With the final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise coming out, we thought it would be fun to revisit the phenomenon with a special edition series of Harry Potter Book v Movie columns.
By: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A Levine Books
Copyright Date: US Edition July 21, 2007
Number of Pages: 784
Reason for Reading: It’s Harry Potter, do we need a reason?
Director: David Yates
Release Date: November 19, 2010 (USA)
Running Time: 146
IMDB Linkage: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/
The final installment. We’ve finally made it. The final book is so epic that the movie version is split into two. Deathly Hallows is much more dangerous and scary than any of the previous installments. The landscape is utterly different. We aren’t in Hogwarts anymore. The book opens with the Order trying to smuggle Harry to a safe house before the protection his aunt and uncle’s house holds for him dissolves. We are immediately plunged into danger and casualties with the opening chapters. Nowhere is safe and soon our trio is on the run. For most of the book the world seems pretty bleak for Harry and his pals. Voldemort has taken over and the effects are chillingly felt. The ministry has fallen, Gestapo-like creeds are set in motion, and Muggle-borns are on the run.
When the book originally came out, there were some complaints about the length of the book and the meandering of our heroes. I never felt this way, and upon re-reading it I still don’t. The way Rowling builds up to the end is extremely suspenseful, nail-biting and realistic. Harry isn’t going to magically (pun not intended) know where the Horcruxes are nor is he going to find them in a matter of weeks. The length of their journey and the moments of utter despair and frustration only enhanced the frightening and danger-laden tones. I was scared for our trio. I was devastated when beloved characters were killed off. All the books are action-packed and full of danger and adventure, but the level of danger they find themselves in Deathly Hallows is unprecedented and much more frightening than anything they have previously experienced.
The first time I saw the movie, I was on the edge of my seat and so scared for the characters all over again. They really show daring and courage of unprecedented levels in Deathly Hallows. I thought I was scared and antsy whilst reading the book, but seeing it onscreen was even more so. The mad escape from the ministry, the creepiness of Bathilda Bagshot’s house and the discovery of what she had become were supremely well done, full of the danger, suspense, and thrills of the book. There were a few things they changed up in the movie, but I thought they were lovely additions and enhanced the story. They didn’t annoy me the way the changes in movie six did. The scene where a Death Eater is right outside their encampment with Hermione a breath away, shielded by her protective charms was nerve-wracking. I thought the scene with Hermione and Harry dancing was touching. It lightened the mood for just a moment while simultaneously enhancing the despair of their situation. Their capture and escape with the aid of Dobby was frightening and thrilling. The final scenes with Dobby really hurt my heart but were so well done. I thought they ended part I at the perfect spot. Having just re-read the whole book, we are going to be in for quite a ride with Part II because so much happens in the final third. It is completely action-packed and nail-biting frightening.
The HP books always win out over the movies, but this movie is my hands down favorite of them all. It is so well done. This movie captured my reading experience almost to a tee. All the emotions I felt while reading, the nail-biting, the fear, the antsy anticipation, I experienced again while viewing the film, in all the same places. No other HP movie experience has been like that, although I do love them all. I am so so excited for the final installment. If it is anywhere close to Deathly Hallows Part I, I would venture to say the pair are the best movies of the entire franchise.