‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ From Page to Screen

When to comes to accuracy to the book, the Harry Potter series has been very give and take. Most of the time the movies got the important stuff right and left out minor details. However a few films in the middle of the series (I’m looking at you Goblet of Fire) removed a lot of the things that made the books so enjoyable. In this article, I will examine how the final film does when placed side by side with the rest of the book. Warning, full spoiler for the book and move follow.

The movie picks up right where the last one left off, Dobby’s death and Voldemort getting the Elder Wand. We start with the trio at Shell Cottage, Bill and Fleur’s new home. The trio converses with Griphook and Ollivander. Both conversations were very accurate to the book and lead into Gringotts pretty well.

Gringotts was fantastic. Helena Bonham Carter played Hermione impersonating Bellatrix wonderfully. An interesting change here is that it is Ron who uses the Imperius Curse rather than Harry on a suspicious goblin. As far as the movies go it is more in line with the characters for Ron to do it. Once they get into the vault, all the objects they touch multiply at an exponential rate just as they do in the book, however they do not burn. I can understand this since that would have been very difficult to believe on the screen let alone to do special effects wise. The escape on the dragon was just as exciting as it was in the book and ended up being a highlight of the movie.

Next it was off to Hogsmeade where the conversation with Aberforth ensued. The plot line of Dumbledore’s unknown past was ignored for the most part in the last film and the same is done here. We do not get the story oh how Ariana died and very little about Aberforth’s disdain for his brother. Honestly, some things are just better in the book and would not translate well to film. I believe that this is one of them. This plot line would have slowed down the movie quite a bit just as it was gaining momentum for the battle. Its omission is certainly forgivable.

The trio’s return to Hogwarts is excellent. The biggest change we see is that we do not get Harry using the Cruciatus Curse on one of the Carrows after they spit on McGonagall. Instead we get a scene where Harry confront Snape in front of the whole school. Frankly its not better or worse than the book. Both scenes are affective and work well for their medium. McGonagall’s fight with Snape is still intact and just as awesome as it was in the book.

The film took a lot of liberties with the battle but though do not make it any more or less exciting. It is still exciting despite an additions or omissions from the book. Harry’s scene with the Ravenclaw ghost is very well done. We also get Ron and Hermione destroying the Horcrux in the Chamber of Secrets. It was nice that we got to see this on screen rather than off as it is in the book. Also, Ron and Hermione finally kiss in the Chamber of Secrets. The kiss is done well and doesn’t feel as random as it did in the book.

Next we get the confrontation with Draco in the Room of Requirement. This is certainly a highlight of the film. The special effects are awesome and is one of the best action scenes in the whole series. It was also nice to see the diadem destroyed with a Basilisk fang rather than the fire and simply having Hermione yell “Oh I forgot! Fiendfyre can destroy Horcruxes!”.

As for deaths during the battle, Lupin and Tonks are off screen just as they are in the book. As for Fred, his death has much less of an impact than it did in the book. This is perhaps the biggest disappointment of the film as Fred’s death was perhaps the most heartbreaking of the battle. Here it is pretty lifeless.

Then we quickly moved to Snape’s death and memory sequence. In a word, perfect. The entire sequence is spectacular and just as effective as it was in the book. Then we get the scene in the forest, another highlight from the book that is incredibly well done on film. Harry’s journey to King’s Cross is also very well done. Michael Gambon retains the Dumbledore he played in Half-Blood Prince rather than the rest of the series and that’s what makes it work. Many quote from this scene are lifted straight from the book as they should be since J.K. Rowling has many of her best quotes in that one chapter.

Now back to the action. The final battle between Harry and Voldemort is better than it is in the book. Its much more of an all out fight between these two destined dueling wizards. One cannot live while the other survives and they certainly fight like it. As for Bellatrix and Nagini’s deaths, are both done excellently. Also, the way the film handles the Malfoys is incredible, genius even.

The final scene in the series is just as it is in the book, the 19 year later epilogue. It is a much more silent affair then it is in the book which is almost better to send off our favorite characters.

So all in all, Deathly Hallows Part 2 did a good job of translating the end of the series. My biggest problem however is the strange absence of Wormtail. He was supposed to die at the end of the last one but that did not happen. I was hoping it would be fixed in this movie but Wormtail was nowhere to be found in the final film. Oh well, considering what other movies have left out, this is decently forgivable since the rest of it is done so well.

One Response to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ From Page to Screen

  1. A K says:

    Very well-written review. I have to disagree on a number of points though. The scene when Harry confronts Snape in front of the whole school was not good at all. It felt way too forced for my liking, and I’d been looking forward to seeing the Carrows get their comeuppance in Ravenclaw Tower. Snape’s memory sequence was disappointing as well, although I have to say that Snape crying after finding Lily’s dead body was a nice touch that wasn’t included in the book.

    The final stage of the battle was also terrible. I thought Bellatrix and Voldermort breaking into little pieces as they died was needless and melodramatic. I was also waiting with baited breath for Harry’s speech to Voldermort and the rest of the crowd about who Snape was really working for, how he and Dumbledore had planned Dumbledore’s death together, how he’d been in love with Lily etc. But of course that conversation never came.

    For me, the films have been hugely disappointing in general, and the final film is no different. However, the 3rd film is rather good.

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