Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

This was the first of the Harry Potter movies that I needed to hurry up and finishing reading before the movie came out. And I failed at that. But I did try really hard to get half-way, its only part one after all, right? Why, you may ask, am I taking so long to read the final book? Well, I'll tell you. With the last three books, I tried to wait to start reading them for as long as I could and then to read as slowly as I could. I flew through the first four books the summer before the first movie came out and had time to reread them. It was a long time to wait between books, and with the final book, that was it. Well, spoilers everywhere soured me on the final book. My own sister and step-brother chatting about it while I waved my hands about "hello, haven't read it yet, PLEASE stop talking about it, RIGHT NOW!" and Stephen King writing an article in ew with no spoiler warning and then saying any true fan would have read the book by then: these things shut me down. To Uncle Stevie, my protest would be, "My fandom is strong and my delay is based in my love of the Potterverse." I open this post with my reading history because I find it fascinating that there are people who see the movies and never read the books. While my brain does not have the capacity to hold all the details of the books at quick reference, I find that there is such a deeper viewing experience to the movies, when you've read the books.
With my dash to read the book before I saw it on Black Friday with Emily, I couldn't help but notice all the nuances between the book and the scenes as portrayed in the movie. Overall, the changes are minor and the entire series as been very true to the books. In fact, I noticed in the credits that JK Rowling was a producer. After doing a little imdb research, this is indeed the first film in which Rowling has a producing credit.

When I first heard that the final installment would be broken into two parts, I was displeased. I felt like they were "pulling an HBO" (HBO often divides the final seasons of their tv series into two parts for basically additional DVD revenue, ie Sex and the City). If the last few, both similar in length, were made in one, why now? Well, there is certainly enough plot to fill Part One, so I'm thankful for the extension of my Harry Potter experience.
The impressive thing with the Potter movie series is that the production value has always been phenomenal and Deathly Hallows holds true to this. While the main, extended characters are all present, the movie centers on Harry, Ron and Hermione and then Harry and Hermione. Wonderful action and visually stunning.

I'm sure that I am not the first to make this observation but the terror of Voldemort and his followers reminds me of Hitler and the Nazis. I've read that some have regarded the last Potter books as a critique of the Bush administration. As much as I am not a fan of the Bush administration, that leaves me scratching my head. It seems so evident to me that the reference is to the Nazis. The hiding that so many must do, the trials over peoples race (muggle or pureblood) and the distinction of those that are muggles.

If your a fan of the books and movies, or just the movies, continue to keep up with the series.

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