I probably need to go see this movie a second time in order to give it a better review. That has been my experience with movies 5, 6, and 7.1. The first time through I am inevitably thinking about how it’s different from the book; critiquing, wishing they had said this or done that, or a specific character had expressed himself or herself in a more fitting manner, etc. That was the case with HP 7.2, but, thankfully, not as much as in the past installments. It has been a while since I have read the 7th book, otherwise this review would probably be more critical. So, by and large, the movie is. . . ” really good” (my words to my wife when she asked how it was). “Why the hesitation?” “Because I’m still thinking about it,” was my honest reply. And so I’m still thinking about it now, even as I write (or more properly, ramble). A few plot holes bugged me where a little bit of dialogue would have helped clarify or fill in said holes, but the liberties the movie takes with the storyline worked well overall. I am happy to say that Michael Gambon, at last, did reasonably well as Dumbledore. What a relief! Snape may have stolen the show, with Neville as a strong second. I know that visually it makes more sense for Hermione to stand between Ron and Harry, but I guess one can’t expect Hollywood to know that Harry is supposed to stand between Ron and Hermione (alchemy, you know). This is probably the best of the movies, though don’t waste your money on 3D. The battle scenes were intense, even graphic to a point, but not gratuitous (except for maybe the roasted goblin). They aptly convey the gravity of the conflict, and that is where this film excels. It sweeps you up into this all-out war between good and evil, an evil that must be resisted and fought to the death. And yet there are respites in the midst of the melee that are arguably the best moments of the film. In the end, I was profoundly reminded of Psalm 1:4: The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that that wind drives away.
Update: I failed to mention that I think Voldemort had the best lines in the movie. The intentional irony deserves a tip of the hat to the writers.
Overall, I’d give the movie a strong B+, maybe an A-, which could bump up to an A upon a second viewing.
The Auralia Thread comes to completion in Jeffrey Overstreet’s The Ale Boy’s Feast, resulting in a beautiful and intricate tapestry of life to be lived now, and life yet longed for. Through a host of characters and rich symbolism, Mr. Overstreet’s fantasy world once again provides greater insight into the world in which we live in a way that only a work of fiction can. There is a sacramental undercurrent to the story that is especially compelling, and a liturgical element that acts as a marker throughout the story, much the same way our lives take on a liturgical shape. While more meaningful in its context of the story, surely this description resonates with the worship experience of faith:
When one sang the Midnight Verse, the rest wove new harmonies. The song, once a simple promise of dawn’s approach, was now infused with an aching dissonance that spoke of weariness and loss, which only made the chords of its hopeful restrain stronger, opening up deep reservoirs of longing.
For the casual fantasy reader The Auralia Thread will not disappoint, and for the connoisseur Mr. Overstreet’s stories will be eagerly revisited to catch yet another glimpse of a world that is and will one day be.