Where to even begin? This story has been with me my whole childhood, and I've been in love with Emma Watson/wanted to be here, since I was about 15, so it's the end of an era in a way. Not that the stories will ever really leave me (that sounds lame but it's true).
Going into this film I was really excited, hopeful that it would be as good as I wanted it to be, sad that the story was concluding, happy that I was a step closer to fufilling my dream of marathon watching all 8 films in one weekend, but also very very nervous.
I've really enjoyed all the films, especially since they hit their stride with 3 (coincidentally my favourite book), and I adored 6, an unintentional comedy masterpiece - I saw it 4 times in various cinemas, but when I saw 7 part 1, I was so so disappointed. The majority of the screentime was of the main trio, and the abscence of the outstanding supporting cast was sorely missed. I didn't enjoy the breaking of the story into two (because so little happens in the first half) but the important moments in part 1 were handled so badly. The Hermione/Harry sexy dream bit was just, awful. So cringeworthy and terrible, nothing like I'd imagined in the book (AND WHY WERE THEY NAKED?). Even the death at the end which had me sobbing in the book barely affected me at all. The tone of the film was all wrong and the moments badly misjudged. Very disappointing.
So quite a mix of emotions going in... But I need not have worried as it was pretty much perfect!
A lot of people seem quite disappointed with it, but whilst I had a few minor gripes, it was really really good. I cried like, 5 times. Mostly because Alan Rickman is an incredible actor and that whole sequence of the book had me in floods anyway, but still. I was also really impressed with the CGI and loved Neville's coming-of-age (and turning into a total badass), whilst wearing an amazing cardigan.
My favourite bits (spoiler alert) were:
- Daniel Radcliffe's actual proper acting at the beginning in Shell Cottage (HE CAN ACT?!)
- Neville's cardigan & general scene-stealing amazingness. His speech near the end was pretty good.
- all scenes with Snape in - particular the memory bits
- Emo moody Draco
- Hermione/Ron FINALLY kissing
- really surprisingly, the final scene. I wasn't expecting to enjoy that at all, especially with the prosthetic faces.
- Basically most of the film
My gripes were:
- Not enough Snape (just the whole film being about him would've been fine by me)
- not enough time spent of his death sequence (also, didn't happen like that in the book did it?)
- Crabbe/Goyle being swapped out in the diadem scene (I understand the actor was kicked off the project but still)
- the "Let's finish this the way we started it" line/delivery/action - just that whole bit was awful
- Ginny's aged face
- Draco's aged face (both far too funny to be serious)
- Neville declaring his love for Luna (where did that come from?)
- Luna's little hissy fit on the stairs, the dialogue was just clunky
- Not including Fred's death sequence - although I don't know if I could've coped with that, we'll see when the DVD comes out
But these were mostly small things. Mostly the scenes I didn't enjoy as much as the others were the ones I didn't like much in the book (like the bit after Harry dies), but I still think they were handled well.
It had some slightly throwaway comedic lines, which on the one hand, felt a little bit forced, but on the other, broke up the tension and all the sadness quite well.
Basically though, it was amazing. I'd easily give it a 9/10. Maybe even a 9.5.
On a somewhat related note, how amazing does my friend Jade over at A Little Lipstick look dressed up as Hermione Granger?
Ah-mazing. If I had not spent my whole childhood/life wanting to be Emma Watson, I would definitely want to be Jade Stobbs right now.