I know…. You’re thinking that I’m just now reviewing this film…. Well, when you’ve got two little kids, it gets hard to hit them in the theaters. Plus, I have a real issue with spending $25 to see a film in the theater only to buy it for another $25 when it comes out on DVD, especially when I know I’m going to buy it. I’ll also add that seeing things on the “big screen” has never really mattered to me. See, I’m not really that big of a movie person anyway. Sure I enjoy them, but they aren’t anything more than distractions.
Can I just say it? This was hands down the best HP film yet, and not just by a little bit. It’s the first of the entire series that I’d honestly say is a complete package. The first films, which I adore, are too cheery and contrived to be complete. HP3, 4, and 5 had variations that just ate at me. Beyond that, those three didn’t quite live up to my expectations of the world or story I had dreamed. In short, 1-5 always seemed to lack something to make it complete. This one nailed it.
Unlike some of the more recent ones, HP6 maintained a little more faithfulness to the book (which I like) while also emphasizing what truly mattered in the movie. I remember feeling so much frustration with HP3 that the director felt it necessary to spend screen time showing the Whomping Willow swipe bird after bird. Really? Stop wasting my time with juvenile gags and tell me a story. HP6 did that.
My personal favorite scene… Okay, that’s a myth. Some of my favorite scenes were anything with Draco. He was masterfully inserted into the film in ways that were poignant, important, and subtle. Seeing him on the stairs for only a few seconds painted a more accurate picture of his state than I could have imagined, and the inner turmoil was obvious, forceful, and pleasing.
Additional favorite scenes include the entire cave sequence, Ginny and Harry in the Room of Requirement, and anything with “Won-won and Lav-lav.” Hermoine and the birds… sigh…. I’m just glad that this director caught the importance of telling the original story in a masterful way as opposed to recreating the story. And in doing so, he did recreate the story and make it his own.
As I’ve often said, when making a movie from a book, I have exactly two things I want: Either tell the story as written, or tell it better. Most of the HP films are either so faithful to the story that they lack true personalities or they deviate in ways that make the books much more appealing. HP6 is the first that, in my opinion, truly stands on its own as both a solid retelling of the original story and a masterful interpretation to film.
It leaves me salivating for HP7 I and II.
Uh… Maybe a caution on the cave scene. Definitely not for kids.
I thought the ending was somewhat subdued, but instead of contradicting the book, it worked well with the film and the overall feeling. Though I was eager to see that final battle, I wasn’t necessarily disappointed either with what was done.
Maybe my only real complaint is that I really wanted more Harry-Ginny interaction. Ginny has grown up to be such a startlingly beautiful woman. While Hermoine is always going to be supremely gorgeous, Ginny has that earthy, natural beauty that is so attractive, and it was fun watching her and Harry dance around each other throughout the movie.
Wow… were those complaints?
I’m so biased on this that I’m worried my bias is actually working against me. I feel that giving this a pure four out of four stars is going to come across as being too enamored with the movies and books. So sue me. 🙂
Four Stars. Easily.