Last night, Madre and I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in Newark. I read the book when it first came out like 3 or 4 years ago, so I had forgotten most of the book, so the movie was much better because of the surprises. Also, lots of parts in the book made more sense in the movie, such as the horcrux business. Overall, this movie was fantastic. There was some things that they could have done better with, but saying what they are is kind of a spoiler, so I won’t.
I recommend this movie to anybody who has read the rest of the books, no matter what the age. There aren’t really any scary parts of the movie, but there are ones that make you tense up and be like “Omygodomygodomygod”. If you saw the one before this, you should be fine because the one before is much worse.
Like Toy Story 3, I think this movie hit me harder than it did my kids. Not so much because the movie is emotional, but because the stories have been such an integral part of my children’s lives growing up, and now the story’s over. The first three Harry Potters came out in paperback just when Jake hit that age where kids are series-obsessed, and an obsession was born… and shared with a country of kids and adults alike who devoured all things Potter. Who waited eagerly for each novel to be released, so that they could be bought the day they came out and immediately devoured, all thousand pages or so of it. I mean, really? Has that happened with any other book?
The cultural significance of Harry Potter is mind-blowing; it’s a common touchpoint that this generation of kids will share forever (sort of like episodes of The Wonder Years and The Cosby Show for those of my age). The difference is that the Harry Potter series was, as Jake said, epic. It dealt with hurt, and family, and responsibility, and the nature of a hero, and wrestling with the demons with you, and the almost frightening bonds of true friendship. And best of all, it channeled all this interest and funding into children’s literature. REAL children’s literature— so many wonderful kids’ and YA novels have come out since the advent of the Potter phenomenon. Kids’ novels only in that the subject is generally a child; the stories universally enchanting, the lyricism non-condescending, the artwork breathtaking. It’s an exciting time to live in for lit/cinema geeks like me.
In any case, this closing chapter of Harry’s journey was infinitely satisfying, although I did chuckle inappropriately at some hokey moments. (They lasted only seconds.) It’s not the nail-biter the first segment was— I left the theater after Part 1 with sore muscles from sitting so tensely for so long— but it’s beautiful, exciting, haunting, and fulfilling.
Kudos to J.K. Rowling and everyone involved for living up to everyone’s unbelievably high expectations. That’s a sort of magic all on its own.