Monday, December 20, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

Warning: this review contains SPOILERS from the first part of the seventh Harry Potter movie.

The Deathly Hallows is bleak. But then, the Harry Potter story has just been getting bleaker and bleaker since The Goblet of Fire, when Voldemort was resurrected. I'm very curious to see how it will all end (in other words, I can't wait for Part 2). The one startling difference that makes this installment unique among the entire series is the almost complete absence of Hogwarts (and what we do see of it has changed so very much). Harry and friends spend their time in this one on the run.

And there's some tension between our favorite threesome. Though Harry and Hermione seem to be getting closer than ever (she's so much better off with him...), Ron continues to be stupid. I think part of the reason Hermione is always so mad at him is because she's mad at fate (or the author) for having her fall in love with such a doofus. Ron almost redeemed himself when he showed up and destroyed the Horcrux, but to be fair, you have to measure that one noble deed against all the stupid things he's done over the years. Not a very good balance. I'll tell you, when they started talking about having a wedding, I thought for a moment it was Ron and Hermione they were referring to! Thank god it wasn't. I'm not ready for that yet, though it seems inevitable at this rate.

I really liked the Deathly Hallows story-within-a-story. Great moral tale, and seamlessly woven into the larger plot. A wand to command death, a magical stone to reverse it, and a cloak to evade it. Bonus points for Hermione being the one to narrate that story. =3

As much as Dobby annoys me, he really pulled off a magnificent stunt in this one. He earned himself a noble death. It seems fitting that he should be a sacrificial pawn - when Bellatrix's weapon leapt through the teleportation, I thought someone more substantial might end up dead, so I was relieved when it was just him. Though, saying that, I have to recognize the value of his exploits this time around. I love how he just snaps his fingers to disarm his opponents, like it's nothing at all to him.

At the beginning, when Hermione obliviated her parents, that was a very touching scene. I want so desperately to get to know Hermione, can you imagine knowing her, and then losing all those memories? So sad. But I see that it was necessary. That's just how desperate things have gotten.

The infiltration of the ministry was exciting, although I hated every minute that the beautiful Emma Watson was replaced by some stuffy old businesswoman (on account of the polyjuice potion - funny story, when the potion was first mentioned in Chamber of Secrets, I thought it was called "apologies potion"). No surprise at all that Umbridge of all people would end up wearing the Horcrux around her neck with pride.

Draco was pathetic again in this movie. At the beginning of the series, I saw him as this counterpoint to Harry, likely to become a powerful dark wizard to match Harry. But now Harry's going up against the likes of Voldemort himself, and Draco simply can't compete. He's always been a creep, and I don't forgive him for that, but his heart has been filled with hatred for so long, and it hasn't really gotten him anywhere. As a full Death Eater now, I think it's just more apparent what that has done to his father, turning him into a groveling coward before the might of the dark lord. And Draco's failure at killing Dumbledore - Harry said he wouldn't have done it, that he was lowering his wand when Snape stepped in - I could see him becoming something of a reluctant anti-hero, making some move to help Harry defeat Voldemort, not out of any concern or respect for Harry, but simply distaste for the dark lord's methods, how his regime of fear destroys people rather than fosters their talents. Of course, believing such a thing is possible is giving Draco more credit than he probably deserves. But I think there's potential for a more complex and well-rounded character there.

Emma looked fabulous on the big screen. I'm so glad I got a chance to see her that way. I just can't believe how gorgeous she is. I could stare at her for hours. Actually, that's pretty much what I've been doing all week. It was definitely worth it, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Convenient that there are seven parts to the story, and seven days in a week. This marathon was a lot of fun, and now I desperately await the second part of the final chapter...

Emma Rating: Scandalously Seductive

Addendum: Regarding the "rumored" scene, in which Emma Watson allegedly gets naked - it's hardly even worth mentioning (which is why I left it out of my review), but I might as well tell you my thoughts. I wasn't really expecting much, so I wasn't too disappointed. Hermione has dressed fairly conservatively all throughout the Harry Potter series, so I didn't really expect her to reveal much, even now (being legal and all that). But the thing with her is that she's so unbelievably gorgeous, it doesn't matter that she's completely dressed, she still stuns.

As for the scene itself, it was a magical illusion, so it was all CGed up, and Harry and Hermione hardly even looked like real people. I didn't know the nature of the scene beforehand - I had heard that it was a dream - so I was all prepared to complain about how they played it safe and abandoned a perfect opportunity to give the scene a real (rather than pretended) erotic draw to it (why are we so afraid of doing that?)...but, as it turned out, I don't think the scene was especially intended to be erotic in the first place, so I'm willing to turn a blind eye toward it.

Emma fans will still love this movie, but for the same reasons they've loved the rest of the Harry Potter movies, not for seeing her "naked" (which she's not).

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