Here at the Platonist, where thousands of readers come to get their diurnal dose of idealism, and to fortify themselves in their pursuit of that scottish-latin ideal, transire beneficiendo (to go through the world leaving it better than when you left), we have a hallowed tradition of reviewing epic-genre movies, since epics are the ones in which Platonic ideals such as the Good, Truth, Justice, and Beauty are foregrounded.
So let’s get right to it. The review of HPDH that I like the best so far is that of Salon’s andrew o’hehir, since he points out that Part 1 was a far better movie than part 2 (which is why we’re reviewing it now together with 2). Many don’t seem to realize this, but the director and screenwriter made Part 1 as their ‘baby,’ their ideal of what would have happened in book 7, and they then, in a rather workmanlike fashion, stuck almost directly to the book plot in Part 2, delivering a rather standard but curiously morally and emotionally hollow boom-bang endup. Predictably, the average audience and critic excoriated part 1, while they gushed about part 2. This simply proves Plato’s notion that most of humanity remains in ‘the cave.’
Part 6 was already quite good; it’s my second favourite in the whole series. The opening scene, and the magisterial music, with dumbledore’s hand on harry’s shoulder, just after the appearance of voldemort in the ministry finally signals to fudge that he’s been a chamberlainian dupe, sets a fabulously serious tone; slughorn functions as a fantastic exploration of ‘old boy’ hogwarts; his “all hands on deck, granger” as he spills butterbeer onto the table in front of hermione being one of the best lines in the series. The elegaism is wonderful throughout, since it’s really the main theme of the series, and it is beautifully foiled by the theme of ‘young love’ which we really get to explore here. The harry and hermione tower stairs scene being crucial.
So then onto Part 1; where suddenly, nothing is safe. (And the score is also phenomenal throughout–the best music yet in the whole series). (more…)