The Deathly Hallows Experience

Kelly, Veda, and Nafeesa fight the masses at the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 to share their sleep-deprived thoughts to the Figment blog:

“I Open at the Close” by Kelly Lucas

After months upon months of wait, at 12:01am on Friday, November 19th, I began  watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows*. At 2:35am, I tweeted, “It was beautiful.” That was my first and most honest reaction that I have ever had to a Harry Potter movie. Most of the time, I just say that “it was awesome,” but this time was different. The movie didn’t focus on the action, it focused on finding the horcruxes and the relationships of the characters. Dan Radcliffe [Harry], Rupert Grint [Ron], and Emma Watson [Hermione] have grown up together and are friends on and off the screen and it wasn’t until this movie that I saw how much these three care about each other. Sure, in the books J.K. Rowling can describe the love the trio shares, but I don’t think I have seen a more touching scene done by the three of them than Ron’s return to Harry and Hermione’s camp.

This movie is serious and dark, but comical at the same time. The quick one-liners that were written into the script were timed perfectly and said so well. All the actors have really come into their roles and owned them. They weren’t just channeling their character, they WERE their character (and after playing these roles for 10 years, one would hope so). If you read the book, you’re going to love the movie. You’re going to cry, unless you have a heart of stone, so come prepared with tissues. Even the teenage boys behind me were solemn at the very end and mourned the final loss of this film like the rest of us. If you didn’t read the books, I think you are going to be somewhat bored. It is mostly set-up for Part 2, but that doesn’t mean that every scene isn’t important to the story line.

Deathly Hallows is the end of an era, and Part 1 is the beginning of the end. I’m not quite ready for Part 2, yet; I’ll enjoy this wait. Next summer, I will enjoy dressing up for the final time, wait on a line for a ridiculous amount of time for the perfect seats and cry hysterically as the credits roll. For now, I’ll think I’ll just go see Part 1 again.

End notes:
*well, not really because there were previews and commercials, but we’re just going to pretend otherwise.

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“More Than Just A Fantasy” by Veda Kumarjiguda

I haven’t always been a fan of the Harry Potter movies.  I was devastated after Chris Columbus and the screenwriters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban decided to cut out the Marauder back story. Did they even read the books? Didn’t they see how important that information was? Harry Potter is more than a fantasy story with beautiful landscapes – it is about the connections and complications that give life meaning. I’ve always felt that the movies erased the magic by ignoring the details of the story and replacing them with Daniel Radcliffe’s clenched jaw.

With the completion of the books, I knew I had to put aside my issues and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at midnight. The theater was filled with Ravenclaw and Gryffindor scarves, lightning bolt scars, and robes. People kept turning to each other to compliment costumes and discuss favorite scenes and quotes. I was in a great mood when the previews started, because I realized that it didn’t matter what the movie was like. The audience, the fans, would never forget the meaning of the books.

The movie surprised me. The pacing was wonderful; the story wasn’t crammed into the screen and there was enough time for the humor often looked over in the other films. I laughed out loud at Fred’s expression while he watched Harry kiss Ginny. Rupert Grint had great comedic timing and his sheepish looks of longing made me blush.

Obviously things weren’t perfect, but I felt like I was standing inside J.K Rowling’s sentences when Harry and Hermione listened to the choir at Godric’s Hollow. I was living the book, and I knew that everyone sitting around me felt the same way.

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“These are dark and terrible times” by Nafeesa Dawoodbhoy

As soon as Bill Nighy’s face appeared on screen as Rufus Scrimgeour, I could not help but crack up. Has anyone seen Love Actually? If you have, you will understand why I couldn’t imagine Bill Nighy as anything except a naked musician. About 30 seconds later though, Nighy had me swallowing my words and I was hooked. I found myself saying ‘that is EXACTLY like the book’ more times than I ever thought I would.

Now just so you know, never before in my life have I managed to watch an entire Harry Potter movie in full, I always find myself leaving, disgusted by the way the books are massacred into an action packed Daniel Radcliffe one-man show. However, after I finished reading Deathly Hallows, I became a minor alcoholic for a few weeks and my only salvation was the idea that there would be a movie; in two parts. So I transferred my energy into making lists of things the directors could do to further ruin my books and started betting with my friends about how many I would get right.

Armed with my lists and records of bets I had made I walked into the 12.01 showing (which had an extraordinary amount of Bellatrix Lestrange’s and a very cool Nagini!) anticipating the amount of money I would be making. Now I am NOT a sore loser, so I can humbly admit that this movie took me by surprise, I laughed, I cried, I clapped, I hooted, I screamed with terror and I walked out with a smile. Naturally I still got 20 bucks from my various bets because you can’t have it all, but the fact that the directors included Auntie Muriel was enough for me to retract my cynicism and give this one a 7/10! (Considering I gave all the others less than a 3 this is a big improvement) Also total props on the HOT Bellatrix/Hermione two second torture scene, David Yates was definitely having a little laugh when he directed that part!

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