Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Truly Incredible Movie

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Unlike the rest of the movies, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 were better than their book counterparts. If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you know Book 7 is my least favorite Harry Potter book. Yet, oddly enough, Movie 7 and 7.2 are the best Harry Potter movies. You might say, "Oh, no, I enjoy the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire, or the awesome story line in Prisoner of Azkaban, but Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 are better made. The genius of director David Yates, (also responsible for Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and a couple movies you've never heard of - I haven't either,) mixed with a brilliant screenplay by Steve Kloves, combined with J.K. Rowling's last book leaves audiences with "exactly" what they need. With unexpected and surprising details that truly do the book more than its fair share of justice.

First, I must describe my evening from the point I got in line until I got into the theater. If you don't want to hear it, skip this paragraph. (You're a big girl, figure it out.) The people at the front of line were there since 9am in the morning. I know this because one of them was my friend who actually follows this blog. (Hi there.) However, Carl and I didn't get into line until a quarter till nine pm, (aka, 12 hours after the people at the front of the line got in line.) For a while we stood in line way back around the corner of the Metro 4. (We were vain enough to suppose that Camino Real surely wouldn't sell out. Hahahahahaha!) Then a couple people would walk by and say things like, "Did you know there's two lines? One for 3d and one for 2d?" But this seemed utter rubbish. Carl swept the line to check and returned saying, "It's all just one line." But after the third person came by claiming there were two lines I decided to investigate also. (Sometimes it just takes 2.) So I went to the door where the workers were and asked the man in the suit what the line situation was. He said it started out as two lines but meshed into one as soon as the line turned onto State St. Then I asked the people standing at the back of the 3D line, (the 3D line just stopped, while the 2D line meshed in with the others and became a free-for-all.) Well, the people at the end of the 3D line said they were standing near the back of the line for a long time then decided to come up there. So Carl and I decided we might as well stand right behind them. About a half hour later the employees announced that they would let the 3D line in first at 10:15pm. They took all the people with 3D tickets out of the 2D line, and Carl and I were stoked that we had beat the system. We got into the theater at 10:15 (thank goodness we didn't have to wait until 11!) and had perfect seats! We were right in front of our friend who was there since 9 in the morning.

Oooh, we also got to see a teaser for The Dark Knight Rises. I, being the huge Batman geek that I am, recognized what it was almost instantly and started screaming at the people around me for not being nearly as excited as they should have been. Finally, when the preview was over and it was obvious that it was The Dark Knight Rises, people cheered. I mean, come on! I know I'm not the only Batman fan in the world! Sheesh!

Alright, welcome back those of you who skipped the last 2 paragraphs.

Voldemort wanted to split his soul seven times, each time making him more difficult to kill. So he created 6 Horcruxes, then created one accidentally, then I created this list of Horcruxes. (Yes, that is the chain of events!)

Horcrux List -
(in the order they were destroyed)

*Tom Riddle's Diary
Tom Marvolo Riddle was the given name of Lord Voldemort. (Riddle, after his muggle father, and Marvolo, after his wizard grandfather who was a direct descendant of Slytherin, one of the 4 founders of Hogwarts.) Tom Riddle turned this journal into a Horcrux then left it with the Malfoys. Lucius Malfoy (Draco Malfoy's father,) gave the Horcrux to Ginny Weasley. Harry Potter destroyed the journal, (not knowing it was a Horcrux) with a basilisk fang in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2, (not knowing that basilisk venom was actually one of the only ways to destroy a Horcrux.)

*Gaunt's Ring
Marvolo Gaunt, Tom Riddle's grandfather, had a ring he believed to have been his ancestor's, Slytherin's. Only, the ring was actually a Deathly Hallow - The Resurrection Stone (this is different from the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone found in Book 1.) Voldemort turned it into a Horcrux and hid it in the ruined remains of his grandfather's, (Marvolo Gaunt's) house. Dumbledore found it sometime before the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6. Dumbledore foolishly put the ring on. This turned his hand black. He was able to get the ring off and Snape made a potion that would keep the blackness from spreading and killing Dumbledore instantly. However, they both knew it would eventually spread and kill Dumbedore. Dumbledore destroyed the Horcrux with the Sword of Gryffindor, which had been hanging out in Dumbledore's office ever since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2. (The Sword of Gryffindor is able to destroy Horcruxes because it destroyed the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets, and the sword is goblin made and as such when used it takes upon itself properties that make it stronger.) Dumbledore placed the broken ring inside the Snitch that Harry caught during year 1 with his mouth, and wrote a riddle upon it, "I open at the close," meaning when Harry would be about to die, the Snitch would open and he could have the ring/Resurrection Stone.

*Slytherin's Locket
Voldemort's mother, Marvolo's daughter, and great-great-great-etc grand daughter of Slytherin, Merope, had Slytherin's locket and sold in desperation sold it to Nocturn Alley's Borgin and Burke's (a dark arts store.) After he finished Hogwarts, Tom Riddle got a job in this store, stole the locket, turned it into a Horcrux, and placed it in a cave he used to go to when he was a child living in an orphanage. He placed the locket inside a pool of potion on an island surrounded by a lake full of inferi, (zombies controlled by dark magic,) inside the cave. The pool of potion insisted that its drinker drink it all before attaining the locket. The potion made its drinker remember the most horrible moments of their lives, made them weak, and then made them real thirsty so that they'd drink the lake water, disturb the inferi and get pulled into the lake to drown. This fate did not happen to Harry and Dumbledore because Dumbledore's awesome. Although, this fate did happen to Regulus Black, Sirius's brother, who got to the locket years and years before Harry and Dumbledore. Regulus was a Death Eater who decided he had had enough. With the help of his house elf, Kreature, he drank the potion, replaced the locket with a fake that carried a note from Regulus inside of it, instead of a part of Voldemort's soul, and gave Kreature instructions to take the real locket back to the House of Black and destroy it, which Kreature couldn't, not knowing how to destroy a Horcrux. Kreature got out of the cave because house elves can disapparate where wizards can't. When Harry, Ron and Hermione were cleaning the House of Black, trying to make it presentable for the Order in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5, they tried to throw out the locket, not knowing what it was. Luckily, Kreature stole it from the trash and kept it. Unluckily, after Sirius's death, Mundungus Fletcher (shady member of the Order,) stole the Locket and reluctantly gave it to Umbridge. Harry, Ron and Hermione broke into the Ministry of Magic in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7, and stole the locket from Umbridge. They wore it around until Snape's patronus showed them where Snape had hid the true Sword of Gryffindor, (having put a fake sword in the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange.) Ron got the sword and destroyed the Horcrux. (This was the most difficult of all Horcruxes by 100%.)

*Hufflepuff's Cup
After he finished his education at Hogwarts, as mentioned, Tom Riddle worked for Borgin and Burkes. While doing such he met with a woman who showed him her secret collection of artifacts, one being Hufflepuff's Cup, (Hufflepuff being one of the 4 founders of Hogwarts. [Insert Hufflepuff joke here.]) Voldemort stole the cup, murdered her, turned the cup into a Horcrux and entrusted the cup unto Bellatrix Lestrange who kept it in her vault at Gringott's Bank. In the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Griphook the goblin, sneak into her vault and steal it. Griphook takes his prize, (the Sword of Gryffindor,) and bails, leaving them with no way to destroy the Horcrux cup. Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Hogwarts to find another Horcrux (what they later realize is Ravenclaw's Last Diadem,) and while Harry searches for the diadem, Ron and Hermione sneak into the Chamber of Secrets, find the dead basilisk from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2, and Hermione uses its tooth to destroy the Horcrux.

*Ravenclaw's Lost Diadem
Rowena Ravenclaw was one of the 4 founders of Hogwarts. Her diadem made the wearer smarter. Harry asked The Gray Lady, (ghost of Ravenclaw Tower,) if she knew where the diadem was. Having been the daughter of Ravenclaw herself, she knew exactly where the diadem was. She had stolen it and hid it in a forest in Albania where Tom Riddle found it and turned it into a Horcrux then hid it in The Room of Requirement, where Harry himself, had hidden the Half-Blood Prince's potion's text in The Half-Blood Prince, Book 6. Harry eventually finds the diadem, no thanks to Malfoy, joins up with Ron and Hermione and stabs the diadem with a basilik fang, (in the book however, the fire Crabbe starts is able to destroy Horcruxes, and the fire (Fiendfyre) does the job of destroying the Horcrux nicely. And unfortunately for our friend who plays Crabbe, Jamie Waylett, (who wasn't able to be in this movie due to his cannabis charge,) Josh Herdman's Gregory Goyle went all evil and started the fire instead, and he and Draco Malfoy were joined by fellow Slytherin - Blaise Zabini. )

*Nigini the Snake
This one's simple enough. Voledmort has a pet snake, Nigini. She's a Horcrux. Neville Longbottom, armed with the Sword of Gryffindor, kills her and destroys the Horcrux.

*Harry Potter
Technically, this Horcrux is destroyed before Nigini the snake is, but we learn about this 7th Horcrux after we learn that Nigini is a Horcrux, so we're putting this one last. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry as a baby back in 1981, the Avada Kedava spell backfired, rebounded and killed Voldemort, (somewhat,) and a part of his soul went into the closest living thing - Harry. Dumbledore figures this out and tells Snape who, while dying, puts this thought into a memory he gives to Harry. Harry views the memory, and others, in a pensieve, then goes down to face Voldemort who unwittingly destroys the Horcrux inside of Harry, instead of destroying Harry. But if Harry Potter were the 7th Horcrux, wouldn't he be angry all the time the way he was when he would wear the locket in 7.1? Think about it. And since when did the Avada Kedavra curse destroy horcruxes?

The movie itself was genius, right from the opening scenes. It starts with Voldemort attaining the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's tomb at Hogwarts, then moves to a cunning shot of Snape peering down from Hogwarts. The brilliance of this shot is masterful. It's like unto the opening shots of Maximus in Gladiator (right). Seeing Snape standing there, watching, stern and sorrowful, foreshadows his ultimate demise, in the same manner that Maximus sweeping his hand through the wheat fields foreshadows his untimely death. These moments show us vulnerability, and an appreciation for a life that will shortly end. How do we get all that from a simple shot? I don't know, but thanks to David Yates and the brilliant Alan Rickman, we do.

Alan Rickman's performance in this movie was off the charts. I'd go as far as to say it is the highlight performance of his career, (yes, even more so than when he shouted after Kevin Costner, "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon.") In Snape's memory we see how much Snape loved Harry mother, Lily Potter. In the book it's easy to skim through this part and think, "So what? Who cares that Snape loved Lily, he was still a big, fat, jerk to Harry." But thanks to Alan Rickman's incredible performance, I was able to actually love Snape. It makes a lot more sense, now, that Harry would name his son Albus Severus, after Snape.

I loved his memory. I thought the boy Snape was adorable, and the young Lily was too cute. I loved that it was quick, and simple. It gave us the perfect balance of quick flashes and longer moments of pain. When he held the dead Lily Potter in his arms and cried.... I hardly have to tell you what I felt; you have a heart, you know what it was like.

I loved the look he gave Professor McGonagall when she stepped in-between him and Harry.

Similarly I loved the part when Harry jumped off the dragon's back and landed in the lake and had a few glimpses of what Voldemort's been up to. Voldemort went on a little tour of Horcruxes and discovered a few of his had been stolen. In the books this is long and drawn out, but in the movie it's quick and almost confusing. But it was cool, nonetheless.

To explain another part that might have been confusing if you hadn't read the books in a while, when Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate into Hogsmeade on their way to Hogwarts, the Death Eaters were stationed there, set up alarms, and were waiting for Harry to show himself, as Voldemort knew he would.

Another brilliant performance was that of my favorite actress, Helena Bonham Carter, who, as you should most definitely know, played my favorite character, Bellatrix Lestrange. In this movie she had the challenge of playing Hermione after Hermione had taken polyjuice potion and looked like Bellatrix. It took me five minutes to realize that it wasn't Emma Watson with a wig; it was in fact Helena Bonham Carter, timid and perfect. The effect was hilarious. (If you noticed, Helena Bonham Carter got 4th billing.)

Even Gary Oldman's insy-bitsy part was well acted. That man never ceases to amaze. (If you don't know, he played my other favorite character, Sirius Black.)

I loved how Voldemort slowly grew weaker and older. That was one of those nice surprise details they gave us that made the movie pop.

To those that say this movie officially ends their childhoods... wake up. Harry Potter was born in 1980. His childhood officially ended a while ago. And no one generation can claim him, and if one could, it wouldn't be yours. (Oh, burn!)

And while I am very tempted to go back over the movie and describe my reaction to each and every little part, (for I absolutely adored every second of it,) I'll leave this already long post by saying that this movie was everything the book failed to be. I love when movies make the books make more sense, and this movie did just that. It's about time the Academy Awards recognized the Harry Potter movies. None of them, (apart from the last one,) have been great movies, (fun movies, but not great,) but this one was amazing.

And, I totally cried when my other favorite character, Fred, died.


  1. so:
    I feel a bit more famous.

    I love your blog more.

    I feel a little validated.

    I loved the part where you were the only one who knew it was a batman trailer.

    I never thought of how the horcruxes (esp the first 1) really tie the books together at the end.

    I really enjoyed (in hindsight) that they got other people to kill horcruxes. it wasnt just harry potter and the cardboard people who dont do anything stories. its harry, ron, hermione, neville, dumbledore, kreature, and even voldie.

    it was MUCH better than I expected.

    Snape. I already think alan rickman was awesome, but I started the movie saying I didnt think marvin the paranoid android wasnt as cool since john mcclane threw him off the 92nd floor of the nakatomi towers in LA (ok so I said building). my friend giggled. but we were wrong. I loved him as snape in this one. I sadly dont get your spoon reference.

    young snape. reminds me of johnny depp (specifically e. scissorhands). I sometimes wonder what wouldve happened if it was lily/snape not lily/what seems like a jerk james. appriciated how fast this went by (flashbacks can=long story arcs). and DUDE! future mrs dursley is a witch to her sister!

    Professor McGonagall is awesome in this movie. still my fav professor, her lines are well acted and hilarious!

    bellatrix is amazing! I love her (and luna to be fair)~! the fact that it was actually her being timid were some of my fav parts! I think she got more speaking lines as hermione pretending to be her than being belatrix! it was too funny!

    the part with commissioner gordon was vaguely RotJ...

    ah voldie....king of the awkward hugs in this movie. both with harry and with malfoy!

    and I love you answered my fb status with your last line!

    I knew this review was so going to be worth it!

  2. oops also my 1 negative about the movie was that I think the part where mrs weasley takes on bellatrix was too long and not passionate enough. esp after mrs weasley's awesome line.

  3. Grant, I was just coming on here to add that when Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix it's awesome, but happens far too fast.

    And the spoon line was from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

  4. haha, its funny we feel this way.

    ah! should have guessed that one. it just doesnt pop into my head as quickly as the disney and mel brooks versions.

    also, when harry pops out of the memory water, I know a little girl who said that would be a very appropriate time for harry to drop the S-bomb. which is hilarious coming from this girl.

  5. Thank you Boonie for your concise run down. I've seen all 8 HP movies now and I was still scratching my head watching this last one. Your post answered about 3/4 of the questions I had regarding the wrap-up and more. I'm sure I'll find all the other answers when I finally crack open one of those books. Yea right, why would I need to do that since they have all been made into movies! HA!
    Maybe someday.

  6. Treeball, you said you'd read the books after the last movie and that was the last movie!

    I'm glad I helped. I can answer your other questions, if they're not ones I have myself. There's a post about them around here somewheres.

  7. Interestingly, your reaction was so different from most movie-loving movie-savvy people I know. I liked the movie, personally. But I was actually slightly disappointed in the Snape memories, mostly because that chapter in the book was my favorite part of the entire Harry Potter series... very unlike how you felt.

  8. Other movie-loving movie-savvy people suck. ;) Just kidding. Some people complain that the Harry Potter movies take themselves too seriously. And they do, but I think that fact is more funny than disturbing.