Simply Put...Phenomenal (A Book-Reader's Review)10/10
OK. Yes stuff was left out. Yes some things were inaccurate. And yes, at times the story jumped around. But I'll tell you what, if that's the price to pay for being able to see fantastic literature on the big-screen...I'll take a few inconsistencies any day.
For having the task of taking 870 masterful pages and turning them into a 2.5 hour movie, David Yates did one heck of a job. This movie is a must-see, no matter how you look at it. For book-readers, sure you notice the absence of certain parts, but you finally get to see what you've imagined in your head for years take place in real-live motion on the screen
and you know what, those few things left out, help you gain a better understanding anyway, because you have already read the in-between stuff. Then, in the same breath, this is a great movie for non-book-readers as well. For those HP fans who take the lighter approach of skipping the books and simply following along by the movies
you won't know what you're missing anyway. The biggest complaints about this movie will be from book-readers who wanted a 10-hour long, word-for-word re-creation of the book. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about. Acting was great, story-line was great, and the special effects were flawless.
(Slight Spoiler In This Paragraph) Being a book-reader, I knew heading in that I would have to be prepared to accept substantial cuts from all that takes place in the book. However, the parts that Yates chose to focus on, were by far, the most important ones; and the way in which he did it, left me speechless. Yates was clearly at his best at the movie's climactic ending. When reading those last few chapters, when Harry is at the Ministry, and there is the great battle, the book reads like a whirlwind. Everything is happening at once: death-eaters here, death-eaters there, Sirius finally getting the chance to fight, Moody kicking ass, Ginny going on a tear and straight-up owning people. And you try to picture in your head what all this would look like
a million things going on at once, and trying to picture how wizards and witches really "fight" each other. Somehow, someway, Yates was able to create that fast-paced, action-packed, confusion, and then all of a sudden, like an orchestra going flat after their last booming note, Sirius Black is gone
just like in the book. This was the hardest part for me to swallow when reading the book, as tears ran down my cheeks, not only because Sirius was my favorite character, but because you go from such a "high" of seeing the Order save the day, to the unbelievable "low" of seeing Harry's godfather simply fade away. This is an emotion and thought process which was excellently portrayed in the film. Ironically enough, Yates was only warming up.
As for the Dumbledore/Voldemort showdown, I don't think that it could have been done better. In a Star Wars type fashion, Harry is being tempted by Voldemort to release his anger, to have his revenge on Bellatrix Lestrange, to have a taste of the dark side. And as we sit there fearing for confused, helpless Harry, we see a green fire of hope, and more like Master Yoda than any other fictional character, Albus Dumbledore appears and engages Voldemort in a wizard-duel that puts Gandalf and Sarumon to shame.
The way the movie engaged the audience and got their emotion kicking is a great film-making talent not found in many movies anymore. Think of the way Yates made you HATE Umbridge, just like the book. The way you felt bad for Snape when you saw his hidden past, just like the book. And think of the best two lines of the movie where you felt comfort, confidence, and safety on Harry's part. The first of these lines was Sirius Black to Lucius Malfoy: when the death-eaters are over-whelming the kids, Sirius appears behind Lucius with a firm, "get away from my godson." Then once again, when Harry is alone with Voldemort, Dumbledore appears and almost as if to initiate the duel, says, "It was a mistake for you to come here tonight, Tom." Overall, the movie was fantastic. The best of the five
by far. You just have to put aside the gaping holes of chapters that were left out, and look at what was done well. For the book-readers, imagine if you were forced to take only 400 of the 870 pages out of the book
you would take the most important ones that relate to the plot. So as much as the "prefect storyline" and the "Harry/Cho drama" and all that other stuff is a great read, the big screen simply doesn't allow enough time for it. As for the non-book-readers
pick up the books and get busy. Because as great as a job that Yates did with the movie
the woman he got the story from, Ms. Rowling, might just be one of the greatest authors of our time.
Now go spend 10 bucks and enjoy the show!