With a name like Harry Potter this franchise needed little else.
It is in and of itself the spell to end all spells…you don’t need much more magic than that.
Of course because of that its film incarnation could have very easily (and successfully) been a huge gaudy Hollywood series that rode on the coattails of an incredibly popular book series.
True movie dorks may recall rumors of a Spielberg led project which would have condensed the series into fewer than seven films and cast Haley Joel Osment (the kid from Sixth Sense for you non-movie dorks) as the boy wizard.
Needless to say, that did not come to pass. Thank goodness.
What we got may not have been perfect, especially in the eyes of the book purists, but it was awfully well done.
As the series comes to an end, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 beautifully finishes what …The Sorcerer’s Stone started 11 years ago.
What makes it unbelievable is that it’s done with the same reverence for the books it has had all along (even if it takes a few liberties).
This movie, of course, picks up where the last left off and quickly drops us into a turbulent wizarding world which is rapidly falling under the control of the Dark Lord himself.
Ralph Fiennes is terrifying, ruthless, and sympathetic at moments, as Voldemort in his final hours. A beautiful balance as always.
Needless to say, the bulk of the story (which I of course will not be spoiling as usual) centers around the trio that started it all: Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
These three; Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson; have chemistry that can only come from basically growing up together.
There’s not much I can say about them that hasn’t already been said. It’s like the world has watched them grow up, and they’ve done it with such grace.
What started as kids being kids on-screen has transformed into beautifully moving acting, which makes this tragic but inspiring finale all the more enjoyable.
Coming of age (with a few biblical references) is what the series and especially this last film is about.
As we return to Hogwarts for the final battle, we’re reminded that the kids, who it seems just yesterday were donning the Sorting Hat, are now at the forefront of this battle, defending their friends and families right along side their professors and parents.
All of these once child actors have come into their own and it’s wonderful to see them take charge in such an epic way.
The caliber of this cast has never ceased to amaze. Seriously, this is British acting royalty (sans Judy Dench, but the woman can’t do everything), and in this final chapter, each and every one of them shines.
Maggie Smith as McGonagall is both touching and witty as she takes control of the castle and the battle.
Alan Rickman as Snape is heartbreaking and inspiring as his full story is finally revealed.
I wish I could list and praise each and every member of this cast, but all good things must end, as well as this blog.
It’s easy to drag your feet when you don’t want something to end, but this film doesn’t do that. It could have easily been one big tragic tale.
There is a lot of loss that goes on. But it’s dealt with respectfully, without dwelling on it, even if it is shocking at moments.
Here at the end, there is sadness, and you can’t avoid a little reminiscence; however, it’s done so well that you can’t help but be proud and optimistic, even if you wish it could go on just a little bit longer.
“I open at the close,” is the cryptic, yet accurate message for Harry as he walks towards his recently realized destiny. The same could be said of this film. All of the magic and adventure that we’ve come to love, comes together for an incredible and satisfying finish.
…and don’t forget to check out the rest of our movies reviews: The Crusade on Cinema