Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two

The movie series comes to an end this week. They have done a great job balancing being faithful to the books while making changes to make it work as a movie.

I have already written on Part One, and will be interested in seeing how they have continued to change and cut from the thousand page book.

Balancing the action with the overall themes of the series will be the movie’s greatest challenge. I have a few thoughts that I want to mention:

I have wondered for a while if they will do the Snape part justice: devoting enough time to Harry’s hatred of Snape and where things end. Now, I’m wondering if the movie might do too much. The book uses flashback so we can see Snape’s secrets, and I’m certain the film will as well. But the book never gives Harry and Snape a moment together where they see deeper into each other. Will they give Harry and Snape extra material? Will they have an enlightened conversation with each other? Will they, “see eye to eye” and not just each others eyes? After all, the sixth movie added a scene in the tower with Snape motioning Harry to keep quiet while he “takes care of things.” I would not be surprised if the movie adds a bit here, but I’m not sure it will be a good idea. After all, it’s only in the epilogue of the final book where we truly see Harry’s growth in overcoming his hatred for Snape.

I am thinking the house-elf/wizard growth is lost. I would not be surprised if we don’t even see Kreacher again, and I’ll actually be angry if we see “transformation” in him without a change in attitude by Harry. I just watched Part One again, and I’m dismayed at how easily they could have added a few lines into the scene with Kreacher to honor the book’s point of how, in Dumbledore’s words:

“Kreacher is what he has been made by wizards....Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike....We wizards have mistreated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward.” (HP & The Order of Phoenix)

I’m also wondering why in the world Wormtail is still alive. The movie chose to keep him around...for what purpose? Will we even see him again?

Finally, this movie is, after all, called “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” While the movie has used the Hallows to move the plot, it has, so far, ignored the questions of power that the Hallows represent (other than in the very creative fashion of telling the story of the three brothers). We’ve missed the chance for Harry, Ron & Hermione to choose not to try and get the Elder Wand before Voldemort. There is still hope, in perhaps the learning about Dumbledore’s past, that Harry can wrestle with the temptation of obtaining power to make a stand vs. standing up with one’s own power.

Can’t wait for the release!

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