Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2)

Some spoilers ahead.

So I am finally done with Deathly Hallows and my verdict. Awesome.

There were so many questions in my mind before reading this book that I thought that all of them could not be answered in a single book. However, I must say that Ms. Rowling has done a fantastic job and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of the best books of the series.

The shocker first. The book does not belong to Harry Potter. It is all about Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore. Yes, Harry does most of the job, but it is Dumbledore and Snape that provide the real meat to the entire story. This is not to take anything away from Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.

The entire story of the brilliant yet enigmatic Dumbledore is poignant. He is a genius, yet human. He is perhaps the best wizard but even he falls to the philosophy of “greater good” for a wrong purpose and his desire for glory. I had this writing on the walls of my school once, “The greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.” And that is what makes him so great. He learns from his mistakes and becomes the champion of people (Muggle) he once scorned. Equally touching is the story f his family.

Snape is altogether a different story. I had almost killed myself thinking why would Dumbledore trust this fellow. But Rowling provides perhaps the most convincing reason. Love. His undying love for Lily and his dedication to saving her last belonging moved me to tears. That one mistake of calling her a Mudblood, him begging Dumbledore to save her, and his insistence that Harry never knows the truth. Very believable and incredibly sad. Would things have turned out different had he been in Gryiffindor? Maybe. It is about choices. Between love for Lily and hatred for James. Between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Between Voldermort and Dumbledore. He sure made some wrong ones initially. But in the end he made the correct choice, a tad bit late though.

The book moves at an incredibly fast pace and still there are a very few loose ends. Rowling almost magically weaves the different threads together that you believe most of what is happening. The wandlore is a slight disappointment to me though. Also, I think I expected a lot more from Prof McGonagall and the Order of the Phoenix.

All in all a very well written piece. One complaint though, Albus Severus, very bad. As rahul said, have two kids instead.

Quote of the book:

You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon. . .

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I got the book yesterday and read for 5 hours at a stretch, and again got up in the morning and read for another hour and a half. I am more than half way through the book and expect to complete the entire book by sometime around midnight today, and will then post a full review.

Meanwhile, Misra has completed reading the book and you might head over to his blog and read his review. Beware though, it contains spoilers. Also, though I had laid my hands on the ebook on Saturday itself, I waited for the actual book to arrive. Did not want to spoil the fun, and thankfully none of my friends messaged any spoilers.

Harry Potter – The Order of the Phoenix

The good things first – Helena Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange – devious, evil and totally believable. Imelda Staunton as that old hag, Dolores Umbridge. The dark side of the novel has been brought out brilliantly. The fight in the Ministry of Secrets.

The bad – is not as good as the book, which itself was not great. The book was long, and even though the movie tries to capture as much as it can, it misses out a lot and there is a lot of discontinuity.

Radcliffe plays his part as a frustrated Harry really well and Rupert Grint is loveable as ever. Emma Watson is cute as (swoons) Hermoine, but she does not play that significant a role in the movie. For that matter, no one does. And that is the entire problem. Other than Harry, no on else has a beefy role and it shows on the movie. I used to love Richard Harris as Dumbledore and the Michael Gambon, though he tries hard, does not match up. I think Gandalf from Lord of the Rings would have been a better replacement.

The kiss between Cho Chang and Potter isn’t worth all the hype and Ginny Weasly’s character has been built up slowly but solidly. The look in her eyes before Cho and Harry get “snoggy” is priceless. You can just feel her love for Harry.

If you are a Potter fan you will like the movie, even though you feel that many important parts have been paid less attention to. Go watch it. I would rate it 7 on 10.

PS: I am again in love with Nauheed Cyrusi. Watched Anwar partly last night.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi – A Review

The first question that comes to your mind after watching the movie is – why the hell is Chitrangada Singh not acting in any more movies? Damn – she is right up on my list after Scarlett Johansson.

Anyways, the movie is based on the Indian society and the revolution and Emergency in the 1970s. The film is centered around the lives of three DU students Vikram (Shiney Ahuja), Shiddharth (Kay Kay Menon) and Geeta (Chitrangada). I already have a very high opinion of Shiney and Kay Kay and to me they represent the best of Indian actors, ahead of the Khans and the Bacchans, well at least one Bacchan.

The movie weaves through their lives, while in college and then outside it, and is interlaced with the political upheaval in India in the 70s with Emergency, and Communism just about finding it roots. Siddharth, son of a judge, is attracted to the extreme Communist ideology and swears by the Naxalite movement. Geeta is initially reluctant about the movement but joins in later and starts working in a village. Vikram uses his networking skills to move up the social ladder. He is the man who can get things done. Though Vikram is manipulative and a political figure, he remains good at the bottom of his heart, and his love for Geeta is unending. Siddharth, though committed to the revolution, loses focus as the movie progresses. Geeta, initially not so optimistic about the revolution, works whole heartedly once she starts working, and in the course of her faces every possible misfortune and even gets raped by the autocratic police. Siddharht too suffers a lot at the end of the movie and is mentally disabled in a police beating. However, it ends on an optimistic note with him and Geeta coming together at the end.

The movie is very well directed and very well paced, and the actors give brilliant performances. In all, a must watch movie. I dont know how I missed the movie when it was released. The movie draws its name from a Mirza Ghalib ghazal quoted below:

हज़ारों ख़्वाहिशें ऐसी की हर ख़्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले
मुहब्बत में नही है फ़र्क जीने और मरने का
उसी को देख कर जीते हैं जिस काफ़िर पर दम निकले

Another couple of lines from Rahim, which I really like and believe in are used once in the movie.

रहिमन धागा प्रीत का मत तोड़ो चटकाए
टूटे सो फिर ना जुड़े, जुड़े गाँठ पड़ जाये