When Part One left us hanging back in November of last year, it seemed so cruel to have to wait until July 2011 for the epic finale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But time has flown faster than a broomstick in a quidditch match – and now we must bid a fond farewell to the boy wizard and the entire HP universe. Thankfully, the much-anticipated conclusion doesn’t disappoint.
If you’ve read the books, you know how the plot unfolds – and how it ends. I’ve only seen the movies (shame on me, I know), so I can’t tell you how faithful (or not) the cinematic sequences are to author J.K. Rowling’s written word. But I can tell you that everyone I saw it with – including many who’d read the books – were extremely satisfied with how it all played out.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you know that the movie’s lead actors have grown up with- and in- their roles: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. It’s hard to watch Part Two and not wonder what was going through their heads as they filmed their final scenes together. It definitely adds to the emotional impact of the movie.
While Part One was almost ‘chick flicky’ in its relationship-centric themes and sweeping landscapes, Part Two is all about action – and answers.
As the epic adventure draws to a close, the battle between the forces of good and evil in the wizard world escalates into all-out war and everyone is in jeopardy, especially Harry, who is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice in his final showdown with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).
Fringe fans of Harry Potter (i.e. the less obsessed) will likely benefit from a cursory read of one of the gazillions of online primers – for an overview or refresher course in the colorful cast of characters, the backstory, and a glossary of terms like “elder wand” and “horcruxes”.
If you haven’t seen any of the previous seven movies over the past 10 years, then don’t expect this one to “stand alone” and still make sense. It’s the final chapter of a very long book filled with twists and turns and a language all its own. That’s not to say there isn’t room for a spin-off or two (or seven). After all, what movie exec would dare shut the door entirely on the most successful movie franchise of all time?
But for now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part Two provides a fitting end to a fantastical journey for millions of muggles young and old.
It’s PG-13 (for the typical darkness that Deathly Hallows might bring), runs a very respectable 130 minutes, and is the first Potter movie to be released in both 3D and 2D. Personally, I think 2D is the better way to go – unless you need the glasses to hide those misty eyes. Bye, Harry.