ShoWest: Even Unfinished, Harry Potter 7 Looks Fantastic
It was pretty bold of Warner Bros. to show off as much of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as they did, given that much of the effects work was unfinished and a major character-- Ralph Fiennes' noseless Voldemort-- had dots on his face marking the future digital alteration that really makes him who he is. But they weren't just bold in what they showed us, but how they did it-- the first scene of the extended trailer was Harry and Voldemort's confrontation in the woods outside Hogwarts. Harry, bloodied and visibly terrified, approaches a cold Voldemort (flanked by Bellatrix Lestrange); Voldemort taunts Harry, "The boy who lived, come to die."
The footage shown came from all sections of The Deathly Hallows, so it's impossible to tell where they will split up the two movies. We saw little bits of everything, from the seven Harry Potters escaping from the Dursleys house (totally surreal) to the attack at Bill and Fleur's wedding to the escape from Gringotts on the pale dragon and even Hogwarts on fire. With unfinished effects it's hard to really say how it all looks, though some of the most effective moments were the simplest-- Ron and Harry's fight in the tent, Harry visiting his parents' graves, running away from the Snatchers in the woods, Harry defiantly telling Voldemort that he stays alive "because I have something worth fighting for."
Basically, it's hugely exciting for anyone who's a fan of the book-- but that's been the case for every Harry Potter trailer and sneak peek thus far, so why should we have expected anything different. The cool, smoky cinematography that really marked Half-Blood Prince seems to be continuing in this one, and the newfound acting skills we saw in many of the young actors will likely be coming in handy. There was no sign of some of the key characters, like Draco Malfoy and Professor McGonagall, but I expect just as much good stuff from them too.
One odd moment-- one of the final shots was of Hermione riding a broom, by herself, escaping from a fireball that's likely the curse that Crabbe and Goyle set off in the Room of Requirement near the end. Did Hermione ever ride a broom by herself in the books? Is this a change that will mean something bigger, or just something convenient so the movie doesn't have to bother explaining that Hermione isn't good on a broom? It's the kind of nitpick that only the geekiest Harry Potter fans will ever care about-- but that's what you have me for, isn't it?
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