Thursday night at midnight, actually my tickets say “11:59 PM,” the Harry Potter franchise came to a close with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. My fiancé’s (we’ll just call her “Jello Chick”) friends and my sister all had been expressing sadness the whole week that Harry Potter was finally coming to a close, which I mocked all week, but once the credits hit… I suddenly realized that the Harry Potter kids were officially done in our lives and my Jello Chick’s friends and my sister were right. It was sad.
But this is not a “goodbye Harry” post, this is a review of the movie, which was a fantastic way to end the series. Let’s first look at the viewers who have not read the series… I’ve heard throughout the saga that people who have not read the books have had a fairly difficult time understanding what exactly is going on as these movies hit numbers 5, 6, and the 7’s, but I think this eighth one is pretty easy for even the Potter movie fans to follow along and enjoy. The plot is fairly simple, if you’ve seen the last few movies then you know what’s going on and the movie doesn’t leave you behind in this one, even taking the time to explain thoroughly in one area where the book did not even explain (which lead to a ton of confusion and questions for the readers), and the action was quite intense throughout the entire movie. Think of this as the all out war movie that the series has been leading up to, they pull it off very nicely. I’m not going to give away any spoilers here, but let me just say, Potter movie fans you will not be disappointed.
Now as for those of us who have read the books and picked apart what’s been wrong and what’s been missing in all of the movies, and have found ourselves outraged over some parts of the movies that didn’t mesh with the book at all (I’m looking directly at you Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), nothing to fear here. The things that have been brought up in movies past that directly correlated to the plot of this last movie (like where does Harry get that piece of the mirror and where was it in Order of the Phoenix?) are tied in rather nicely in this movie, and while they don’t match what the books have said, they do a very adequate job of bridging the gap between the missing plot points in the past and the important aspects in these last two movies. The story is nearly the same, with a few discrepancies, but when you consider what was in the books and what came up on the screen, I found myself mostly either just fine with the changes, or actually thankful for the changes that I thought the book lacked in, but the movie really showed off nicely, like the Harry and Voldemort fight. In the book this battle that the entire series had been leading up to was basically them circling each other while Harry yammers on about how Voldemort is alone and unloved and blah blah blah and then a very quick fight, but the movie drops that and gives you some real meat and substance to the fight. I’ve heard it compared to the Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker fight in Return of the Jedi, but I felt it related more to the Anakin Skywalker vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi fight in Revenge of the Sith as it shows both characters in a bloody fight to the death and at the very top of their powers.
(Updated 7/25/11 11:32 PM) My mom came into town Friday night and her, Jello Chick, and I went to see Harry Potter again last night, and I just have to point out my feelings on Snape’s entrance into the hall in the scene where Harry calls him out for killing Dumbledore… the way Snape walks down the aisle of students (who look like solders lined up) with his black cape flowing behind him and his long hair billowing from his head and out around the side of his head (I don’t know exactly how to explain the hair, but if you see the scene now I think you’ll see what I’m saying), it looks like an homage to Star Wars and Darth Vader, his hair really seems to have the shape of Vader’s helmet as he walks down that aisle. That’s all I have. (continuing on with the original post…)
I really do not want to give anything away that the trailers haven’t already done for me, so I’m not going to talk about any specific points in the film, but I was very impressed with the character development Ralph Fiennes was able to give Voldemort in this final film as he gave the character a whole new aspect of depth when Voldemort suddenly was able to feel his horcruxes destroyed and the air of invincibility crumbling around him. The Snape scene, those who have read the book know what I’m talking about, let’s just say you’ll be thoroughly satisfied as it turned out quite magnificent. Also let’s acknowledge the maturing that we’ve all seen before our eyes as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Gint went from those annoying little kids playing with little wooden sticks on screen to fully becoming these characters. These movies would not have succeeded if these three hadn’t continued to step up and improve movie after movie with this being the best acting of their careers thus far for each of them.
This morning I woke up exhausted from the night before, as I only got three hours of sleep before I had to get up for work, and the exhaustion lasted all day, but Potter fans… it was absolutely worth it. Jello Chick and I almost went to back to the theatre to watch it again tonight we loved it so much. We’re debating whether to go see it Sunday or wait until next weekend, but we will definitely be seeing it several more times in theatre.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is definitely a movie I am strongly recommending for all to see. I’ve always heard that you’re supposed to leave the audience wanting more, and when this movie ended I suddenly found myself very sad that the world of Harry Potter was finally closed to me, and I didn’t want the movie to ever end. I want more Harry vs. Voldemort, I want more shots of the castle, I want more everything.
Thanks Potter for all the years and for going out in style and leaving me wanting more. Mischief managed.