About 30 minutes into this movie, I thought, “Geez, this is going by awfully quickly.” I had completely forgotten that all the build-up was in the last movie. If I could watch more than one movie in a sitting, it might be that they form a more natural build to a plateau of action.
That said, the director David Yates understood timing. There were many shots that were long enough to take in the scenery and the emotion. They were even a welcome break from the scattershot action movie trailers that came before.
But the speed necessitated that things had to be cut. We never saw the Fred Weasley death scene, unless you sort-of saw it when Voldemort called off the Death Eaters. We also got gipped on Lupin and Tonks. Occasionally, the movies will show something the books didn’t, and this is one thing my wife and I both wanted the movies to fill in. We saw them reach for each other, so I guess that was more than the book gave us. I was hoping for a little more from the Molly Weasley/Bellatrix Lestrange fight, but it got the job done. We’d never seen Molly duel, and it would be cool to see her let loose like McGonagall, who kicked ass!
I wonder how much Emma Thompson got paid for her 3 seconds as Sybil Trelawney? Certainly, I’m glad she wasn’t dropping crystal balls on Fenrir, who also showed up for 3 seconds. But, that’s the nature of movies, they excise or marginalize lesser characters and parts. Hagrid was a huge casualty. Did we really need to see the Carrows?
The one scene from the book that was missing – the only one that really sticks out – was Harry’s declaration in front of everybody that Snape was a hero. This could have happened when they were done apparating. The apparation fight was a nice touch, and as they are flying wild, they could have landed right in the middle of everyone.
I’m glad they only hinted at Dumbledore’s past. My main criticism of the books has been that more than half of the action happens more than a decade ago. Everything that’s happening now got it’s start at various times: When Dumbledore was gathering power; when Tom Riddle and Hagrid attended Hogwarts; when James, Lily, Remus, Sirius and Severus attended Hogwarts; and when James and Lily were killed.
I was happy with Neville Longbottom, who has always been my favorite. I root for the underdog, and I feel that if I was in that world, I would be the bumbler who always felt like a second-string extra.
I found that I had to try to cry quietly because I didn’t want to miss any of the dialogue. The biggest tearjerker was Snape’s pensieve scenes.
My wife started crying in the opening scenes, with Snape looking out over Hogwarts. No one knows why.
Now, it will continue in Pottermore, which is just as well, but it’s hard to deny that there was an ending here. And it was a satisfying ending.
I had written a review of Part One here: