The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Released 11/19/2010 Rated PG-13
Very few points I wish they’d done with Part 1. The first is the fact that things important to the story here at the end have either been altered or cut out completely from the previous films. A quick verbal explanation of “what you’ve missed on screen” is the crutch the film has to lean on for a little while.
Here we finally meet Bill Weasley, the eldest Weasley son, even though in the books we meet him in The Goblet of Fire. I’m not even sure if he’s mentioned at all in the movies prior to him walking into the Dursley’s living room with Fleur Delacour on his arm, who, if you’ve never read the books, just shows up after two years, and is apparently engaged to a Weasley. The reason we are supposed to meet Bill earlier, is so that we can care about this character when he gets attacked by the Werewolf Fenrir Greyback, but since they didn’t follow through with his plot line, the audience just gets a few lines of dialogue in explanation, none of it very moving. Straight out of graduating Hogwarts, Bill went to Egypt working as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts. He came back to England to work a desk job for the bank after the events of the Triwizard Tournament. Coincidentally, Gringotts is where Fleur Delacour obtained a job to help improve her English; apparently she worked so hard on it, her accent disappeared completely! LOL! Bill and Fleur began dating, which caused a stir among certain family members, but through everything, including the aforementioned werewolf attack, issues were resolved, and now Bill and Fleur are getting married— something that seems completely left field if you’re only going by the films. For the longest time I was convinced they had hired another actress to play Fleur, and I was so mad. But it’s the same girl we last saw in the fourth movie. Getting back on point, another character we meet for the first time, who was supposed to be in The Order of the Phoenix, is Mundungus Fletcher, but him I can forgive not being introduced until now. He hasn’t been crucial to any plot, really.
Lastly, is the subject of apparition. We’ve seen it in action since The Order of the Phoenix, once per film, but the films fail to relay that learning this spell is a rite of passage for young witches and wizards. It’s essentially getting one’s driver’s license. Everyone’s sixth year at Hogwarts, along with having to take the O.W.L. exams, includes apparition lessons, where a Ministry appointed official visits Hogwarts a few times throughout the year to teach this complicated transportation spell. Splinching is what can happen when a wizard doesn’t perform the spell properly, or looses concentration; he gets injured, or even leaves a part of himself behind. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are supposed to Disapparate from the Ministry back to 12 Grimmauld Place, not use the Floo Network. Only problem is that Yaxley latched on to them as they left, and was brought within the enchantments placed on Grimmauld Place, which meant he could now summon Voldemort there. Thinking fast, Hermione quickly jinxed Yaxley, and Disapparated the trio to another location, where upon arrival, they see Ron has been injured by the spell.
The second thing I wish they had done was give us a better sense of how much time has passed throughout the film; they really don’t portray it well. All of a sudden we see it’s Christmas. Polyjuice Potion takes about a month to brew; I very much doubt that they just happened to have some on hand. I also very much doubt that Harry, Ron, and Hermione just decided to infiltrate the Ministry, and didn’t scrutinize for weeks over the details. The Ministry is trying to turn the Wizarding World against Harry for crying out loud; they need back-up plans of back-up plans! It all just seemed very instantaneous.
The only thing they left out of the movie that they really shouldn’t have is that saying Voldemort’s name aloud alerts snatchers to that wizard’s location. Throughout both Part 1 and 2, Harry has unknowningly started referring to Voldemort as “You Know Who,” or “he.” If I remember correctly, Ron is supposed to point this out when he rejoins the group, revealing that that’s how they’ve been finding people, and that’s how the snatchers find the trio before taking them to Malfoy Manor. In the context of the films, it would have made sense, seeing as how Harry has always said his name: Voldemort. This really wouldn’t have been a big thing to change.
The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Released 07/15/2011 Rated: PG-13
Part 2 is, I believe, the most accurate toward its source material. The only struggle it has is giving all these brilliant actors a decent amount of screen time. Professor Trelawney was barely in there at all! I would have love to have seen her get in on the battle, hurling crystal balls at people! Professor McGonagall taking on Headmaster Snape has been long awaited! I would have loved to have seen her perform more magic throughout the series. Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith are absolutely wonderful in everything they do.
I actually, would have liked to have seen more of the battle. I get that there were things that had to be done during the fight: Harry had to find the diadem, Ron and Hermione had to destroy the cup, Voldemort had to bide his time, we had to redeem Snape, but I wanted to see more of this fight happen. We are shown everyone before the battle, then throughout the battle we stick to Harry, Ron, and Hermione —no one of importance ever around them— and then we pretty much see the aftermath and who died. All of these characters, that we’ve barely seen at all, just kinda get pushed to the side, and we’re just told they didn’t make it. Harry’s been saying it for two films now, “I don’t want anyone else to die for me.” While this battle is Harry vs. Voldemort, it’s also Good vs. Evil. Let’s take a step back and broaden our scope just a bit. Every one of these Witches and Wizards have taken a stand against the evil set forth by Lord Voldemort; let’s show the audience their contributions! Arthur and Molly Weasley, McGonagall, Hagrid, Lupin and Tonks, Kingsley, Fred and George, Bill and Fleur, Luna, Neville, Ginny, and the rest of the DA. This is what the entire series has been building up to.
Overall, some installments were adapted better than others, but this series still holds a special place in my heart. I will always love the Harry Potter franchise.