For fans, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two has been a moment we’ve been both waiting for and dreading simultaneously. To see the end of something that, for those of my age group and level of dedication, has lasted for over a decade is obviously bittersweet. That’s a long time to have really loved and been invested in something.
I was first introduced to Harry when I was in Grade 6 or 7. I’ll admit I became obsessed over the next couple of years, but even once that initial spark subsided, I was left with years of that warm fuzzy feelings whenever I thought of the story, the craft and those who were involved with it. Harry Potter seems to be something you have to defend your love of though, or at least that’s how it’s gone on to be in my age group. When I was in high school, I thought about how I’d be this 20-something when Harry Potter’s saga ended, and here we are. Time moves quickly. Now we have all these years to appreciate something that’s been great to us personally and to people worldwide. It quickly became an important book that encouraged young kids to discover reading, and even now kids are still picking it up for the first time, experiencing what we did over a decade ago. So when it came time to sit down and see this movie the other day, I was a bit overwhelmed.
If you haven’t read the book that this movie derives from or seen the first part of the split, you’ll likely be confused right from the beginning. The movie jumps straight to where Part One left off, with not much intention of spending time explaining what is going on. While Part One was slow in a lonely, confused and wandering kind of way, Part Two is fast-paced with no time for funny business (and any laughs are the awkward goofy kind). Since Harry, Ron and Hermione already know what they must find in order to defeat Lord Voldemort and save the wizarding world, most of the movie is just one big epic battle; there’s not much time devoted to back stories or even a real moment to catch a breath. This is the same for the halves of the book, but of course as a movie it will feel even more exciting.
The main trio definitely get the most camera time as they race against the clock, trying to find the remaining Horcruxes (pieces of Voldemort’s soul put in objects) in order destroy the villain. And all of it is done fairly easily: the group is good at finding clues and knowsall the right people who can help, so that speeds up the process. First they have to break into the wizarding bank Gringotts with the help of a backstabbing goblin (and here’s a question: why are there cops in a wizarding bank?), in search of something. Harry then learns that he must return to Hogwarts, the school he had to abandon, in order to find the last object. It then turns into a race as Voldemort heads there too, with legions of evil doers determined to make this fight count. But Harry and his friends and family are smart and quick enough to defend themselves this time.
Part Two is, to put it simply, a very sad movie. Not just because this is the end, but because of what happens in battle, how it is portrayed and who is affected. Some of the saddest parts are glossed over a bit ( though still gut-wrenching), but there’s definitely one death scene that was far more brutal and heartbreaking than expected – Here’s something to lighten spirits: picture a movie theatre full of people wearing Harry Potter shaped 3D glasses… crying! The scenes are dark and grim, but defiant and tireless, a lot of secondary characters get to shine and one-liners abound. The fast pace will keep you going right until the end, punching the air when someone is victorious (or was that just me?).
I loved Part Two for all of these reasons, but I must say that I enjoyed Part One more. This movie might need more time to sink in, though. The main problem I had with Part Two were the visual effects; which felt like they had regressed back to what they looked like a few films ago. Maybe it was because the entire movie was in 3D (something I’m not really a fan of, although the depth of field was a nice touch) or that it felt a bit rushed, but some moments could have been a lot more impressive. Plus, they pull that obvious 3D card of a rollercoaster-type scenario in the Gringotts scene. I’m also not entirely sold on changing up the way some things happen or leaving out certain back stories, but in this film it’s not too noticeable.
Harry Potter’s saga might be over now, but us fans can look back on this epic amount of time that we were able to enjoy it and know that it’s gone out on a strong note. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll likely get pretty much what you’ve expected out of this movie. Oh, and there is even that 19 years later epilogue!
So… Now what?