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Went to see the HP movie with my sister after an advent market visit and a Glühmost, and I don't think it's only due to the pleasant buzz of the first alcoholic drink I've had in something like half a year that I have to take back a lot of my preemptive bitching.

I absolutely loved the beginning. They really caught the mood of the book, the darkness and seriousness of the threat, which I was so afraid the wouldn't. Loved the growing-up theme, Hermione oblivating her parents, Harry in the Dursleys' empty house; the chase, the twins, Ron and Harry in the field at night, the wedding. The scene in Malfoy manor was also brilliant. Admittedly this is at least partly projecting the knowledge of the books on the film, but looking at Snape in that scene it becomes really obvious what and how much Dumbledore asked of him.

The rest was still more than adequate, even if it also—necessarily, I guess—felt a bit flatter than the book and tended to drag a bit, because as far as I'm concerned Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe can't really carry the story on their own for such long spans of time. Maybe it's partly because neither of them matched the picture/idea of the characters I had in my mind after reading the books, but I could never get over the feeling that both Harry and Hermione were completely miscast. Acting-wise, Rupert Grint is the only one from the trio I can imagine seeing (or wanting to see) in another movie. This said, I really liked the dance scene. It was lovely, and conveyed perfectly that Harry and Hermione really have a sort of sibling relationship, without Harry having to spell it out later on.

And the animation for the Tale of the Three Brothers was just gorgeous. I'm not sure it actually fit into the movie, but still gorgeous.

The main flaw of the last movie is already noticeable in this one though, even if (so far) it is still less prominent. Maybe they decided to tell all of Dumbledore's story in the second part, but if there's one thing I wasn't happy with, it's that the movie once again focused only on the relationship triangle of the trio and almost completely erased Dumbledore's story beyond supplying the absolutely necessary factual information. Which is more than they did in THBP, where 'supplying the necessary information' was reduced to Snape's out-of-nowhere declaration at the end of the movie, but still. DH is not just Harry's story, it's also very much Dumbledore's. It's about Harry questioning Dumbledore, his own relationship with him, his affection and trust, his feeling of betrayal, and the fact that in the end he can accept and forgive and understand. There's a reason for the King's Cross chapter. Snape may have the most interesting arc over the course of the books, but DH turned Dumbledore into perhaps the most complex character overall. I started to reread the the first volume and there's this bit, right at the beginning, when McGonagall asks Dumbledore if he can't do something about Harry's scar, and Dumbledore tells her, no, and even if he could, he wouldn't, because 'scars can come in useful'. It's not the kind of thing one notices at the beginning of the series, but looking back after DH, I thought, holy shit. This man is looking at year-old baby that just lost his parents and is already planning the next battle in the war because he knows it'll come and that he'll have to fight it.

I think what people tend to forget when they complain that Harry is 'chosen' and gets too much special treatment is that he's 'chosen' in a way that shocks even Snape when he learns all the facts.

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