Films, Reviews

Goodbye Harry

I finally got to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on my week off. I first picked up a HP book after the first four had been published. The hype had started, the books were everywhere and I decided to give them a go despite the fact they were marketed as children’s books. I instantly loved the books and read the first four in quick succession, loving how the books got darker and more complex as they went. Then I had a very long wait for book 5 to be released – I queued up at midnight whilst at university to collect it. Books 6 and 7 I got on the day of release and finished them that day to avoid any spoilers.

And then the films arrived. It’s such a gamble when you go to see a film based on a book you love. Can it live up to your imagination? Can actors really be the characters you’ve invested so many emotions with? Can the special effects match the magic and wonder of the story? In HP’s case, I think they’ve done a great job with the films. The execution of the first two was understandably childlike and the actors were just aged eleven and were forgivably over the top but the wonder and magic was there and the films were kept quintessentially English. The films have grown with the books and become better and better. Particularly with director David Yates on board, film 5 and beyond have been more in tune with the books we love.

The decision to spilt the last book into two was obvious – the scope of the book needed two films as did us fans who wanted to cling on to it for as long as possible. Plus of course they made more money! The first film was basically a road trip movie with the final battle looming into view. I cried at the death of Dobby, somehow more affecting on screen than in text. The final film did not disappoint me either. Again faithful to the text, we were driven with Harry to Hogwarts for the showdown we’d been waiting so many years for.

One area I felt the film surpassed the book in was the final battle at the school. On page, action scenes and battles in particular are hard to write, it’s difficult to get a sense of scale on page – you only see pockets of the action not the epic scene around them. The film pulled this off – Hogwarts was a full on battle site, destruction and tragedy around every corner. I was pleased they focused on Neville’s bravery and Luna’s support and I loved the hint of romance between them – I wanted them to end up together and although JK said they didn’t, the film did unite them however briefly. I wished as I did in the book there was more of Ginny, showing what kind of person Harry would marry but even on the sidelines, she showed courage on screen plus time to snog Harry when she could! The final one-on-one with Voldemort was suitably dramatic although they did leave out Harry’s final Expelliarmus spell.

So it’s with sadness that I say goodbye to Harry but I think everyone involved can be proud of how the books were brought to screen and we can keep both forever. I don’t think the love of Harry will ever disappear completely and I look forward to checking out the new Pottermore website when it launches. I also know that if I ever have children, they will get a lot of Harry bedtime reading πŸ™‚ So long Harry, we won’t forget you!

All was well.




34 thoughts on “Goodbye Harry”

  1. I know that there was a big hoopla over it, but one of the things that I think worked better in the movie than on the book was the ending. I absolutely hated the ending (19 years later) in the book because I wanted to know more. . . like what is Harry doing for a living? Did he become an Auror or is there even a need for that particular career after Voldemort is dead? etc. The written ending, to me, was very disappointing. However, on the film despite the fact that the aging of the actors may or may not have been completely successful, it became a powerfully nostalgiac and emotional moment that reflected back on adventures passed as well as forward toward adventures yet to come.

    Great post as usual.


    1. I agree! I wanted to know more too. I actually thought he should have been defense against dark arts teacher πŸ™‚ it was a nice framing to the film focusing on the three of them, it gave me goosebumps. I didn’t like ginnys hair though πŸ™‚

      1. That would have been a great job for him. But could you be a Hogwarts teacher and be married? Hmmmm. Somehow I think not. πŸ˜‰

  2. To me it doesn’t end…I discovered Harry and the crowd thanks to “elvis” of blog fame…to me I have so much catching up to do

  3. I loved the last movie. I couldn’t remember any differences between it and the book since it had been so long since I’d read the book. Now I want to read the entire series over again!

  4. Once my boys are awake, we’re off to Disneyland. Ba.D. and Li’l D will be likely be visiting the animals and the Bug’s Life corner of DCA. Me? I’ll finally be settling in–at Disneyland’s theater–to see the story concluded. I’m excited, but given my mood anticipate I will cry a lot!

    Beautiful send-off, this. πŸ™‚

      1. We didn’t end up going to Disneyland (although the boys went there themselves today), but I did see Harry Potter! You were spot on about the fighting. And, while I’m no fan of 3D usually, I’ve got to say it made some of those graphics just absolutely breathtaking.

      2. I didn’t intend to see 3D! I was in the middle of paying at the automated station when I saw the early bird ticket price was $10 and went, “How is that the early bird price?!” After I realized, I was disappointed straight up till the castle battle starts, at which point I went, “Hey! This might be worth it.” It was either 3D or wait another week or two, so 3D it was. πŸ˜€

  5. The HP books and movies . . . all top notch.

    They added to each other ~ I couldn’t imagine/visualize the shifting staircases until I saw them. Likewise, Quidditch made little sense until the movie brought it to life. And the books offered a depth that is impossible to reach in a 2 hour movie.

    Wonderful complements to each other.

    Years from now, I could see reading Book 1, watching Movie 1 . . . all the way to Book 7, Movies 7/8.

  6. So bittersweet. What are we supposed to do with ourselves now?? I can’t wait for Pottermore to launch, that should slake my HP thirst for a little while at least!

  7. Great post Vix! I haven’t seen the latest movie yet, but can’t wait, especially now since reading your post. The hub and I are avid HP movie-goers!

  8. It is interesting to read that you felt movies 5-7 were better than the others because I didn’t watch those ones! I was left disappointed after each of the 1st 4. To me I found the books to be much more captivating while having developed mental pictures of characters & so forth upon seeing the movies I wasn’t thrilled. I just stopped watching them! Now maybe I will have to! πŸ™‚

  9. So bittersweet. I love the books and the movies (even the early ones). I’m so thrilled that my two sons now love the movies, too (and the older one has read the first 3). They have decided to be Harry and Ron for Halloween. I can’t wait!

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