[Warning: This review is slightly spoiler-ish, if you haven't read the book. No specific details are given.]
Yesterday, a test screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was held in downtown Chicago. I was lucky enough for this to be my second test screening of a Potter film. Last August, I attended the test screening of Deathly Hallows Part 1. Being a big Harry Potter fan myself, I was overjoyed to see it. The best word to describe the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is epic. But even that is an understatement. I was blown away by the movie, and it was only the test screening! The final Potter film is a tour de force, with enough momentum that I think it will ride in victoriously during awards season. (Finally!)
I’m taking a moment now to form some more coherent thoughts on the film… Overall, the film is great. I felt the beginning was a bit rushed and choppy. But I think the choppiness was mostly due to it being a test screening. And there is so much work that needs to be done. When I saw the test screening for Part 1, it was way more polished than the one yesterday. Part 2 has 2-to-3 times more special effects than Part 1 had. As for it being rushed, it seemed like they wanted to get the trio to Hogwarts as soon as they can. Meaning that they had to change or leave out some plot details from the book. Normally, I’m okay with whatever changes they make, but one change sort of bothered me. Yet, it’s not significant enough to make me not like the movie.
When the trio get to Hogwarts, that’s when the movie settles into the right pacing. It’s really from that point when you start thinking “Wow. This is it.” There’s about 3-4 stages of the battle. If you’re familiar with the story, it’s very similar to the book. McGonagall really takes charge, and it was so exciting to see! Same goes to Neville (Matthew Lewis). Lewis always successfully delivers the both sincerity and courage to his portrayal of Neville, and you truly see it in this film.
Yet, without a doubt, Alan Rickman’s Snape is the performance of the movie. The Prince’s Tale (aka Snape’s memories) is the most powerful part of the story. And they completely nailed it in the movie. I was so impressed. It’s the heart of the movie. It’s at that point when it hits you about how magical this story is. My eyes still burn with tears thinking about it.
It doesn’t help that the scene following it is just as emotional. My second favorite scene of the movie is when he turns to the Resurrection Stone and is reunited with his dead love ones. It’s another powerful scene that will take your breath away and sting your eyes. Again, this is the true magic of the movie.
The deaths hit you just as hard as they did when you read them in the book. If there are still any questions about it, the movie is many ways is faithful to the book, using some of our favorite lines. The movie ends at the right place. It really does come full circle. It’s bittersweet and short. Still, I was satisfied with how it ended.
I can’t wait to see the final product! As far as seeing it 3D, it seems like it wouldn’t be necessary. (I bet Warner Bros. is really hating me now for saying that. lol) If you aren’t a fan of 3D movies or post-3D-conversion, it seems like you won’t be missing much if you see it in 2D. Speaking of it being 3D, I can’t help but be concerned on whether or not it will happen. The movie is supposed to come out in a little over 3 months, right? They have A LOT of work to do with the effects. As I mentioned earlier, Part 1’s test screened 3 months early too and was way more polished, and they chose not to do 3D because of time constraints. So, that’s just something to consider.
Regarding more questions and spoilers about the screening:
We were contacted by Warner Bros. and asked to take down the spoiler post. We won’t be fielding any questions that would spoil the film. You guys will just have to wait until July to see the epicness for yourself! :)