Friday, July 15, 2011

The IMAX Experience

Me rocking the IMAX 3D glasses during round 2
 Last night was an emotional one for me. Not only was it the end of an era, it was the end of my childhood. I felt so many emotions I could not explain. I wanted everything to be perfect. I hyped it up so much in my mind that anything I would have seen would have been a let down. So after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 at midnight and pulling an all-nighter, I went to work with my dad and saw the movie again 12 hours later, this time in IMAX.
What a difference a day makes. For some reason this time something everything clicked. The crowd was better (no more annoying guy sitting next to me, although the guy next to me this time did eat popcorn rather loudly). I saw it with my dad who at the end declared it his favorite movie of the summer.
I think a mix of factors came into play that caused me to love my second time around. I was more relaxed. I knew what to expect. I think I was just more ready, mentally and emotionally. It was time to say goodbye. It was time to look past the book narrative and see a film. To forget all the little things they changed and just enjoy it for the last time.
And enjoy it I did. From the very beginning I was more excited and absorbed. I was able to appreciate the intricacies of performances like Helena Bonham-Carter's turn as Emma Watson early on in the film. She completely nails the scene which I found rather enjoyable the second time around, but frivolous the first. The all-star British cast was phenomenal as always and of course the main man here that needs to be mentioned is Alan Rickman as Snape. I hated Snape until I saw the films. Alan Rickman humanizes this character and brings to life all of the best of his qualities. His performance in Deathly Hallows was beautiful and intricate; you could tell that he understood Snape's character and motives completely.
I also thought Daniel Radcliffe was rather good in this film upon my second viewing. While he's not the perfect Harry, at this point in time, I could never picture anyone else doing what he has done. The look on his face when he comes out of Snape's memory was breathtaking and his walk into the Forbidden Forest one of his strongest acting moments to date.
Also, Dame Maggie Smith gives an amazing performance as Professor McGonagall who will stop at nothing from defending the castle and her students. Her duel with Alan Rickman, and the entire scene in the Great Hall with Harry confronting Snape was one of my favorite moments of the entire film. From the moment the Order of the Phoenix walks in until the end of the film, the waterworks began and pretty much did not cease.
Besides paying more attention to the performances of the cast, I was also able to appreciate the score which I hardly noticed the first time. Alexandre Desplat created a wonderful mix of the old and familiar with the new.  One of my favorite musical moments was the crescendo that builds into silence as Harry and Voldemort face off in the forest. It really added another dimension to the film which I was able to fully grasp upon my second viewing.
 The IMAX viewing I also think helped a lot. 3D made the movie too dark and difficult to make out, especially during the Battle of Hogwarts. IMAX added another dimension to the film and the large screen really drew the viewer into the action. I enjoyed the Battle scene much more I believe mainly due to this factor.  The first time around I thought it was too long and drawn out, but this time I thought it was perfect. The destruction terrific, but at the same time devastating to behold. I think my dad put it best when he said that it was heartbreaking seeing all the familiar movie haunts that we had grown to love over the last ten years being destroyed in front of our eyes. It really did feel like a war film, especially as the trio walked amongst the rubble of the beloved Hogwarts Castle.
It is honestly still hard to sum up all of my feelings about the film. I still want to see it one more time so I can write in the theater and really compose my feelings. But seeing it a second time definitely helped. I laughed some, cried a lot, and reveled in the magic. And after my second viewing, I left the theater with a sort of cathartic feeling. It was over and somehow I was much more satisfied than the last time. Was it perfect? No, but I think it came damn near close. I don't know how I turned a complete 180, but so is life. If Draco can do it (his was not complete but still...), why not me? I'm allowed to change my mind. I think the more reviews I read and the more I see it (I plan on going at least once more), the more I will like it. Yes it is over, but as the books and films constantly remind us, those we love us never really leave us, they remain in our hearts. "Always."
Rating (take 2): No Milk Required

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