This post shall be absolutely loaded with spoilers which I will not even attempt to conceal, making it more of a discussion than a review. People who have not seen the film or read the books, read at your peril.
As anyone who reads this blog will know, the Harry Potter novels are very close to my heart. The movies, a little less so – well, a lot less. They are entertaining, but not without their faults. I find Emma Watson’s eyebrow acting highly distracting. Daniel Radcliffe’s overwrought attempts at emotion make me chuckle with derision. Some of the changes made in the adaptation of the novels have left me cold. Despite all this, however, I found myself looking forward to the release of the last two films. There was something so final in the “It all ends” tagline – this is it! No more Harry! No more Hermione/Ron! No more! NOOOO!
So when the Deathly Hallows Part 2 release date rolled around, I was one of the first in the cinema. I was psyched and ready to bawl my eyes out. And by God, I did bawl.
The film is probably the best of the eight in the Harry Potter series. Daniel manages to restrain himself, Emma is a little less eyebrowy, Rupert is excellent as usual. The plot moves along snappily, despite the amount of material to cover, making it less sluggish than most of the other films. However, whereas in some parts this speedy movement is essential, it makes other parts look extremely silly. Harry flies from killing off Voldemort into the castle where everyone promptly ignores him – it seems that the defeat of the greatest dark wizard of all time can get old rather quickly. Professor Trelawney appears for a pointless split second. The King’s Cross scene, as in the book, left me sort of confused. Aberforth Dumbledore’s problems with his famous brother are glossed over in a couple of lines and what happened to Ariana remains unsaid. I was surprised that Dumbledore’s backstory would be completely axed like that, mostly because they had cast Jamie Campbell-Bower and Toby Regbo as the young Grindelwald and Dumbledore respectively. Sucks to be those guys.
Nevertheless, the great scenes were really great. Helena Bonham-Carter playing Emma Watson playing Hermione Granger playing Bellatrix Lestrange perfected Watson’s general demeanour to an almost creepy degree. The setting for the famous Ron/Hermione kiss was moved to the Chamber of Secrets, with the two of them the only people present. This was a great change in my opinion, making the occasion far more intimate and sweet, though I did miss the line about the house-elves that brought the kiss about in the first place. The awkward Voldemort/Draco hug was absolute genius. Then we have the scene in the dining hall where we discover who has lost their lives in the battle. The sight of Lupin and Tonks’ bodies, hands outstretched towards each other, was absolutely devastating. Cue Valerie’s tears.
I must also mention Severus Snape and the Prince’s Tale. Up until now, we had never seen Snape make any facial expressions other than those of extreme disgust or derision. To see him distraught and crying over the dead body of Lily Potter is really something awful, and Alan Rickman deserves great praise for his performance. I don’t think it was Oscar-worthy, as the Tumblr fangirls will have you believe, but he was still very good and all that. Congrats Alan, you are class etc etc.
Can we also discuss how good puberty was to Matthew Lewis (aka Neville)? Some applause for Matt please.
Geeeeuwan our son. Well done.
Returning to less pressing matters – I thought the film a fitting end to a wonderful, wonderful series. I won’t miss the films all that much, but the buzz and excitement coming up to any sort of Potter release date was really something quite special. The films gave faces and voices to some of my favourite fictional characters and for the most part, these faces and voices were perfect. The buzz is not completely over however, what with the announcement of Pottermore, an online reading experience for Potter fans. The Harry Potter books and movies will live on and be enjoyed for years to come. All is well.