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Just Saw the Film!

By myself, because no one I live near is a Potter fan, so naturally that left me jonesing somewhat for the fandom I've abandoned. Somewhat... Anyway, I feel I have to share, so general impression on top, specifics under a cut for those who might consider such things spoilery.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is an E-ticket, a wonderful ride, terribly entertaining and a must-see for a fan, even if it left me unmoved. I remember bawling at the end of Goblet of Fire and think Prisoner of Azkaban the best of the lot. This had no dull parts though--unlike the last book. And at least while I watched I didn't note the plot abysses I did when reading. It played out very logically--more than the book, and I didn't for the most part miss what they cut or changed.

(Watching Snape again did leave me wanting to read Snape/Hermione fanfic again, and ask for recommendations of what I've been missing. But I'm probably better off not going there...)

McGonagall Goodness, were I a Minerva fan, I'd be in heaven. She was wonderful, even if the "all Slytherins to the dungeon" line left me grumpy. But I have to forgive her just for her animating the armor for Hogwart's defense followed by "I've always wanted to do that spell." (And at least we were spared her telling Harry he's "gallant" for using the Cruciatus curse.)

Draco was played with more humanity than in the books--all the Malfoys came across well. I liked Harry acknowledging Draco could have identified Harry to Bellatrix but didn't. I liked Draco's hesitation in coming over to Voldemort's side until his parents asked him to come to them. And note--at that point it seems the Slytherins are out of the dungeons--in the film at least, it's notable there's no rush among them to run to Voldemort's side--even after he's "won." For that matter, despite McGonagall's call to lock them all up, no one other than Pansy among the Slytherins seemed quick to grab Harry, That, the way the Malfoys are played, Slughorn and Snape, there is a subtle redemptive arc for the Slytherins in all that.

Neville was wonderful--more a leader than Harry really. It was great seeing his moment with Nagini--even better is his moment confronting Voldemort. I like how we see a character played for comedy and sometimes pathos allowed to grow into a hero.

Luna I'm sorry Harry/Ginny fans, but I think on film and in the books, Harry and Luna (Hell, Harry and Hermione, even Harry and Cho) have far more chemistry together than Harry and Ginny. I loved Luna's insistence that Harry listen to her.

Snape I have mixed feelings about the "death" scene. I did like that the gore was restrained, but it neither moved nor horrified me. Maybe because I knew it was coming and was dreading seeing it and nothing could have matched my imagination. But you know, it didn't really occur to me in the book, but with the film, I had to wonder. Why in the world with all that had to be done did Harry go straight to the Pensieve--nothing Snape said conveyed any urgency to view the memories.

What did move me about Snape in the film? Well, sucks to be him. The book I think underlined it more, but even in the film you have to feel that other than Lily's death, this year as headmaster had to be the very worst in his life. Well, and the scenes in that Pensieve with Snape and Lily--they were the most heartbreaking in this film, and that's when I did come closest to getting choked up.

I even liked the Epilogue better in the film. If only for little Albus Severus, and how Radcliffe's Harry somehow conveyed in that little scene with him that he's made a wonderful father.

Oh, and the biggest laugh from the audience was when poor Filch tries to sweep away the rubble. The guy next to me said "He's going to need a bigger broom."


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
*nods at your whole post*

Agreed that seeing the movie was much more pleasurable than reading the book. And I just finished re-reading the book, so I was doubly relieved.

I cried toward the end of the Prince's Tale, ditto the relatively understated ghost council when Harry used the Resurrection stone (though Lily looked quite grim most of the time). Poor Severus didn't even get an "I regret it" in the film, but I loved the wonderful irony of Voldemort talking about whether the elder wand serves only to him to the spy in his ranks. I also liked the way Griphook raised questions about Snape's loyalties all the way back in Shell Cottage, so Harry's sympathy for the dying Snape is perhaps a bit more understandable in context. I also like the change in Snape's last words before losing consciousness (I will not say 'dying' 'cos there's plenty of time for him to have taken Draught of the Living Death).

Harry/Ginny felt totally paested on yay in both movie and book, though bless her, Bonnie Wright gave it her all. Harry/Luna is one of the few Harry ships I read with pleasure because she's kind, funny, and full of wisdom that Harry needs. But Neville? FTW. Matt Lewis did a great job with the St. Crispian's Day speech- dignified, angry, and strong. Love!

Jul. 15th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
I loved the wonderful irony of Voldemort talking about whether the elder wand serves only to him to the spy in his ranks.

I did love that too--immensely. I might have been more moved by that scene if I hadn't read it before, then reread a zillion iterations in fanfic. It certainly wasn't the shock it was in the book. The Prince's Tale scenes hit me emotionally a lot more--like you, I liked the whimsy used. And Alan Rickman certainly delivered the goods there.

I also like the change in Snape's last words before losing consciousness (I will not say 'dying' 'cos there's plenty of time for him to have taken Draught of the Living Death

Hee. As I said, it almost makes me want to read fanfic again, just to reassure myself he's OK. ;-)
Jul. 15th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
The nonstop action was refreshing after all the navel-gazing camping in the woods scenes from Part I. I also think that the filmmakers used shorthand for emotional development -- but I guess they can get away with this after seven prior films.

My biggest question is always whether these plots make any sense at all to someone who hasn't read the books - and while more people have ready these than just about any other books, certainly even more people see the movies than read the books. Do they need a plot-hole explainer?

Jul. 15th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Film
Do they need a plot-hole explainer?

My husband hasn't read the books. He asked a couple of questions. I answered them very briefly, as he intends to read the books now.

But mostly, he didn't notice the plot holes the way a reader would.
Jul. 15th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
The audience cheered at the dungeons line in my theater which made me extra grumpy.

I feel your grumpy and wish we had gone together.
Jul. 16th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
*pats* When I went for the midnight sale of Deathly Hallows those in the line in front of me were talking about how they hoped Harry would crucio and kill Snape. I was more than grumpy--I was thinking it was good for them I didn't have a wand with me--one that worked.

At least by now word had gone out that Snape was good that no one hissed when Snape first came on screen. *huggles him* *feels great urge to read or even write Snape/Hermione fluff* *goes to lie down until the impulse is over*
Jul. 16th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
One of the biggest laughs in our theater was for the Draco/Voldemort 'hug.' I agree Draco came off a lot better than in the book.

Neville was my favorite in the movie. And I like love angle they gave him and Luna (I can see his solidity, groundedness, and idealism balancing her whimsy and essential practicality.) And I loved the Molly/Bellatrix duel.
Jul. 16th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
I agree Draco came off a lot better than in the book

You know, in the innocent days uncorrupted by fanfic, back when I'd read the Potter books once only, I didn't much like Snape or Draco. Then I read Half-Blood Prince felt deeply for him (I was convinced from hints that Dumbledore had ordered him to) and thought there was more to Draco then I had thought. He hadn't captured my imagination like Snape, but I felt for him in that book. Then, besides becoming a Snape/Hermione fanatic, fanfic really made me like Draco, even see him as another possibility for Hermione--but the last book, while still giving me a Snape to love (more than ever) left Draco a coward--I became squicked even by the thought of shipping him. Felton plays him in such a way though--with barely a line of dialogue--that what I saw wasn't treachery and cowardice, but ambivalence. It makes him so much more sympathetic and interesting.

Hell, even Lucius came across to me as sympathetic in the film, and I usually despise him in film or book.

Neville was my favorite in the movie. And I like love angle they gave him and Luna (I can see his solidity, groundedness, and idealism balancing her whimsy and essential practicality.)

Neville was awesome! I've always actually loved the idea of Harry/Luna. But if one must settle for Harry/Ginny, then I certainly like them better together than were interview canon places them.

And I loved the Molly/Bellatrix duel.

Me too!
Jul. 16th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
I can only nod to your post.
Plus, I was honestly surprised that one of "missing scenes" in the book - Ron and Hermione going for the fang - was interesting and amusing in the movie. In book it felt more like "get them out of the scene, we need Harry alone now". In the movie it actually made sense.
And it was quite a shock for me to find out who is hidden under the Abelforth's beard ;)
Jul. 16th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Ron and Hermione going for the fang - was interesting and amusing in the movie. In book it felt more like "get them out of the scene, we need Harry alone now". In the movie it actually made sense.

I hate to say this--someone may confiscate my Snape/Hermione union card, but Ron/Hermione is much more believable to me in the films. There's no book from the twins Ron is using to manipulate Hermione, no reason to believe he used it (and the elf comment) to manipulate Hermione into a kiss, no asinine, immature confounding of the driver inspector, no anti-Slytherin comments. IOWs, no reason to believe Ron hasn't and won't mature into someone Hermione could love.
Aug. 8th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
Friday’s quiz Headmaster Snape! Here is a little banner to show off with. Thank you so much.


Aug. 8th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the nod and for letting me know.
Oct. 3rd, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Coming in late once again.

I'm totally with you on Draco, Neville, and Luna, and it was so good to see Neville and Luna given their moments to shine!

Funny thing, what made me cry in the movie was exactly the same thing that made me cry in the book... the death of Fred. Everyone knows I'm no fan of the twins, but when Fred fell in the book I just *bawled*... and in the movie 'All right, Georgie' got sniffles and the scene with his family gathered around his body... yep, bawling again. Both times I saw the movie!

Snape's death didn't really work for me in the movie, either. I don't know why, it just... didn't get to me. Which was a shame, because I had hopes for it.
Oct. 4th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
I expected to bawl at Snape's death too, yet didn't. And it's not that Alan Rickman didn't act his heart out, bless him. I didn't really come near tears in any of the films except when Cedric died in Goblet of Fire--his father's reaction there really got to me.
Oct. 17th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
I know that you are pretty much out of the SSHG community, as am I, these days, but I just read a story that made me think of you so much. I cannot even express to you how awesome this story is, and it has many things that I think you'd really like - inventive magic, how the founders made Hogwarts, good writing, and a great story. I read this and immediately wanted to rec it to you. I think that if you have a weekend where you're looking for an amazing story, this might just float your boat. Hope you're doing well these days!

Oct. 18th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
I appreciate you thinking of me--and after the film I did have a strong nostalgic yearning to read a good Snape/Hermione--then couldn't find one when I looked at the recently added on Ashwinder at that time--in fact they were imo awful. Then I tried my hand and still found myself firmly, firmly blocked.

It's frustrating--I still have those two "talking" to me at times and not a week goes past when I don't think of my poor abandoned WIP.

But then, you know, although I do miss you and the good people like you that kept me around so long, the truth is there was a lot about the fandom that was... well, not good.

Which is to say, at this point I think I'm going to hold up the cross and the garlic and take a pass. But I really, really appreciate you thinking of me. And I'm not going to be one of those who leaves the fandom and then disses my old ship. Because honest to God, I still love them both--and especially together. But I think that's all the more reason I'm afraid to click! Especially since this one is novel-length. *ahem*
Oct. 19th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
I do understand and I do agree about current stories out there. No pressure to read it, but I wanted you to have the chance to see it. I never search for new stuff, and I don't really follow anything SSHG any more except for Pet Project by Caeria. I have too much time (years!!) invested in that story. :)

I do check FanFiction every couple of months just to see if there is an update to that story. Other than that, I haven't read anything in months. We happened to have some bad weather a couple of weeks ago and I saw half of my remaining friends on LJ talk about how amazing that story was, and I decided to click out of boredom. I was very pleasantly surprised. It really was one of the most amazing stories I've read. Total AU, with a Hermione that comes through an alternate timeline created by the founders when they created Hogwarts, where there is no war, Lily is still alive, and there is no Harry Potter. Not enough to drag me back into looking for new stuff on a regular basis, but more than enough to restore my faith in the pairing. Love story. No horrid grammar. Snape lives. Amazing magic. All the things I used to enjoy about the stories I read. At least promise me that you'll bookmark this story in case you ever get a case of nostalgia. That's what I've done. And I promise that you will enjoy it without being dragged back into the fandom.

I really did think of you this summer. We went on vacation all over New England, and we ended up in NYC on our way home. I've been there in the past when I was younger and at that point I was only able to go into the city for the day with my husband when he was stationed in Connecticut in the Navy. This time we stayed right by Times Square and did a bunch of touristy things, including going down to Ground Zero. Our hotel room looked down over the play Daniel Radcliffe was in. We were only there for 24 hours, but it definitely makes me want to come back again. I had a lot more fun when I actually got to stay in the middle of the action, but now I need to come back and actually spend some time there!!

I spend more time on Facebook these days...still not a lot, but enough to connect with Shug and Ginny more than we do on LJ. None of us ever says a word about HP fandom on there, but that's okay. I'm like you - I miss the people, but not the other yucky stuff. I might write another story one of these days, but nothing just cries out to me to be written at this point in my life except for the last chapters of my masters thesis. If you're ever on FB, message me and I'll give you my info.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
I promise you I'll at least book mark it. But even when I saw a new story by Lariope some time back I couldn't make myself read it so... Nothing would keep me away from Falling Further In if it updated though so I completely understand how you feel about Pet Project

If you ever get to NYC again for more than a day I'd love to show my city off to you if you're interested in getting together. I think it quite special :-)

I'm not on Facebook though. I know--but I hate giving personal info out in the internet and that seems all it's for.
Oct. 23rd, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
It's all good! I understand completely about the personal info and not wanting to read the story. I mainly use Facebook to keep up with old friends and family who live out of town, and I still watch very carefully what I say on there and try to keep it locked down pretty tight. My son is on Facebook and I make him use my email so I see everything he posts or has posted to his site.

I will definitely take you up on the offer when I make it back to NYC. That's not an if, it's definitely a when. We had such a great time. When we were younger, we drove into the city and just went a couple of places and then would head for home. This time, since we were there for such a short time and knew we couldn't possibly do too much, we took one of those 5 hour OnBoard bus tours, where you get off and walk around some with the tour guide. We got to walk around Central Park a little, see Wall Street (pre-protest!) a little, take the boat to the Statue of Liberty, walk around Rockefeller Plaza, cruise through Chinatown, see John Lennons building, Times Square, etc....all the touristy things you have to do. We saw nothing in depth, but at least my kids have seen some things they've read about in books or seen on the news.

We took a twelve day vacation all over the northeast - upstate New York, ferry across Lake Champlain, Vermont, NH, Maine, Boston, Newport in Rhode Island, the area in Connecticut where we lived previously, and then one night in NYC before heading home. So...much...fun!!! We all decided that we need to come back and do a solid week in NYC sometime soon. I would love to have a hometown girl come meet up with us when we make it up there again!!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )