUPERT GRINT – I may be a bit biased in this assessment as Ron is my favorite character, but Rupert Grint was fucking BRILLIANT in this film!! Finally the writing and direction has given Rupert something worthy to work with and to show why Ron is one of the best characters in the series, period. Whether he was being comical, talking some sense into Harry, being affectionate with Hermione, or being vulnerable, Rupert hit the nail on the head every. single. time. with his performance. If he isn’t nominated for any of the usual awards that Dan and Emma are nominated for (People’s Choice, MTV, etc) then I will be ready to Avada Kedavra someone. It is obvious from Rupert’s performances in this film (and also in Half-Blood Prince) that he is the most talented of the trio, although he rarely gets to shine as he has in these past two films.
  • Hedwig – Although the details surrounding her death were slightly changed from the book, I think that it was very beautifully done. The fact that she died while trying to protect Harry seemed a much more noble death than when she died as a helpless animal trapped in a cage.
  • Destroying the locket horcrux – I think this scene was very well done, although I will admit that the increased sensuality of it threw me for a bit of a loop. In some ways it felt very uncomfortable to watch; kind of like seeing siblings making out. But visually, the scene and the images of Harry and Hermione felt very other-worldly and was very beautiful to look at. And the spiders…again, Rupert’s performance was one of a tortured soul, and I felt it.
  • The opening scene – It was heartbreaking to watch Hermione erase her parents’ memories, and then to watch as she disappeared out of the photographs displayed in her home. Just heartbreaking.
  • The 7 Potters – Started out just a s funny as I imagined it would, and got so intense so quickly that I was literally on the edge of my seat. The chase scene was well done and really showed how much the Death Eaters were determined to get to Harry.
  • The Fall of the Malfoys – The fall out of favor of the Malfoy family is something that is almost fun to watch, until you get a look at Draco’s face at any point in the films. The regret, confusion and fear are all over his face, and it makes you feel sort of sorry for the person who has taken every available opportunity to irritate the trio.
  • Nagini and Bathilda Bagshot – WHOA. Enough said.
DISLIKES:
  • Omissions – Although I have learned to view the films as a separate entity from the books, there are just certain scenes that I feel should have been in the movie; the first being Dudley’s “I don’t think you’re a waste of space” line from when the Dursley’s vacated Privet Drive. This would not have added anything to the film, nor did it’s omission take anything away; this is just a nostalgic wish of mine, since this particular moment was the first to make me cry in the books. I also would have liked to hear more about Dumbledore’s background, especially since flashes of “The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore” kept showing up throughout the film.
  • The locket horcrux scene – Although I did enjoy seeing this scene come to life, there were a few things that bothered me about the way the scene was written. First, I think the writers did a great disservice to the dynamic between Harry and Ron by taking what was a defining moment in their friendship (after the locket was destroyed) and turning it into a small comic moment. In the book, Harry and Ron have a brief but very heartfelt discussion about the image Ron saw from the locket, in which Harry assures Ron that he loves Hermione “like my sister. I love her like my sister and I reckon she feels the same about me. It’s always been that way. I thought you knew.” With the talents of Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, that scene – done properly – could have easily been one of the best scenes in the film. Instead, we get to follow such a major scene with “now we’ve only got 3 left to destroy?” Big fail on the writers part.
  • The portrayal of the Harry/Hermione “romance” and the unnecessary addition of the Harry/Ginny scene – Part of this section of my blog will really surprise anyone who knows about my preferences regarding Harry’s women, but I really feel that if the writers could not do justice to the Harry/Ginny relationship, they should have left well enough alone. In Half-Blood Prince, the implied attraction between Harry and Ginny never seemed natural, as Ginny treated Harry like a child for most of the film (let me feed you, let me tie your shoe, hold my hand, close your eyes…yadda yadda yadda). In Deathly Hallows, we are given a sample of what a Harry/Ginny relationship would be like, just to have so much Harry/Hermione innuendo forced at us for the remainder of the movie. Ginny’s piece of the puzzle has never fit, because the writers never introduced her properly in the films as a love interest for Harry.
  • Ron’s emotional outbursts in Malfoy Manor – Maybe it’s just me, but I really wish we could have seen and heard the extreme anguish that Ron experienced while Hermione was being tortured. That scene absolutely broke my heart in the book, and I think Rupert Grint would have pulled it off superbly.
  • “Here Lies Dobby – A Free Elf” tombstone – Why was it left out? This one little line is still quoted today amongst Potter fans as one of the best parts of Deathly Hallows. I don’t understand why they couldn’t take an extra 10 seconds to add that in.
There are other points that I could have included in both sections, but overall, I felt that Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was the best adapted Harry Potter film since Christopher Columbus finished filming Chamber of Secrets. It was true to the book, emotional, and a proper beginning to the end of a franchise that has meant so much to millions of people over the past ten years. I am highly anticipating – and dreading – the release of Part 2 next July.
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6 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (MINOR SPOILERS)

  1. Oh my oh my… all your likes and dislikes of the movie were similar to mine. I am feeling like you in that I am looking forward and dreading the “last” movie in July. I wonder what type of representation will be coming at Dragoncon after the movie? I hope the characters will always have a good showing, although, I feel this is not really the end.

    Thank you for your thoughts and dedication. Hope to see you at Dragoncon next year. I could not find you in the crowd, but, I hoped you would have seen me in the crowd, many fans were a bit perplexed about my costume… the best description I got from a Dumbledore fan was, “Are you going or coming from a bath, headmaster?” My costume consisted of a white bath robe, towel, beer, peanuts and house slippers (Arthor Dent), white robe, long hair and beard (Gandalf), and fez, grey hair and beard and rings (Dumbledore). The British actors that I met really thought the concept was “brilliant” or maybe they had too much beer? All the characters are played by British actors and are from British stories!!

    See’ya

  2. Ron is my favorite character too!! Rupert’s dashing looks actually made me like him more than I did from reading the books. 😉

    And the fall of the Malfoys was quite elegantly done.

    I agree with you 100% on the presentation of the relationships. The Harry/Ginny was incredibly forced and didn’t really make sense to those who didn’t read the books. The strongly implied Harry/Hermione added confusion to the Ron/Hermione relationship, an extreme pet peeve of mine.
    You’re opinions are spot on.

    Ok. I don’t think I can be in any more of an agreement with what you said. ❤ I can't believe I have to wait six freaking months until the next one. UGH.

  3. I agree with you on EVERYTHING here.

    What bothered me most that the scene in the Malfoy Manor when they were in the dungeon.

    Why did they choose to take out Ron’s INTENSE emotion outbursts? Yes, it breaks my heart every time I read it and it would have added a lot to the movie.

    I agree with the Dursley story too. I didn’t need to be there anyways, but it would have been sweet and tied up their end nicely.

    And the Harry/Ginny chemistry is so terrible in the films. I thought they were pretty weak in the books already, but they really didn’t try and all when making the movies. Huge disappointment!

  4. And one more thing:
    You are so right about Chamber of Secrets being the truest next to this one!
    I tell people all the time

  5. You nailed it. You mentioned some things I hadn’t even thought of as far as improving the film. Great ideas. They should have had you as a consult for the films. It’s always those tiny extra touches that really make the film. They leave out no details when it comes to the sets, but sometimes they really miss on the rest.

  6. Pingback: Happy New Year from the Grown-Up Fangirl! « Confessions of a Grown-Up Fangirl

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