Yesterday, I got this amazing opportunity to attend the press screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I am a movie and theatre reviewer for a local website and my editor was so anxious for me to go, then come back and write my review. And now that I've done it, I wanted to share some of the excitement with you - in advance of the big premiere tomorrow. Don't worry, no spoilers here.
The first thing that comes to mind is how truthful to the book this movie is. It almost reminds me of The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, which were almost annoyingly by-the-book. I guess splitting the book into two movies allows for more details to be shown. However, I am not completely satisfied with the splitting - it leaves us without a proper ending of Part One and although the movie is more than exciting, the final product has absolutely no resolution. Although the final scene is art in itself, it seems almost arbitrary, as it could have happened anytime in the past two and a half hours. Not to mention, there are seemingly endless scene that could easily have been cut.
I was really happy that the movie was not released in 3D. I believe 3D just keeps reminding you you're at the movies and that you're supposed to scream and laugh (kind of like a theme park). And trust me, although the action sequences are jaw-dropping, this movie is much too poignant and emotional to be seen as light entertainment. Unfortunately, Part Two will be released in 3D, which I hope will not interfere with the movie's emotional tone. And here's a big surprise: there's an animated bit in the movie. Now, I'm not going to tell you what, but it is beautiful and creative and I was really happy (although shocked at first).
The actors are all amazing, of course, but no one more than Emma Watson, who's really grown into a strong actress. The opening scene of the movie is all about her, as Hermione casts Obliviate on her parents, and it instantly got me to start crying. Rupert Grint is fun as usual, though he does get a dramatic moment or two. Daniel Radcliffe is also good, though the weakest of the three. Anyway, Part Two will be his chance to shine. There is also a (surprisingly graphic) nude scene involving two of the main characters, though that's another surprise I won't ruin. And don't worry, it's all in good taste.
All in all, though not my favorite movie of the bunch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a fabulous piece of movie-making and a satisfying beginning of the end of my childhood. Make sure you bring tissues, as well as a friend to clutch to when things get especially tough. That Nagini sure gave me a heart attack!