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Harry Potter Roundtable – The Clackers tell us what they really think!

The Harry Potter movie series has come to a close, and we close out our extended Harry Potter Week celebration with a discussion on the merits (or lack of) of the final movie.

The CliqueClack Flicks writers discuss the final movie of the series

As you know by now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 has set box office records worldwide and will surely become the most successful film of the year. Here at CliqueClack Flicks, our fine assortment of writers have been sharing their thoughts on the movie and all things Harry Potter, and for one final (?) Harry Potter Week post, we’ve all gathered together for one last battle over whether the movies did the books justice … or not. Read on, and please share your Harry Potter thoughts with us in the comments below.

CHUCK: I am not a Harry Potter fan at all. I’ve never read a book … except for the last couple of pages of the final book at the store when it came out, just to see if Harry lived or died … and I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the movie (not that harsh, but you get my drift). Didn’t think the first two were all that — a little too juvenile for me — but I absolutely loved the third one’s tone and style. The movies had finally grown up. Then 4, 5 and 6 came along and I got bored, but again, I really enjoyed both Deathly Hallows movies’ tone, scale, effects and especially the performances. I thought Ralph Fiennes was amazing (and I was quite shocked when he first appeared as Voldemort way back when). All of the leads have grown immensely as well. I know there are people who have read the books that are disappointed with omissions and some moment that were iconic in the books (or at least in the minds of the readers) that didn’t translate as well to the screen (the Mrs. Weasley/Bellatrix duel is a particular sticking point for the faithful, but it didn’t bother me because I didn’t know how major it was in the book). Over all, I thought the last movie was spectacular from beginning to end … but then again, I don’t know any better!

IVEY: As I said in my review post, I was disappointed. I think this film showed David Yates‘ weakness as a director. Sure, he got several of the seminal moments in the story right, but, in my eyes, what was bad totally outweighed what was good.

JEREMY: I tend to lean the other way. I saw the film twice, once in a subdued theater of press people, next at a midnight premiere filled with costumed fans. A bit of difference there. There were several points that annoyed me, but overall I found it a better film than adaptation. I kept thinking, “You can’t Apparate in Hogwarts!”, that Snape’s tears didn’t work that way, that George’s ear should’ve been missing, and that it was a shame that there was no real emotional resonance to any of the deaths. Although that last part is more due to the failure of the adaptations in general to maintain emotional connections with the Weasleys, unlike the books.

IVEY: See, none of those things really bothered me (well, except for the ear … that’s just silly). The treatment of some of the stuff that he did include “correctly,” like the Molly/Bellatrix scene was horrible. The pacing was horrible. He made all of the mistakes that Michael Bay makes in creating the narrative of an action sequence, with none of the coolness to cover the mistakes.

CARLA: With the previous movies, I had re-read the book prior to seeing the movie, but this time I didn’t. Given the comments from my fellow Clackers, I think that was a wise decision, because I loved the movie. To be honest, I didn’t remember much of the book and that allowed me to just watch the movie. I loved the movie; I didn’t notice most of the complaints that Ivey or Jeremy have because I was completely absorbed by the experience.

To me, sometimes that is all a great movie needs to do and be — an all encompassing experience. I felt the fear, pain, heartbreak of this final battle. The emotional pull of Snape’s story was heartbreaking, as were the deaths, and even the Malfoy’s ending. I think this was my favorite movie of them all.

AN: I agree with Carla. I haven’t read the Deathly Hallows since July 23, 2007. The things I remembered happened the way I imagined them including Molly/Bellatrix fight, and Snape’s memories with Lily. Regarding Fred’s death, I agree with Yates’ decision to briefly pause the film, exhibit Ron’s pain, show the Weasley family’s pain, but then return to the main business — fighting the Dark Lord. I cried when Fred died in the book and I didn’t want to do it again. I remember fan complaints on the first two films weren’t about the films themselves but about tiny details (i.e. not enough Quidditch, OWLS, Wizard Chess, etc.). While effacing every little detail is wrong, the main point is the story, which I think Yates and company got right.

The minor things such as apparating and Luna’s magical appearance I just ignored (the Harry Potter wiki points out it happened in the Half-blood Prince where Dumbledore said he had “privileges”). While I would’ve loved more on Dumbledore’s sister, we didn’t need it for the overarching story. Plus, the film’s already 2.5 hours (5 if you put them together).

What do people think when looking at Parts 1 and 2 together? They’re two totally different movies. But, I feel Part 2 is more cohesive and focused on the plot: finding the horcruxes and killing Voldemort.

Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

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