Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [1]

As the Christmas vacations were getting near enough to slightly relax, my daughter asked me to take her to see the latest Harry Potter movie. I was anyway interested in how the first part of the book would appear. (I first wrote would be rendered but this sounded too negative or just too French!) Now we have both seen the movie, our impressions are as opposed as with the previous one, although my daughter declined to engage into a debate this time!

My first criticism is slightly unfair, namely that a lot of important events depicted in the book are just alluded to in the most elliptical manner. This is unavoidable but it turns having read the book prior to seeing the movie into a requirement! (I found interesting the missed announcement by Tonks at the very beginning that she and Remus had gotten married, given it is stopped before being expressed by MadEyes. The consecutive and fundamental scene at Grimmauld where Harry accuses Remus of fleeing his father’s duties is then erased in the movie. The only relevant moment is when Remus aggressively faces Harry  to check he is the true Harry but this does not make sense out of context.) My second criticism is that the three major actors have aged so much that they cannot be seen as teenagers any longer: Harry’s close-ups show he cannot keep his facial air (Beedle the Beard?!) under control (where’s magic when you need it?!) and Hermione looks as if she stole her little sister’s clothes. (Despite the special effects that make them appear smaller than adults., as, e.g., in the [botched] scene with Luna’s father.) This makes some of the scenes between them a bit awkward, as  for instance the dispute between Ron (as consistently a poor actor in this movie as in the previous ones) and Harry, or even more clearly in the sexual undertones of the Hermione-Harry-Ron triangle. (which does not work that much in the movie because Ron/Jenny is too shallow to be a credible contrast to Harry/Hermione).. The book remaining to the very end set within a teenager perspective, I feel the film scenarists made a mistake to stick to it, while they could have exploited to their advantage the transition between teenage-hood and adulthood, and the loss of innocence resulting from the fight against Voldemort (if antagonising some of the fans!). The disillusion of Harry with respect to Dumbledore, which is an essential  component of the finale, is also erased from the movie, cancelling another dimension…  Surprisingly, I found the endless transfigurations of the trio much less boring than in the book, presumably because the settings were almost always in spectacular English and Scottish landscapes. (One place [rightly so] reminded me of Malcom Cove—the hardest [9a+] climb in the UK, which featured in the climbing movie Psyche—, another place of Dartmoor, yet another of the lake [loch] seen from the Ring of Steall or maybe from Bidean nam Bian as Glencoe seems to be a favourite in the movies…) The colours in the movie are well-design (the night scene at Ron’s place has fabulous colours!) but I noted that the camera is often shaking and this seems to be voluntary, for no good stylistic reason I can think off!! (This is not a pseudo news report,  as in District 9…) I also liked the scene with the motorbike driven by Hagrid in the tunnel which borrowed much from a similar scene in Men in Black. (Some scenes in the Ministry of Magic are somehow reminiscent of Brazil, while the hunters for renegade magicians have a rather off-key Clockwork Orange style.)

In conclusion, I fear everyone is sort of tired with the series, first and foremost the actors!, and just want the HP era to conclude. For good.

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