A magic evening
This was indeed an evening well spent at the theatre. We watched “Deathly Hallows Part 2” in 3D, which was preceded by a live stage magician show by Alexx whose job it was to warm us up for the feature film. I’m not a great fan of 3D movies, but we picked this viewing because we also wanted to see the magician who only had this one appearance.
Alexx did quite well; he started out with a simple but well done connecting/disconnecting ring tricks, then proceeded to do some rather entertaining levitations. Any magician capable of doing a convincing swirly dance around the stage with a small levitating table dressed in a red table cloth (the table, not the magician) is good stuff in my book.
The story was captivating and well played. To those who complained about “Deathly Hallows Part 1” last year that there was too much endless chatter (to the rest of us known as “dialogue”) and not enough action (I was tempted to escort some of the louder complainers out of the theatre myself), there is plenty action in this one. I think I can say without revealing any secrets that this is where the great final battle stands. Those who have read the books will know this already, and those who have not ought to have enough cerebral circulation to have figured this out for themselves. Splitting the seventh book into two separate movies was definitely a good decision. There is simply too much content to compress into one single feature without the story suffering badly. Thus the first half dealt mainly with the bulk of dialogue and character development, and the second contains the big climax (not only of this movie but of the entire series) and therefore also the most action. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
I also liked the ending very much. It seemed quite fitting after everything that has happened over the last seven, eight years, and offers some thought about possible futures. I was rather sad to let go of them all as the end titles scrolled by.
The Depthly Shallows (2½D ain’t 3D enough)
Whilst the movie itself was quite satisfying, I had a few gripes with the 3D. I find that 3D distracts from the actual movie, and perceive it as something which has been added that need not be there. I end up looking for technicalities, and spotting mistakes (or “poor decisions”) and believe me I spotted quite a lot. The depth just seemed too shallow throughout most of the film. It’s awkward to watch someone’s face in half-profile, and it seems like it’s half as wide as it should be. It feels a bit odd to be complaining about this, because I also complain about movies where its overdone the other way, exaggerating the depth to the extreme. There were also several parts where the 3D seemed wobbly, or even inverted, as if they were originally 2D images converted to 3D. There was a roller-coaster sequence which seemed to be made specifically for 3D, but it failed to impress in any way. The problems seemed to be greatest where apparent live action scenery was combined with obvious computer generated material. It’s not that we don’t have the technology to do this well; “Avatar” is one (and the only one I’ve seen so far) movie where the 3D was done just right. The advantage that “Avatar” has over “Deathly Hallows Part 2” is that the former was shot in 3D from the start, but the latter was shot in 2D and then post-converted to 3D. That said, there were certain scenes where the 3D effect played itself out very nicely, even beautifully. On the whole, however, I am looking forward to seeing it again in 2D at a later date.
What’s in a name — for the Norwegians
One other thing that annoys me to some degree about all the Harry Potter movies is something that the English speaking audience won’t have to worry about, and doesn’t even relate to the actual movies at all. It’s to do with the Norwegian subtitles, and the translations of names that carry little or no resemblance to the original English names that are spoken in the movie. Take the twins Fred and George, who in Norwegian are called Fred and Frank, and Neville has been renamed to Nilus. Even Ron is for some reason called Ronny (a difference so subtle it makes me wonder why it was done at all). This may work well when you read the books, but when I watch the movie with subtitles (I sometimes don’t have much choice) I occasionally get distracted when what is said and what is written at the bottom seem to concern two entirely different people.
This, of course, won’t be a problem when the BluRay version sits comfortably in my movie library, which eventually it will.