My alternate interpretation is that everything that happens to Potter after Voldemort kills him in the woods is imagined in the instant before he dies. (Dumbledore even says as much!) It’s like “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. Dark Stuff.
Ok, so I’m just making that up to be funny. There’s actually no evidence to support it. Still, it only goes to show you that you can make up alternate theories of anything that could possibly make for satisfying narratives.
I happened to see a bit of the first Harry Potter movie on TV the other day. It was about as I had remembered: too faithful to the book, to the point where it got dull. (An explanation of the rules of Quidditch is funny and entertaining on the page. On the screen, it is boring.)
Apparently, Voldemort’s rise resulted in a change in how light is reflected. The colors in the first movie–while still relying heavily on orange and blue–were nonetheless fairly vibrant and distinct from one another. By the last movie, everything looked completely washed-out and greyish brown. It appeared that someone had applied a desaturation filter to everything except the magic spells.
I’m guessing they think they were doing a good job matching the darker tone of the story in the last movie by doing this.
They were wrong.
The movie was so visually uninteresting that it physically hurt to watch. That’s not good film-making, and it’s not a good way of matching the tone of the story with the scenery. It can be, sure; but it is not automatic.
The first Harry Potter film was by no means a triumph of cinema, but it was fairly decent visually. The last one was borderline unwatchable because of how uninteresting it looked. I might not have thought too much more about this though, except that I then happened to watch a couple scenes from the movie Apocalypse Now a few days later. Now, I don’t think it’s an especially good movie, because the story doesn’t make any sense, but it does have awesome cinematography. If you couldn’t tell from the title, it is a rather thematically “dark” film as well, and yet the ending scenes where Martin Sheen goes to assassinate Marlon Brando have plenty of vibrant color.
Here is a still from the climax of Apocalypse Now:
Here is a still from the climax of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
How is it that a picture of a camouflaged man standing in a muddy lake at night is more visually compelling than a wizards’ duel?