All the reviews I’ve read slated the film for being too rushed and action sequence-y. I didn’t go in prepared to like it. None of the films so far had impressed me much, and not one did I wish to see a second time (although I did buy all of them on DVD out of some twisted form of loyalty). Was I surprised to discover that OotP, The Movie, is far and away the best of the rest.
(Yes, is the answer to that.)
The biggest YAY of the film for me was the way it gave me that sickly-sweet rush of longing for the secret magical world of which I can’t be a part. I haven’t felt that since the end of OotP, the book. Two scenes engendered it: the broomride along the Thames and seeing people Floo into the Ministry of Magic. I know right? Floo? But like everyone’s saying, it’s in the little ordinary details of the magical world that JK shines.
I liked Tonks. This surprised me. I think she’s a total cipher in the books, but she was cute here. Still can’t see why she’d be attracted to Lupin or vice versa, but that’s a mystery to which JK only has the key. I wasn’t particularly sold on Luna. I liked her hair a lot – I wanted her hair – but she has the strangest Irish accent I’ve ever heard. And I’ve never heard it before! It sounded like a posh English person putting on an Irish accent. Posh Irish accents do not sound like that. In fact, everyone but Ron speaks like they have a rod wedged up their arse.
I liked that they wore Converse.
I liked Hermione’s scene with Grawp, where she orders him to put her down. That’s the only time Emma thing has been Hermione for me. Otherwise she’s just this girl with great hair who killed the real Hermione and stuffed her in a closet.
I liked Fred and George’s last hurrah. I think it came full circle, from Umbridge dousing their firework to the twins smashing all her decrees with the ultimate firework display. I don’t know why people hated it. I’m actually going to cry when Fred dies in the last film, and his death didn’t move me in the slightest in DH.
I really liked the battle scenes. And I’m a girl who yawned during Lord of the Rings. In fact, the whole Ministry battle was just fabbo. White light just does it for me, it would seem. The only thing I was iffy on was the curtain – it didn’t look like a curtain, so I = annoyed – plus Sirius’ death, which was just too quick.
I was amused by the OMG!EVERYWHERE Harry/Sirius subtext. And is it me, or did the nightmare scenes look like Harry was wanking? The bit where he woke Ron with his gasping ... oh god, never mind.
I think it helped that I haven’t read the book in three years. I wasn’t on the lookout for things missed or skated over or done wrong. I noticed they got a new scriptwriter – about bloody time – and as I said to my brother afterwards: they did rip out stuff, but they sewed up the tears neatly for once. I think it even did well as a stand alone movie. Even the bit where Umbridge uses Veritaserum to interrogate students – the scriptwriter actually sat down and thought: look, I can’t stuff everything into this, I have to cut Marietta and the office break-ins and Quidditch – but how can I still make it work with what I have left? Snape tells her he’s run out of Veritaserum, and it’s not just a dropped-in comment. It makes sense. All the others had this pastede on yaye feeling to them, full of otherwise nonsensical sops to the real (ie book) fans.
I didn’t like some things, of course. Why did Kingsley have to be capital E ethnic? And while Umbridge’s outfits were things of beauty and joys forever, the kid’s clothes were HORRIFIC. What was WITH all those disgusting striped sweaters? Ginny’s MAROON JEANS, when were they ever fashionable? And the JACKETS. OH THE JACKETS. I also saw people in the crowd scenes wearing velour tracksuits. I don’t expect the film-makers to realise that this was 1995, not 2005, but seriously. Velour =/= crime against 90s fashion.
I really loved this one. It was the first film that felt magical to me. And for some reason, it brought DH alive in a way JK’s writing didn’t. I feel sorry for her in that sense, because if this trend continues, the last two films will far and away outstrip the last two books. And no writer deserves that.