The big night has finally come and gone, and like any good Harry Potter fan, I lived it up. I attended the film in costume, arrived an hour early and paid the extra four dollars to see it in 3D. Sadly, I was a bit underwhelmed.
After months of anticipation, the film fell a bit short of expectations. Itâ€™s main flaw being that it attempted to turn Harry Potter entirely into a war film and dropped J.K. Rowlingâ€™s intricate plot lines. In short, the film focused too much on the battle scenes and too little on crucial exposition.
Particularly notable is the lack of explanation about how Harry triumphs over Voldemort. In the book version, Harry explains to Voldemort how he brings about Voldemortâ€™s downfall. Not only is this useful to the reader, but there is also a sense of satisfaction in Voldemort dying knowing his failings. This entire explanation is omitted and replaced with an intense Voldemort versus Harry fight to the death.
Much of the explanatory material is also lost with the shortening of the Dumbledore/Harry afterlife scene. At two hours and ten minutes, this is the shortest film yet surely the filmmakers could have kept some of this exposition.
With these omissions, we also lose the understanding of Hallows versus Horcruxes and the fact that Harry is the true master of the Deathly Hallows. Only Harry is worthy of uniting them and that is how he masters death.
That being said, it is an excellent war film. This is the most action packed movie youâ€™ll see this summer.
The battle is particularly wonderful as we get to see certain characters shine. Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) and Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) all get their moment to be heroes.
The best scenes of the movie are Snapeâ€™s death scene and the view of his memories. Snape is probably one of the most dynamic characters in the series and it is touching to learn his true motives. Alan Rickmanâ€™s acting is also superb.
I was also a fan of the scene showing Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets. We get to see Hermione destroy a horcrux and the long awaited kiss between Ron and Hermione.
The worst scene is the epilogue. While meant to be both touching and comforting to the viewer, I found I could not stop laughing (and I wasnâ€™t the only one). The actors (made to look older with a little bit of make up) send their children off to Hogwarts 19 years after the main action of the film. I wished theyâ€™d ended the movie five minutes earlier.
As a film, HP7 will delight audiences with its action packed agenda interspersed with a few feel good moments. Potterites may find it disappointing due to some serious omissions from the book.
The film gains points for bringing the Battle of Hogwarts to the big screen in a truly epic way, itâ€™s sure to be the biggest summer blockbuster. But, it loses points for its disloyalty to the book and omission of some wonderful plot points. 4 out of 5 stars.