Top positive review
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A great film, but I have some misgivings
on 13 December 2007
Book 5 of the Potter series is rather gloomy. Harry is feeling alienated, nightmarish and insecure, and Voldemort is rising in power. However, what worked extremely well for the book, works a bit against the film. A film is a different means of communication from a book and to strive to follow the book too closely is to do an injustice to both.
In this case the gloom drips off the screen and almost takes over everything else. Aside from the end there is little suspense, the much needed comic relief is scarce and even the characters seem only to be partly present. The film focuses a lot on Harry, but does not always reflect his feelings very well. Hermione and especially Ron are reduced to minor characters with little to say, and other minor characters, such as Ginny Weasley and newcomer Nymphodora Tonks seem to be merely window dressing.
In my opinion, this is still a good enough film, but because it has tried too hard to incorporate as much of the 800 pages of the book as possible, in events, and not in depth, quality has had to make room for quantity. Better to have extended the film to add some depth, or trimmed down some of the events and the amount of characters, than to have a somewhat watered down and rushed story, where an important event (the death of someone very dear to Harry) almost seems inconsequential.
The positive aspects of the film are of course the story, but also the excellent typecasting of the characters Luna Lovegood, Dolores Umbridge and Bellatrix Lestrange. There are still a few funny moments, and if you can get used the gloom, this is a beautiful film, though I believe the previous two were a tad better.