Saturday, November 20, 2010

Deathly hallows in halves


I liked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 a lot.

Kimberly Rae and I had been getting ourselves psyched up for a little while. It was strangely the most excited I'd been for a Harry Potter in a long time.

My feelings about the series have been generally ambivalent, with too much feeling like a lesser episode of Masterpiece Theater, with generally well cast actors giving nice performances, but not quite bringing the energy to it all, merely recounting a series of events from the books rather professionally but lacking the energy and mystery.

I'm left from the experience of this one kind of unsure how to go about anything like a real review, although I'm sure no one is looking to me for one. This feels like a movie I sat down and watched half of before having something come up and stopped it. It's not a bad stopping place. It feels like perhaps a good stopping place, like someone who knew the movie well stopped it specifically at a good point.

It was certainly not as dull-witted as the lesser ones. It's a compelling start and I can imagine how a good conclusion could make it a terribly satisfying experience as a whole, and yet I can imagine a weak conclusion souring the taste of it.

The only thing that jumps out at me is the The death of Charity Burbage, which I pondered the ambiguity of in the book, is played out at least as ambiguously or at least in a way that provides nothing to offer even a hint at how that ambiguity might be answered literally. I can't help wondering if the finger of J.K. Rowling kept that from being answered one way or the other.

But then I got an inkling to listen to the British audio edition of the book when I got home, which Kim is being remarkably sweet in her patience with, and Stephen Fry clearly gives a reading that clearly demonstrates Lord Voldemort uttering the forbidden killing curse.

I enjoyed the movie, and certainly enough to even give it a spin on DVD next July in anticipation of the theatrical release of part 2 to see how I feel about the experience as "one movie".

Until then, I had a really fun day with Kim, and she had the non-alcoholic version of the Butterbeers they're serving at the Alamo Drafthouses, so I can't say it matters for now whatever I end up feeling about the movie as time passes on.


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