A trip to the cinema to watch a Harry Potter movie conjures up all kinds of feelings for me. I am a big fan of the books first and foremost and sometimes the films haven’t lived up to the images in my mind that have been placed there by J.K. Rowling, through her use of words on a page. And yet I have grown to love Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. It’s hard not to. We’ve watched them grow up over the last decade, as characters and as actors. Watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was like saying goodbye, not just to them but to all the other actors that we’ve enjoyed over the years as well as the places and ideas – the whole mythology of Hogwarts and the wizarding world.
HP7.2 has a distinct advantage over the previous films. It follows HP7.1, which is a fine film. The security of Hogwarts is removed from the trio and they are left almost alone to face very real dangers as well as complex feelings for one another. It is about growing up but with a strong twinge of something else, something very frightening. The bravery that we’ve seen develop in Harry Potter and his friends takes on a whole new dimension of courage and wisdom. Both of which are put to the test in the second part of the final film.
Having gone out in to the world, the journey now takes the trio back to Hogwarts because this is where the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort must take place – as if it could happen anywhere else. But this isn’t like Harry’s earlier adventures in the hidden parts of the school. This time the battle will engulf the castle and people will die. And they do. The fears that Harry faces are very real and, in parts, for me at least, very upsetting to watch.
David Yates continues his good work in directing the latter books of the series. Grand landscapes, vivid interiors, grey skies and intimate moments are all found in HP7.2. The young actors have all come a long way since those childhood days on set ten years ago. Their consciousness that this is the end to what has filled much of their lives is evident and it adds new layers to their depiction of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Many of the other characters are here too and some deliver enormous surprises.
Once the scene is set from the preceding film, the action is fast and furious and the emotions build to a crescendo as the threads of the stories pull together in a tight knot. I for one was sobbing my heart out! As I mentioned, I’m not the greatest lover of the Harry Potter movies and yet this film was completely fulfilling. The moments of revelation that fill this film were perfectly done.
I saw HP7.2 at a very good cinema and I found no fault with the added dimension of 3D. There were moments when the 3D did indeed add something extra, something a little special.
There is magic in this film. For a couple of hours, and for some time after, I was entirely in its spell.
My review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.