Yes, I went to the midnight release!
Me and a group of friends met at the coffeeshop beforehand and then drove down to the theater. We were there two and a half hours early, which went by REALLY REALLY SLOWLY. We talked about people’s outfits (there were a couple great Dumbledores in attendance), some people went back out for food, we shared book recommendations and twitter handles.
Finally, it was time for the movie! Here’s what I thought:
Massive spoilers ahead if any of you haven’t seen it yet…
Things that I felt weird about
- The FUNERAL. Good heavens. I’m not sure how they decided it’d be a good idea to leave it out, but I am still holding out hope that maybe the 7th movie will start out with it. I really wanted to see the white coffin and the phoenix song. I am also sad about this because this is where Harry breaks up with Ginny, and she says she understands even though we all know she is upset.
- Dumbledore’s wand not being in his coffin, but instead on his desk when Harry enters it to check it out after he dies. Perhaps they intended this scene to be pre-funeral? Because otherwise that has DIRECT and SERIOUS implications for the next movie(s).
- The leaving-out of the Astronomy tower battle. Director claims it was redundant to the final battle of Hogwarts in the last book, but there were SO MANY things they left out by association. I knew something was up when Harry drank all the Felix Felicis himself instead of only half, so he could share some with his friends during the battle.
- They never said who Fenrir Grayback was. You’re supposed to infer it, I guess, from the one “WANTED” poster briefly shown in one scene. Since they left out the Astronomy tower battle, they also left out Bill getting bit by Fenrir. What is Molly and Fleur’s conflict going to be about now?
- The Weasley house burning down. Seriously? What? The Burrow gets attacked in the next book for sure, but I have no idea what point they were intending to make with that scene. How are they going to resolve that for Bill and Fleur’s wedding? Or are they going to leave that out (SAD! I hope not!) since they didn’t do any kind of setup in this movie?
Things I later noticed they left out, but didn’t notice at the time so I don’t feel weird about it
- The beginning of the book with the Muggle prime minister or whatever, in his office
- Kreacher – I JUST NOW noticed that they left out his whole involvement in R.A.B.’s locket-stealing endeavor. I feel like starting a S.P.E.W.-like organization to promote the non-leaving-out of house elves in the HP movies. Poor Kreacher, Dobby, and Winky.
- More flashbacks of memories and Voldemort’s past. I forgot that they went to see the Gaunts with the ring, and Hepzibah Smith and her assorted wares and so Harry gets clues as to what the next Horcruxes would be. I didn’t think they set up the Horcrux hunt very well, so it feels like Harry has even less information than he does, which wasn’t a lot to begin with.
Things I really enjoyed
- Harry on Felix Felicis. Seriously hilarious. “Harry!” “Prooofesssor!” and “HI!”
- Ron, under Romilda Vane’s love potion, with that dippy look on his face soliloquizing about the moon
- The more natural humor interspersed throughout the movie. It’s a dark movie, but it’s also way funnier than the others and it feels much more like natural dialogue than forced scripting. I found myself giggling at certain parts and laughing out loud at others.
- Draco finally showing an emotion other than scorn. His scene where he’s sobbing in the bathroom was especially powerful.
- Luna Lovegood. Her lion hat! The weird shiny/poofy dress she wears to the Slug Club party! I didn’t like that they had her be the one to discover Harry in Draco’s train compartment, but I think they covered the switch pretty well. (It was actually Tonks in the book, and it makes less sense to introduce her there than it did to just have Luna discover him.)
- Cormac McLaggen – He was such a cocky asshole and had the perfect amount of attractive swagger mixed with total jerkface annoyingness. I kind of wish they would have put more of the Cormac/Hermione thing in the movie, but I’m not disappointed with it as-is.
- Harry and Dumbledore in the cave. I think they did that really well.
Overall, I did enjoy this movie a lot. I am upset about the bits they left out (the funeral and the Astronomy tower battle) but I don’t think they ruined the movie for me like the left-out bits did for the third movie. I find myself really, really wanting to watch it again because Harry has so much more personality and character in this one than in previous ones.
Have you seen it yet? What did you think?