02 July, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Initial Reaction, Analysis to Follow

I’ve just returned from a pre-screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in London. The UK film scene can often be like a big family, and is quite interconnected, so clients, talent, and friends know friends etc, and I've a friend, who works for a script agent, works with Heydey films, and invited me to the preview; yes, I know how bloody lucky I am. I walk under a lucky star, blah de blah, but I think it helps to have great friends in the industry who enjoy sharing and geeking out!

So I’m not going to go into major detail until later. What’s the use of that? Any true fan won’t want spoilers, and it makes me feel like I’m gloating. I will, most definitely work on my analysis, and I’ll write something resembling a review here so you have a taste of my reactions and what’s to come.

It began in Leicester Square at 9am, where we handed over our gorgeous tickets (see above), and were escorted into open seating.  There was not a mad rush at all; everyone was just grateful to be there, very patient and quite fun.  Plus there was a lot of room, as it was at The Empire cinema in Leicester Square, in one of the largest screens I’ve ever visited.

Once all were gathered, 3D glasses on, note pad and pen poised  (pictures of my notes to the right; they’re rather a mess as I was writing in the dark!), David Heyman and the three other execs on Heyday Films came out to thunderous applause.  It was the family and friends/Heyday Film Partners day, so there was a lot of support for him and the team as there were many friends and co-workers in the audience. He took the mic, thanked everyone for coming, and for supporting him and the story for the past ten years.  He also announced “I don’t see this as the beginning of the end; it’s the end of the beginning.” Which is rather appropriate for a tiny production house that had made nothing close to the realm of Harry Potter prior to this worldwide phenomenon franchise, but it is poised to make huge strides in filmmaking, and certainly in British filmmaking, in the future.

Heyman was brief, grateful, and humble, then quickly moved aside for the film to begin.

I shall not discuss it here.

I will, however, give a quick review.

It was bloody brilliant. Remember my post about Black Swan being a good film but a bad movie? I know Harry Potter is a different kettle of fish entirely, but I’d say it succeeded in being both a good film and a good movie. Including DH: Part 1, I think this film has been the most cinematically beautiful; the performances were grand with many characters, Hermione and Snape in particular, coming into their own, with the only exception in my mind being Ginny. I’m sorry; I’m just not going to be a fan. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but she just does not fit the part for me, her acting seems quite forced be it down to skill or script, and the chemistry between Harry and Ginny just did not develop, unlike Ron and Hermione’s whose has flourished and grown naturally…. theirs… the kiss… guys… seriously… whoops and hollers; it was bang on lovely, sweet, passionate, giggly…. Lovely.

90% of the film was satisfying, heart-wrenching, funny, poignant, terrifying, suspenseful, teary, correct in spirit to the novel, visual depictions bang on (the protective spells, the dragon, the piece of Voldemort in the Heavenly King’s Cross… wow). Yes, there was 10% that I will wonder about, some continuity issues and questions about why they did that the way that they did, and maybe 2% that I’m really confused/angry/disappointed about (HERO WORSHIP! Where the heck was it? Final battle?! I can’t continue here; it was 98% great, but 2% something was horrifically wrong). 

Overall, however, it was a wonderful conclusion to a huge chapter of popular culture, film history, and my own personal life as well as it began when I was a freshman in College in Virginia, and just a Harry Potter fan, and has now ended with me as Head of Development for a production company in the UK, finishing up a PhD in event film adaptation studying Harry Potter amongst other things, and incorporating brilliant, epic, phenomenal storytelling from book to screen in my daily life. It’s been with me on the journey.

More soon; I may respond to some stuff in comments if you want, but for the most part, I try to steer away from reviews and whatnot before seeing a film so I can make my own opinions clearly without any influence from another, so I’ll more than likely let you do the same J

Sigh. What to do for two more weeks until I can see it again at LeakyCon? And then again…and again…

Watch this space. 

Hint about what's to come, interesting discussion on Harry's ability to 'feel' the other horcruxes... and I've seen the comments; I'll respond to some tomorrow or Monday as they pose some neat questions. I'm moving in the morning tomorrow, then on a train to Cardiff for a few days, so forgive me if my responses aren't immediate :)


Cinematicon said...

Could you tell me specifically which scenes where "horrifically wrong". I don't need spoilers but just the names of the scenes? And was their anything wrong with the final battle?

Augusto Emiliano Miguel said...

Thanks for let us ask some questions about the movie. I have three:

1) How was handled the meeting between Harry, Hermione, Ron and Abeforth? Do you remember any great line from this scene?

2) Can you describe (the most as you can) the boathouse scene? The place, the lines, how was it, etc.

3) Did you like the scene of Hermione and Ron in the Chamber of Secrets? What happens when Hermione destroys the Horcrux? Will we see something of Voldemort? How was the kiss?


dmc151 said...

How was the 3D, was it distracting or horribly converted?

Anonymous said...

Could you please describe what the end credits was like? And did "Leaving Hogwarts" play during the epilogue? Thanks.

Nape's and Payne's said...

A lovely review!! very fresh..

Your description of chemistry was amusing.. any more adjectives for Ron Hermione kiss ;) was it too short? or was it satisfactory enough? And was it Hot enough?

Thanks a lot !!

Mairon said...

hi.. congratulations on being so lucky!!

My question : When Ron sees his ** dead, what does he do?? What is Hermione doing then? doesnt she console/hug him or is she hugging harry then?

Mairon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

Hi, you're very luck!! Could you tel us about Rupert's performance? And Dan's and Emma's as well.
Thank you

Warren said...

Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice-like clip and cannot wait to see the movie--thanks for the review. Would like to know what is horrifically wrong.

Anonymous said...

hi!! is there enough ron and hermione moments throughout the movie to be satisfied with besides the kiss and handholding moments???thanks!!

Danielle said...

I, too, would love to know if there are a lot of cute Ron and Hermione moments, even before this kiss. The last movie ended with his arms around her, but in the new clip it doesn't seem as if they've gotten any "closer." Are there cute moments between them like the piano one in DH1? Thanks!

Also, someone posted a message saying there was a scene with Ron rubbing ointment on Hermione's arm, was that completely made up?

Anonymous said...

1) How long is the Ron Hermione kiss?

2) Is it chaste or is it hotter?

3)Are they hugging tightly when they kiss or what?

4) Is it implied Ron and Hermione are married? how does the non-book reader know that? Are they touching/close?

5) Seeing Ginny isn’t given much screen time, is she actually shown as Harry’s wife or just a random character.. and i hope they aren’t misleading by showing hermione with harry…

6) He wasnt there when they kissed so how does Harry know that Ron Hermione are together?

7) What other Ron Hermione moments from the movie can you remember other than the kiss?

8) That trailer had a very cute Ron holding Hermione frame. How many Ron Hermione hugs are there?

If i have left anything abt ron Hermione that he wud like to mention. throw in!!!!

plz excuse my english...

Hoping u reply soon...
Thanx & all my love,

Jake said...

I read in the final chapter this quote: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well." Does that mean Harry Potter actually does die, probably from the scar, for some reason? I can't be sure.

Anonymous said...

Ur review is awesomely written..

I heard the Ron Hermione kiss is obscured by their heads..
what does that mean? Do we see their mouths and lips together in the kiss or what? otherwise it wont be a good kiss at all!!

Can u plz answer about this??

I ve waited 8 years for this..

Paul said...

Great review! I just have a few questions. Do you think the film has a chance of getting nominated at the Oscars? If yes, then in which categories? Finally, in which of those categories do you think it can win?

Anonymous said...

You probably have the best description writing skills i have come across in a very long time..
the biggies should publish your reviews..

You dont need to explain this in detail.. We will keep our "aww" moment :)

But plz just tell us if Ron's head blocks the kiss..(the Lotr reference also unfortunately has some blocking)

Just this much plz..And i'll be at peace.. there's too much anxiety spreading around..

Happy 4th July!!

Anonymous said...

This is the description of the kiss one of the guys from the 2nd screening has given:

You do not see their lips during the entire kiss, only for a brief moment when the lips meets.
- The camera is static and does not move closer (zooming in).
- It's a full body shot (you'll see most of their bodies)
- The kiss does look like the ron/lavander kiss with the difference that it is Ron holding his arms around Hermione. You only see Hermiones left hand touching Rons chin/cheek area.
- Rons head does block the kiss (you'll see the back of his head)
- The kiss lasts for 5-7 seconds.
- They do giggle for 2-3 seconds afterwards.
- Ron stands to the left in screen and Hermione to the right.
- The kiss does look passionate between the two of them.
- It does not look like the Harry/Ginny kiss.

Is all what written above true 9 yrs of wait and a split second of lip contact??? how can anyone like such a kiss..This is PREPOSTEROUS...

I am posting some sideway kiss angles pictures?? Which of these reminds of u of the RH kiss angle??

I know u have been asked similar things a million times but our anxiousness is understandable hopefully

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