So, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yeah. I was not looking forward to this film. Book 7 is not my favorite... or, as I like to call it, "Harry, Ron and Hermione's Camping Trip From Hell" which should give you a clue to my main objections.
Never had I been more excited to know that a movie would be forced to leave stuff OUT. But then they decided that they were going to split the film into two parts. And I thought to myself "Ah hell, the camping trip is back on!" Actually, I was quite delighted that those scenes seemed to move along pretty quickly, though my brother (who never finished reading the series) later commented about how the camping scenes went on forever. I quickly assured him it was much longer in the book!
The truth is... I actually really enjoyed the film! I think a lot of what I was what they changed or how they reinterpreted certain parts. I loved the scene where Hermione tells the story of the Deathly Hallows. The animation was lovely and a welcome change of pace. More importantly, it took a long bit of narrative and made it watchable and interesting.
On a whole, the movie did pretty well with all the
exposition that was Book 7. Harry's angst over not knowing who Dumbledore truly was toned down and Grindelwald seems to be nothing more than a petty, arrogant thief. Normally I'm not a fan of such glossing over, but frankly the Grindelwald/Third Reich parallels would be a little much for a family film.
I really enjoyed the bit with the polyjuiced Harrys. The Godric's Hollow was as lovely as I was hoping it would be. (Though I wish they had included the bit with memorial where his house used to be. It was a nice bit in the book that captured pretty well how we grieve together as a society.) But I think my favorite moment was during the opening scenes, when Emma Watson knocked it out of the park, as she disappeared from her parents life. And later, in that random London cafe, when she has to erase the memories of those two Death Eater, you can see what it's costing her and how she's thinking about the last time she used that spell. In the books, Hermione modified her parents memories, gave them new names and sent them to Australia. Even without it being explicitly stated, it was a pretty safe guess that she would be back after the war to give them back their lives. But in the movie, it felt... permanent. Hermione had erased herself from their lives and basically just turned herself into an orphan. What a strong, heartbreaking moment to start things off on.
It also made the connection between Hermione and Harry seem that much stronger. ( And yes, we've now come to the shipper's rant part of the post... )