Movie Thoughts: Harry and the Deathly Hallows – Is it the Beginning of the Beginning of the End?

When I held my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time, I felt about it much as I always do about the last piece of candy in the big box. Like Edmund and the Turkish Delight, I could eat those things until it kills me, but I always reach the end; the last piece, the piece I want but don’t want because it means the end of the box, is a bittersweet delight (regardless of what kind of sweetie flavor it is). With the film of Deathly Hallows in two bits, we’ve still one piece left in that big box, but this one is next to last, and has that same degree of joy and sadness. Considering the content of this, the first half of the last installment of our generational Shared Text’s cinematic interpretations, the sadness is certainly in force. Follow after the jump for detailed thoughts on the film, and my two galleons worth.

I decided against the midnight and wee hour showings, as I find I enjoy films more when I’m conscious for the whole thing, but even at Friday’s showing, a matinee, the house was packed with folks here for the first scene of the last act. And it’s a  rather long scene, too! I had expected the break between this installment and the next to fall around the center of the book, that is with the chapter “The Silver Doe” (which, if you’ve been following the train of thought on Ring Composition, serves as both the literal and spiritual center of the novel). Instead, the film takes us well past that point, all the way up to Dobby’s sacrifice and Voldemort’s retrieval of the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s grave.

I’m a literary critic, not a film critic, but, from my perspective, the movie was an excellent adaptation of the first half of the book, leaving us a good chunk of time for thorough coverage at the Battle of Hogwarts in Part 2 (and hopefully plenty of The Prince’s Tale, since most of the other flashback type scenes have been removed from the first half). Certainly, no one is going to like every aspect of an adaptation, but with the expanded length, this installment has the time to cover the story much more effectively. We get intense and prolonged close-ups that allow the actors to convey much more than mere dialogue. In particular, the expressions of Snape (Alan Rickman, as amazing as ever) and Lucius Malfoy (the also amazing Jason Isaacs) during the big Death Eater confab at story’s onset, speak volumes and give their characters the depth that will be proven later in the narrative. By contrast, other elements are sped past to keep up the pace (the camping trip still feels long enough to make the point, but is streamlined enough to keep the story moving) or removed altogether. Kreacher doesn’t get to  relate the tragedy of Regulus (though he does get in plenty of swings at Mundungus Fletcher!).  Some elements, like Harry’s and Hermione’s use of Polyjuice Potion in Godric’s Hollow, are removed to prevent repetition (after all, poor Hermione has to drink that mess four times in the book! Twice in one movie is enough, I think). Some of the edits will require some new connective tissue later on. For example, with the absence of Phineas Nigelleus in his frame, there will have to be some other explanation for Snape being able to find the trio in the Forest of Dean.

Some of the elements that get left in are just wonderful. The Scripture on the Potters’ gravestone is prominent, accentuated by the roses Hermione places there, a nice touch. Other elements are added in that, in the book, are merely alluded to. The best of these is Hermione’s memory-wipe on her parents, a touching scene in which she erases herself from all the family photos, but there are also little added moments with Neville so that he won’t be such a stranger by Part 2.

The big conversation piece of the movie will likely be the fairly graphic (for this series) vision Ron endures before destroying the Horcrux, but I found the sexy scene to actually be very close to the scene from the Book I of The Faerie Queene in which its literary roots lie. After all, this is a taunting image conjured up by Voldemort himself. He’s not likely to tone it down for the kiddies.  By contrast, a “real” scene, though played for laughs, is a nice contrast. When Fleur is transformed into one of the seven Potters and is changing into clothes like Harry’s, she tells Bill not to look. The scene is funny, of course, because it’s Dan Radcliffe in the bra covering his chest modestly, but it indicates that, contra the cultural tide, Bill and Fleur are not consummating their relationship until after their marriage. The wedding itself lacks the golden luster of the book, but Fleur’s black and white dress, with Hermione’s red one (and all that red Weasley hair!) gives us the alchemical hat tip. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Bill, who seems well cast if not allowed his big mauling moment in HBP. After all this time, it’s hard to remember all these Weasleys aren’t actually related, since they work together so well, particularly the wonderful Phelps brothers (who are, of course, actual twins), who steal every scene they are in.

On the visual side, the effects are super, and I especially like how realistic the house elves have become. Both Dobby and Kreacher are remarkably lifelike, lending true realism to the elf’s heart-wrenching death in Harry’s arms. The settings are also stellar, with some truly awe-inspiring vistas that serve as excellent backdrops to the epic tale being told. One of the neatest visual sequences is the “Tale of the Three Brothers,” a sort of shadow-puppet Edward Gorey homage that works nicely as Hermione reads the story. It’s far better than having humans play the roles, as it keeps the fairy tale and text-bound elements of the story in the forefront.

This film is rated PG-13, and the violence meter is ramped up throughout. From Charity Burbage’s murder through to Dobby’s, it’s a rough ride emotionally as well as visually, but the audience, even for a matinee, was pretty much the over 13-crowd, a relief for me after all the not-for-little people movies I’ve seen with poor shrieking children in the next row.

Overall, it was a good film, and bodes well for the second part when we really will have only an empty candy box left. Let’s hear your thoughts on how the film met (or didn’t) your expectations!


  1. I wondered how you would feel about the lack of gold at the wedding. I missed it, thought Luna and her dad carried that bit. I did like Fleur’s dress, actually. And I liked the tone of the wedding, really the wedding dinner/reception.

    I agree about the vision that Ron saw. I thought it was excellent. I had just finished re-reading the book the night before, so all that was pretty fresh in my mind. The dialogue is nearly from the book and the images are spot on, imo.

    I liked the additions this time – Hermione with her parents, in particular, and even the dance in the tent. The expression on Emma’s face at the end says “I am missing Ron, but it’s nice to have a friend who cares.”

    I was so caught up in the moment in the graveyard that I didn’t see the inscription. And I wish they had talked about it. But today I was looking through the book I bought when we saw the Harry Potter Exhibition in Seattle (awesome, btw!). And two of the picture show the headstone for the Potters, with the inscription, and the headstone for Kendra with Ariana’s name and the inscription. Too bad that one didn’t make it to the movie, but I look forward to seeing it in the deleted scenes.

    I also missed seeing Luna’s room, but the Lovegood house was fantastic, and one of the other things in my book says that the artwork was inspired by Evanna Lynch’s drawings. Cool.

    I did miss the moment of remorse that caused Wormtail’s hand to stangle him, but having Dobby do it instead was a good choice. Everything about the house elves was fantastic.

  2. Ooops, that’s supposed to be “though Luna and her dad. . .” not thought.

  3. The cinema, where I watched it, also not at midnight ,was very bubbly pre-movie, but quiet post movie.
    I thought it very significant that they did not use the usual Hedwig’s musical theme for the beginning. There were tiny phrases in several places, but it was mostly absent. It was appropriate. It will probably be the ending piece, played gloriously, as the problems are resolved in part 2.
    I thought the soundtrack was very quirky, competent and imaginative you could feel otherworldliness at times, but very different from the past. I expect the second part will complete and compliment the first part. There was lots of humour in the music.
    I was not disappointed at all with the film and even though many things were just nodded at, like Mad-Eye Moodie’s eye. It felt as though they were hitting the main points on all levels.
    I am hoping for an excellent memory from Snape in part 2, as well as a more filled in final chapter with the new generation of children

    Having caught up on several old interviews with J.K. Rowling, ( I missed them first time around) I would expect that her future books will also feel very familiar for Potter fans. I think that that is just the way she thinks and there will be comfortable echoes for all of us left behind

  4. D.V.,
    Thanks for bringing up the soundtrack, which I also found interesting, especially since it was done by Alexandre Desplat, who also did New Moon (add that to the fact that the young Grindelwald is being played by Jamie Campell Bower, who plays Voluturi baddie Caius, and there’s a nice little hat tip).

  5. I’ve seen the film twice already. All I can say is, “Accio July 15!”

    Since I just reread the book, as well as John’s “Deathly Hallows Lectures,” I couldn’t help but notice some of the things that were left out. None of it really bothered me, because I’ve never been that hard to please when it comes to film adaptations of books.

    It seems to me the most significant thing that was left out is Dumbledore’s family story. I’m sure we’ll get more of it in the second half (perhaps from Aberforth), but at least they alluded to it at the wedding.

    The best humor was in the Seven Potters scene. The sold-out audience I was with just cracked up when they saw all seven Dan Radcliffes standing next to each other. Second best was probably in the Ministry where Mrs. Cattermole kisses Ron, then Ron transforms into himself just as the real Mr. Cattermole is walking up in his boxers, and everyone is embarrassed.

    The World War II echoes came through loud and clear. The statue at the Ministry was appropriately creepy, and the design of the pamphlet (“Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Perfect Pureblood Society”) was right on the money. The Mudblood “tatoo” that Bellatrix carved into Hermione’s arm reminded me of the numbers tatooed onto the arms of concentration camp victims.

    I agree about the Horcrux scene. Definitely one of the more powerful scenes in the film. I loved how it opens, and then this huge cloud just explodes out of the locket and throws them both to the ground.

    I wish the carol coming out of the church had been more audible and that they had left in the discussion about the verse from Corinthians. Still, at least it’s there on the tombstone, and the wreath (with white flowers, no less) was a nice touch.

    I wouldn’t have noticed unless I had read an article about it beforehand, but Fleur’s wedding dress actually has the shape of two phoenixes on the front of it (and that’s supposed to be their tailfeathers streaming down on the back). Resurrection Birds are always a nice touch, but especially at a wedding!

    I could go on for days, but I’ll leave it at that. Loved it. R.I.P. Dobby, a free elf.

    P.S. My dad and I watched HBP earlier this week to refresh ourselves before the DH film, and my ears perked up at something Harry says in one of his conversations with Slughorn. It’s the one where he’s trying to ask about “the bit of rare magic” he came across. Slughorn says his question would be better addressed to Professor Snape.

    Harry: “He and I don’t exactly see eye to eye, sir.”

    It could be an accident, but this made me smile. Is this a foreshadowing of Snape’s last request in DH part 2? I couldn’t help but think so after reading DHL and its exposition of all the eye symbolism.

  6. I am still processing my impressions, although I can say with conviction that the muscial score was a huge disappointment for me. I suppose I was subconsciously anticipating the familiar themes to provide a sense of continuity to both story and visual experience; subsequently, I walked out of the theater yesterday evening disappointed and unsatisfied.

    Did the movie match the many months/years of hype? I now wish I had not followed the many snippets of footage or filming discussion on YouTube and Mugglenet. The action in Bathilda Bagshot’s house was especially good and yes, I jumped along with everyone else at the appropriate moment 😉 The locket destruction scene was also a wow moment.

    My son-in-law will see the movie at a later date but asked a very important question: “Will a non-reader of the series get the gist of the story?” I think so…and most likely without the angst most of us multiple-read fans are probably suffering post-viewing. IMO the by-passed plot points/characters that informed the story so richly were too blatantly absent. I would be hard-pressed to give DH part-1 a two-thumbs up review and hope part-2 delivers the resolve we’re all looking for.

    I will go to DH part-2 and also be sad that the last piece of candy has been eaten! Sweet sadness, for sure.

  7. i was really disappointed that in Godric’s Hollow when they are looking at harry’s old house that it didn’t turn into the memorial with the inspirational writings that it had in the books. I was really looking forward to it. In the book i felt like it put a new wind into Harry, made him realize after months of thinking the only people on his side were ones from the order, that there are still other people that are on his side.

  8. Need to see it again, so much to absorb at midnight:05. I agree that the Godric’s Hollow Potter memorial & statue would have been meaningful to include. I’ve reread the series many times (always find something new!) and am very satisfied with the movie. Music was unremarkable but not distracting. Most humorous moment for me was George entering the kitchen at the Burrow while Ginny & Harry are kissing…he’s leaning against the counter drinking a cuppa’ & they have no idea he’s even there. I loved it.

  9. I forgot to mention the music. I bought the soundtrack three days before I saw the movie and listened a couple of times. I really liked it. Nicholas Hooper’s are my favorites, but I like this one too.

    The other thing I started last week when I was re-reading DH was to listen to all the sound tracks, in order. I found that the ones by John Williams were, at times, over done and I even turned off the first one. I know I’m in the minority, but I have enjoyed what the other composers have done.

    The themes are still there in this newest version, though they are sometimes in a minor key, sometimes played in a different rhythm, but there nonetheless.

    Mostly, I felt that the music suited the film, with a certain darkness throughout.

  10. I feel the need to comment on the score. I really enjoyed this movie and I felt that the actors – Emma Watson in particular – delivered incredible, nuanced performances. The key scenes – Hermione’s “obliviate”, Ron leaving, the destroying of the horcrux, and especially Dobby’s death – were left too naked by a score that lacked the emotional wallop these scenes needed and deserved. I was surprised, to be honest for the music has played such a role from John Williams use of themes (thank you, R. Wagner), to a minimalist approach (P. Glass and S. Reich) in OotP, to the practically plagiarized Adagio for Strings (S. Barber) at Dumbledore’s death in HBP. With the series progression from these Romantic to Post Romantic musical masters I was expecting an operatic finish from the same time period, maybe a little Puccini, perhaps. Now there is a composer who knows how to rock the tragedy.

  11. I loved the movie and will also be happy/sad to see the last installment.

    I thought they did a great job getting the key points in. The only thing I really felt lacking was the conversation between Ron and Harry in the Forest of Dean, after the horcrux was destroyed. I love when Harry (not Ron, as in the movie) says that Dumbledore knew that he’d want to come back, and also when Harry reassures Ron that he and Hermione are like brother and sister. I also wished Hermione had attacked Ron more thoroughly on his return and needed to be restrained by Harry’s protective spell.

    All minor quibbles, though. In all, it was an amazing rollercoaster ride with tears, laughter, and fear. I’m already looking forward to July 15!

  12. I was very pleased with this first part of DH. I only wish they had included two additional parts….

    I missed Dudley’s words to Harry just before the Dursley’s left Privett Drive. I also wish Kreacher’s Story had been told. There is so much in his story that explains why Voldemort just doesn’t get it about the Elves. Dobby indicates (in the movie) one of those things, when Harry asked him if he can apparate out of Malfoy Manor’s dungeon, and Dobby answers with an emphatic, “Yes. I’m an Elf.”

  13. I just got home from my second viewing of DH part I. It was brilliant!

    Previous comments covered many of my favorite moments already, the 7 Harry Potters and the Fred/George ear humor, etc.

    I think the film-makers did a beautiful job adapting this book (so-far). I missed the Harry-Dudley handshake at the beginning, but thought that the way they started the movie with a look at the preparations of Hermione, Ron, and Harry was a great insertion to the story-line.

    I also appreciated the inclusion of Dobby in the pursuit of Mundungus Fletcher. I saw it as a nod to when Harry sets both Kreacher and Dobby to tailing Draco in HBP. Since the elves were not included in the HBP film, I thought it was a great way to bring Dobby back into Harry’s life before the big drama at the Malfoys/ Shell Cottage.

    I am overall very satisfied with this adaptation. The must-have parts were in there and additions were appropriately put in and at least kept to the spirit of the book, if not the letter. 🙂

    As for those film-viewers that haven’t read the book yet, maybe they will finally pick it up and read it, so they can figure out the story-line! 😉

    I can hardly wait for Part II to come out and will probably see Part I in the theaters at least one more time this winter.

  14. I join the consensus in my admiration for Emma Watson’s work in this movie, particularly in her first scene. If I had left the theater five minutes into the picture, I might well have gotten my money’s worth. I also think the actors playing the senior Grangers were remarkably effective at conveying sweetness and vulnerability. They did more acting with the backs of their heads than many performers can accomplish with their whole bodies.

  15. I just wanted to add that the performances of the adults who portray the thrilling threesome at the ministry are breathtaking. When I mentioned to my sister that I thought these actors were remarkable, she clapped her hands to her face and gasped “I didn’t realize those were different actors!”

  16. I completely agree with the comments concerning both the actors playing Hermione’s parents and the three ministry workers! I thought it was such a seamless transition between the “kids” and the adults with the polyjuice potion. The combination of the adults’ mannerisms matching the trio’s and the kids’ voices coming out of them. It was so hilarious and believable that they were “really” Ron, Harry, and Hermione. I laughed so much, it was so odd and funny!

  17. Thanks John. I actually think she’s communicating with the analysis crowd (that’s us!) through a couple of unique details. I need to watch it a second time to catch them all, but I noticed two (bottom of my article):

    Literating l Deathly Hallows pt.1 – Rowling Winks

    much love.

    – L

  18. Yes, Rose, the actors playing Runcorn, Cattermole, and Mafalda are truly brilliant. It really was like the trio had taken over their bodies! I imagine their wonderful scenes and the fabulous Seven Potters sequence were another reason for not Polyjuicing Harry and Hermione in Godric’s Hollow. I’m looking forward to the Gringott’s break-in to see if that group can pull off the same illusion!
    A note on my Bill comment above: A little digging revealed that this charming young man is the son of the actor who plays Mad Eye. So even if the Weasleys aren’t all really related, the heavily scarred people do share a family tree!

  19. I was impressed by the film (am going to see it again today) and also am impressed by all your reviews! Usually people are so unsatisfied with the movies and it’s beautiful to see that some people really appreciate it, as I do!
    And, yes, the ministry workers were brilliant! I really couldn’t help but think it’s Emma, Daniel and Rupert, amazing!
    I was also afraid of the kissing scene (Hermione and Harry) and the dance in the tent, but it was great.
    As John Stanifer said before : Accio July 15!

  20. I believe that this film is the best WB has given us with the HP series to date. Given as stated by the others before me that of course the film is not perfect and every one that has read all of the books will find parts missing in this film that they feel should have been included. That being stated, I feel most of the major literary hits that DH needed to be in the film were there.

    I really liked the opening with Snape making that grand walk into the meeting between Voldemort and the Death Eaters that gave you that draw into the darkness and shadow of this film.

    I loved the feel and scene of Harry and Hermione (unPolyjuiced) walking into Godric’s Hollow and the church graveyard, the church bells ringing, the choir singing softly in the distance. However, given the importance of this scene in the book (as J K Rowling has stated in an interview) they rushed it through, first no visit to the grave of Dumbledore’s mother and sister, with one of the key verses on their gravestone, “where your treasure is there your heart will be also”, and perhaps the most important verse in the seven book series on the gravestone of James and Lilly Potter, “the last enemy to be defeated is Death”!!! To me that dialog between Harry and Hermione at the gravestone of Harry’s parents about life after death is one of the most pivital pointers to the rest of Harry’s journey and the conclusion of the books, but also DH movie Part 2, even though Harry doesn’t get it until his meeting with Dumbledore in the “Heavenly Kings Cross” later in the book. That was a disappointment to me because of the weight of that scene to the meaning of the book series from book (movie) one to book (movie) seven.

    Rowling stated in an interview shortly after the release of DH that those two verses on the gravestones are the foundation upon which the whole Harry Potter book series rests,

    WB and/or Steve Kloves must have had a reason which at this point only they know.

    On the whole, the cinematography was well done on the various locations shot for the London/Scotland scenes and the action/special effects in this film were WB/HP best yet.

    Yes, I agree with you guys above that the trio (Dan, Emma and Rupert) gave their best performances to date. They all have really grown to become veteran actors, being so young, yet with most of their careers ahead of them.

    Is it July 2011 yet!!!!!!!

  21. Dental Stephanie says

    John, I didn’t even NOTICE the lack of gold in the wedding scene until you pointed to that. *fwaps head* How can I ever forget my alchemy!?

    Overall, I particularly enjoyed that the film explored more on the Harry/Hermione friendship in the Forest. Also, the film maintained a better pace than I thought it would. Although the book sometimes has a tendency to lag in the first half after Ron leaves, the film usually felt like it was going somewhere rather than the sense of “aimlessness” I feel when reading the 7th book.

  22. OH YEAH!

    I DID notice that, but I also noticed something else about color at the wedding.

    I’m in the middle of writing my major project for my mythology class (it’s my only grade so pray it goes well :S). I was flipping through Burckhardt’s Mythology (one of my textbooks) and noticed how violet-red comes up in the Sol/Apolo movement of the Alchemical Great Work. Since this is the moment where luny luna wears a sun on her chest, perhaps the submisison of the passive moon to the active sun is pointing toward book seven as a gold-marker in even more hidden turns. I can see the conversation now:

    “Jo, gold doesn’t look stylish at a wedding. Any other colors? We want it to look good.”

    “Deep purple works.”

  23. Arabella Figg says

    Excellent write-up, Elizabeth!

    For those disappointed at the exclusion of two plot points:

    I’ve been thinking, and I bet we will see the Lupin/Harry scene and it will be at Shell Cottage. This works well because Tonks will be visibly pregnant (I bet she’s at SC too), heightening the drama. This also puts the scene closer to the battle where they die, connecting them better to their deaths, for the film audience.

    And I bet that Wormtail’s death will be by silver hand after the audience is reminded of his debt to Harry, and he will save Harry in a more dramatic way, cementing all this together for viewers.

    Both of these events will work better and more meaningfully toward the end.

  24. Arabella Figg says

    Hmm. Maybe Tonks will have Teddy by then, given the timeline.

  25. randy vandyke says

    I liked it a lot. Thought it captured well the sense I had when I read the book. I’m on page 500, and they’re still in the woods! How is she going to pull this together?

    Highlights for me “the return of Ron”(excepting the naked H/H), Rescue at Malfoy Manor and Godric’s Hollow. I’m going to see it with my wife tonight. LOVED Dobby as the hero! Brilliant on page, brilliant on screen.

    Things that nearly drive a stake through the corpse. Naked time for Harry and Hermione!?! Really?! You could have picked me off the floor! Let me think, who reads Scholastic books? Under 13s will stay home? I know; the books went very dark. World War 2 kind of motif. Yes, disturbing violence; yes, cruelty. Nakedness? The director could take a lesson from A. Hitchcock. Less can be more. And should have been.

    The dance scene was terrific–UNTIL Harry’s giving Hermione that look! The way it was played, give them a couple more months alone and they will be locking lips and having naked time if Harry gets his way. Two minutes later, Ron shows up, and Harry says, “Voldemort is lying to you.” My eyes must be lying to me too! I didn’t see what I saw. Happens a lot with my seven kids!

    Last point, the terrific trio can take on Death-eaters, but not hooligans? Huh? H/H keep running after Ron is nabbed? Huh?

    Still going again with my wife. Screen problems make adoration for the original stronger. LOVED the series. LOVED the last book. It will have a place at the library five hundred years from now–unless Christ returns. Oh, I wanted one of them to read that Scripture so bad I had to go and pee after that scene! What a moment on page! My chest swelled, and my heartbeat quickened.

  26. David wrote: “I loved the feel and scene of Harry and Hermione (unPolyjuiced) walking into Godric’s Hollow and the church graveyard, the church bells ringing, the choir singing softly in the distance. However, given the importance of this scene in the book (as J K Rowling has stated in an interview) they rushed it through, first no visit to the grave of Dumbledore’s mother and sister, with one of the key verses on their gravestone, “where your treasure is there your heart will be also”, and perhaps the most important verse in the seven book series on the gravestone of James and Lilly Potter, “the last enemy to be defeated is Death”!!! To me that dialog between Harry and Hermione at the gravestone of Harry’s parents about life after death is one of the most pivital pointers to the rest of Harry’s journey and the conclusion of the books, but also DH movie Part 2, even though Harry doesn’t get it until his meeting with Dumbledore in the “Heavenly Kings Cross” later in the book. That was a disappointment to me because of the weight of that scene to the meaning of the book series from book (movie) one to book (movie) seven.”

    I could not agree with you more! I blogged about this very same topic today. The Christian elements were present, but watered down in comparison to the novel. I really think that if Yates had included more of the religious imagery in the film he could have given the story even more depth and poignancy.

    Eeyore wrote: “But today I was looking through the book I bought when we saw the Harry Potter Exhibition in Seattle (awesome, btw!). And two of the picture show the headstone for the Potters, with the inscription, and the headstone for Kendra with Ariana’s name and the inscription. Too bad that one didn’t make it to the movie, but I look forward to seeing it in the deleted scenes.”

    Would that be the “Harry Potter Film Wizardry” book? I have it also, and even did an analysis on my blog of some of the Christian symbolism in the Godric’s Hollow set design: the quatrefoil design (symbolizing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the letters “IHS” (an abbreviation for “Jesus”)on the tomb of Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore, the stained glass window depicting Christ the King enthroned flanked by the four gospel authors, the four angels hovering overhead, and of course the descending dove representing the Holy Spirit…
    Yes, all of that is in the Film Wizardry book. If all of those images would have been shown in the theatrical version of DH1 I think I would have clapped/cheered/squealed with delight. We can only hope that some of it will appear on the DVD, but I won’t get my hopes up. At least we see lots of cross-shaped tombstones in the graveyard.

    Anyway, I was glad the Deathly Hallows art department “gets” it, if you know what I mean. 😉

  27. Arabella Figg says

    Denise, I was also disappointed by the truncated graveyard scene (although I loved the rest of the film), especially after reading your description of the Film Wizardry book photos. However, I was very pleased by a film addition–Harry saying he thought his parents would have been in the church on Christmas Eve, a direct reference that wizards would have Christian faith.

  28. randy vandyke says

    Happily, I must amend my comments after my second viewing and say that the dance was unequivocally terrific w/ no inappropriate overtones.

  29. Karen_St_Louis says

    I loved the film. (Although I agree with whoever said that the trio running from a bunch of snatchers was bizarre, given that we’ve seen them dueling competently with Death Eaters in the past…)

    The one thing that I really missed was Harry’s wrestling with the idea that Dumbledore never actually loved him or trusted him. We don’t get much of Dumbledore’s backstory in the film, and that whole issue of trusting Dumbledore is huge for Harry in the book. (See John Granger’s book The Deathly Hallows Lectures…) I’m wondering whether more of Dumbledore’s story will be revealed in part 2. Even if it is, it seems too late for it to worry Harry much.

  30. Denise, yes, we are talking about the same book about the films. I just haven’t had time to do more than glance through it. So I look forward to doing that and reading your blog at the same time.

    I went to see the movie for the second time yesterday and loved it even more. I saw the inscription on the bottom of Harry’s parents’ grave stone, though it’s very hard to read. I still wish they had mentioned it and I still wished they had seen the Dumbledore one.

    One of the things I noticed at the Lovegood house is the bust of Rowena Ravenclaw. It was in a corner behind Xenophilius when they were having tea. It didn’t show the diadem, however – just the lower half of it.

    And I paid more attention to the locket Horcrux when Ron is seeing it’s awful visions. I do think that Harry could hear it as well. At one point, after Horcrux Harry and Horcrux Hermione say some very hurtful things to Ron, Harry yells something like “don’t believe it – kill it”. Whether or not he could see the images still wasn’t clear.

    And I still don’t get what that room was that looked like a baby’s room at Bathilda Bagshot’s house when Harry gets blasted through the wall. It just seems odd. If she lived in an apartment with someone just on the other side of the wall, I’d think that someone would have noticed (or heard) that she had died. I do think it was a nice and somewhat subtle touch to have the flies buzzing around her – that should have been one of those big red flags that something was not right, considering it was winter and cold enough for snow.

    I’m glad for the explanation of all the deep purple and Hermione in a red dress at the wedding and that the alchemy is still there. The thing I noticed this time, though, was that there is gold all over the Weasley house. It’s everywhere in the furniture and on the walls. When Srimgeour comes, there is even some sort of picture behind Hermione that looks like a sun. Nice. Oh, and with Ginny, she has the three colors – red hair, white dress overlaid with black lace. Fleur and Bill have all of it with her white/gold hair, his red hair, purple shirt and tie, her white dress with the black peacocks.

    I still wonder whether Jo has explained any of that to any of the directors or set designers and costume folks, or if some of them just get it on their own.

  31. Regarding: Arabella Figg on November 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    “I was also disappointed by the truncated graveyard scene…I was very pleased by a film addition–Harry saying he thought his parents would have been in the church on Christmas Eve, a direct reference that wizards would have Christian faith.”

    My impression was that Harry was indicating the graveyard behind the church when he asked Hermione that, but I like the idea. 🙂

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