I took me time and 2 seeings to make my final opinion on HPDH part 2, but one view was enough. This film is such an insult to the book, to the fans and to all 3D lovers in general that I really, really, really don't get the people who claim this is the best film in the series.
SUPER SPOILER ALERT. DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT.
1) This film is an insult to 3D lovers because seriously, we've come to a point where we know when fake 3D is used and when they film with real 3D cameras. And this, my friends, was fake 3D, i.e. 3D digitally reproduced after shooting with classic cameras. They thought they could fool me with this, but 3D here is a complete waste. It renders all backgrounds and other FX (spells, and all the other Magic stuff) completely blurry instead of giving us a 3rd dimension to it all.
2) It's an insult to the books, because so many book parts have been cut off that the film story is completely reduced and distorted.
- One of the most important example is that in the books, the Quest for the Horcruxes and the defeating of Voldemort are a team-based, epic adventure. In the films, we only see Harry's sacrifices, Harry struggling, Harry thinking. At this rate I would have rather they removed all the cast except for Harry and Voldy, in order to pay less wages and invest in FX.
- In the books, the Final Battles lasts several hours. In the films it all appears to last 30 minutes tops. Notion of time is completely wrong. And the battle doesn't happen in winter, thank you, but in June.
- In the books, the Pensieve is NOT a metallic, baseless, flying plate. It's a stone basin. (and they'd done it well in other HP movies so I was particularly struck by surprise at seeing this completely different and wrong Pensieve!)
- In the books, Voldemort doesn't hug Draco (come on!)
- In the books, Lily has green eyes. OK, in the film, because young Dan Radcliffe couldn't wear coloured contacts, they changed green for blue eyes -his original colour-, and made sure his mother in the film had blue eyes as well... at least until HPDH Part 2, where in a flashback, young Lily has... brown eyes (re: COME ON!). I only mention this because it's a key part in the story, people keep telling Harry he has his mother's eyes, even in this film they do, and then BAM, brown eyes. I couldn't believe it.
- In the books, we understand why Horcruxes are all key Hogwarts founders' relics, or other precious items with a history. Good luck with catching that by merely watching the films.
- In the books, Harry, Ron & Hermione save Draco twice from death. Only once in the film.
- In the books, there is such an emotion conveyed, every death being so beautifully and sadly portrayed, that I cry every single time at every single character's death. In the films, we barely see Fred is dead, and we do not even begin to glimpse at the terrible grief that falls upon the Weasleys and Harry & Hermione, and particularly his twin brother, George. Oh, no, in the film, it is so Harry-centered and so quick in between scenes, that absolutely no homage is made to all the people who fought ever so bravely and risked/lost their lives to defeat Voldemort.
- In the books, the Deathly Hallows legend is sound, because Harry has them 3 when he goes to Voldemort to face his fate and he ends up not dying. In the film, the Invisibility Cloak is given no credit at all.
- In the books, Snape doesn't cry memories. They just escape from his face, his ears, his eyes and his mouth, but are definitely not tears. "Silvery blue, neither gas nor liquid, it gushed from his mouth and his ears and his eyes...".
- In the books, Neville and Luna are neither in love nor together.
- In the books, Harry is the godfather of Ted, son of late Tonks and Lupin. We don't see Ted's face nor hear of his existence in the film.
- And finally (although there are SO many things that are wrong in this film it would take me hours of reading the book and visioning the film to write them all down), finally, then, I felt personally insulted by the way they maintained Albus Dumbledore on the pedestal the general public had put him. I, for one, knew from the first book there was something fishy about his being both so powerful and so selfless. I knew, from the start, that one cannot have so much power and at the same time being so kind to everyone. In the books, we learn of Dumbledore's history, and how his chase for power, for the Elder Wand, lost him his sister and his relationship with his brother. He was, once, just an arrogant, selfish young man, with an uncontrollable thirst for power, just like anyone so talented is at risk to become. Truly enough, he saw in time the error of his ways, or, at least, part of it. But he kept withholding key information from Harry and the rest of the world, under the pretense of protecting them but truly to protect his image also. I have always looked at this story with the idea that there was more evil to Dumbledore that the Magical population seemed to see, and I was happy to see in the books that I was right. But what they did in the film disgusts me. Because if Jo Rowling has one quality, it is the ability to have us understand that the bad guys are human. But more than that, she shows us that the good guys are only human, as well. And the Dumbledore story is such a great example of the author's own magic, that I was exceptionally disheartened in seeing that the film makers had squeezed such an important part in the story.
For all these reasons, the last film of the HP series is an insult to the fans.
There are, however, some good points to give:
- The "Not my daughter, you bitch" part is perfect (and textbook).
- The Kings Cross station passage and the "Nineteen Years Later" bit are excellent (and, again, textbook, or almost).
- The final battle with Voldemort is good. But the little passage before, where Harry jumps with Voldy, is completely absurd.
- Two masterpieces in a very good soundtrack: Dragon flight, and Statues. Would have been nice to have a medley of other themes though, but the composer's choices are understandable.
- Daniel Radcliffe's acting clearly up to the difficult task. A real, real shame Emma Watson & Rupert Grint are not given the place they deserve and the credit that should go with it.
The film does not serve the story well. It's more a director's choice than a true adaptation. The thing is, they proved that they can do so much in other films, and particularly in the HPDH Part 1 film, that this one appears rushed and definitely doesn't have the polishing touch part 1 had. The 3D is just another cash-cow addition.
In short, this film clearly does not deserve the praise it has received all over the world. I don't understand how Jo Rowling could accept some things they did with her perfect story.