Wow. No Dumbledore, precious little Snape, no Hogwarts, no quidditch (thankfully), no Gate Nine and Three-Quarters. Was this a Harry Potter movie?
Yep. And how.
It’s been awhile since I finished the last book (2-3 years, maybe?), so there were several “Oh, yeah” moments during the film. I’d totally forgotten about Mad-Eye Moody coordinating Harry’s initial escape, for instance. And the reappearance of Kreacher. Details kept me hopping. It was like a big quiz for the Potter faithful. Remember this? Remember that?
Still, what captivated me was the distance the three young lead actors have covered over the last decade. Gone are the sheepish glances, the goofy, slappy repartee between Ron and Hermione. Things are serious now, and everyone means business because the future of the wizarding — and Muggle — world hangs in the balance. The three musketeers have much more to worry about than whether or not they’ll advance to the next year at school. In fact, they’re all three dropouts now. (Interesting twist on a story initially meant for pre-teens.)
For the first time in the film series, I felt pressing drama; real acting by the three leads. It was fun to watch. The writers also managed to deftly reinforce prior situations and details (in fact, Harry himself has to have things explained to him twice at times), so everyone’s on the same page early on. The ending point was brilliantly thought out. I can only imagine the crowds at the next opening.
There’s also a prescience that pervades the movie, and that gave me some periods of sadness. The end draws near, and I don’t want it to come. But I’ve already decided that when the series comes out as a set, I’m going to buy it to show my grandchildren. It will be kept on the same shelf as the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Godfather series: a classic collection indeed.
I do look forward to the next film, though, when my favorite character (Severus Snape) plays a much larger role. I miss his pretty face.
On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I: