Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Fare warning, it tastes like goblin piss"

I have now seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One twice.  I really enjoyed it and thought it was well done.  It did move a little slowly, but it also needed to set some things up for the second movie, which I am hearing will be must faster paced.  The last book is the one that I have read the fewest times and I did not reread it before seeing the movie, but have since read the first half.  I am now better reminded of what was left out of the movie and, of course, have a few comments.  I simply feel that there are some details from the book that are important to the story.

If you have not yet seen the movie and do not want it spoiled...


I will warn those of you who have not read the books to stop reading further down, as one of my issues with the first half of the movie has to do with what happened in the second half of the book and I do not want to ruin the next movie for you.  But for now, you may continue reading. :o)

So, here are my concerns:

1. One of my biggest issues with the last movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was that I did not feel they explained the horcruxes well enough.  Unfortunately, that issue, for me, has over-lapped into this movie as well.  At the end of the sixth book, they do not know exactly what they are looking for, but they have a general idea.  In the seventh book they have several conversations about what the different horcruxes might be and where they think they could be hidden.  They even go to a few places to look for them.  While I understand why they took out the scenes where they actually go to these locations for time purposes, why not at least tell the audience what Harry, Ron and Hermione are looking for?  In the movie, it just seems like they are constantly moving from place to place in order to stay hidden from Voldemort, which is part of the reason, but it is also because they are trying to find these items and do not know exactly where to look.  In my opinion, this is partly what accounts for the slow feeling of the movie.

2. In the book, at one of their campsites, Harry, Ron and Hermione over hear Muggle-born wizards and a couple of goblins who are hiding in the woods from the Snatchers.  They hear them talking about how Ginny, Neville and Luna tried to steal the sword of Gryffindor from Snape's office at Hogwarts.  After they were caught, the sword was then moved to a vault at Gringotts.  One of the goblins also reveals that the sword placed in the vault was in fact not the sword of Gryffindor because he could tell it was not goblin-made.  While I do not really think that this is a terribly important scene, it does explain why, when the Snatchers bring Harry, Ron and Hermione to the Malfoy mansion, Bellatrix freaks out about the sword and how it is supposed to be in her vault. 

3. I think this is probably the smallest detail that actually irritates me the most.  How did Harry know that he needed to speak parseltongue to the locket in order to open it?  In the book, they address the fact that none of them can open the locket early on but then it is not brought up again until Ron and Harry go to destroy it.  Harry then explains that because there is a snake on the locket he realized that must be the way to do it.  In the movie, there is no snake on the locket, so why would it have to be opened using the snake language?  And either way, how he knew to use it is never explained.

4. While many of these things are not really all that significant in the grand scheme of things, I never seem to understand why parts of information is included and other parts left out.  Or why some scenes, like the fight between Harry and Ron, are almost verbatim from the book, while other scenes are completely different.  Why, for instance, when in the book Harry and Hermione use polyjuice potion when they go to Godric's Hollow, do they make a point in the movie to have him say that he did not want to use polyjuice potion?  He says he wanted to return to this place as himself, but why even have the line in there?  The idea of the polyjuice potion could have just been totally left out.  Also, why give Bill Weasley werewolf scars when the scene from the end of the previous book, where he was attacked in a fight at Hogwarts, was taken out of the previous movie?  It just never makes sense to me why they put in insignificant lines or details and leave out things that are actually important to the plot.

My final point, and I think one of the most important things left out, reveals information from the end of the book.  If you have not read the books and do not want me to ruin the end of the second movie, then I suggest you stop reading NOW.

Okay, here I go...

5. In the book, Hermione removes the photograph of Phineas Nigellus Black from Grimmauld Place and takes it with them in her "over-sized" purse.  This is important because this is how Snape finds them in The Forrest of Dean in order to give them the sword of Gryffindor.  Black overhears Hermione say the name of the place where they are and Black tells Snape.  I will be interested to see how they explain this in the second movie, if they bother explaining it at all.  In the movie they do not talk about who they think sent it to them, but the fact that it was Snape is incredibly significant as it means he was a good guy all along.  Harry, Ron and Hermione also use Black to give them information about what is going on at Hogwarts, but that part is less important to the first half of the story.

I want to reiterate that I really did like this movie.  I just get frustrated when they leave out or do not explain things that are incredibly important for the story to makes sense.  Clearly, they need my help.  :o)

And now I must wait until July 15 for Part Two, which is really just mean!