The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
For my usual pre-review topic, I am going to delve a lot further into it than previous topics. So, I will throw that at the bottom of the review, for it will probably just as long, and people probably won’t care about that as much as the review itself.
So. The time has finally come. Neither can live while the other survives. We are now able to see how this incredible decade-long story will finish. We enter the movie in quiet despair. Voldemort is powerful, and the task ahead is daunting. The opening shot starts the deeply felt emotion that this movie eminates nearly the entire way. We feel for these characters, we want them to succeed. We’ve grown up along with the whole gang, and your hearts are drawn into almost believing that this story is real. With every positive or negative note, I could feel the movie audience follow suite. This movie engages your feelings and emotions, pulling you in, and not letting go.
The first half of this movie has faults, some minimal, some obvious. This final chapter was meant to be heavy and dark, but the writers thew is some cheesy, despereate lines for comedic effect, and that touches on the biggest problem I had with this movie. Hollywood always feels the need to try and shape their movies to fit every sort of want and need that movie-goers apparently have. We were given attempted laughs, even though we needed and wanted none, and slightly critical aspects of the movie were changed to look better on the screen. I fear this is unavoidable in probably every case of book to film adaptations, but this book meant a lot to me, and I was disappointed to have these changes thrust into my face. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of the stuff in the movie was genuinely funny, and most of the actual good stuff was from the book itself, not added in by additional writers. On the whole, though, the changes made from the book were in the wrong, including the ending, which I will get to later. There was also one huge part of this series left completely void in the film, and that was the story behind the man of Albus Dumbledore. His is the most intruiging story of all, with so much development of the man we all know and love, but don’t really know. They tried to do something with it, by giving us a taste of Aberfroth, and for introducing Ablus’ sister, but they only introduced them, and gave no information on their relation with Albus, which was, to me, insulting. I am truly saddened that this was big thing that they decided to cut from the film.
The good news comes from the second half of the movie. Here was one of the best showings of book adaptation. Most everything stayed really true to the book, and all of the major events important to the story were in here, even if they were clipped a little for time constrictions. I read the entire 7th book during a few days before this premiere, so I knew everything that happened, every little detail, and suprisingly, msot of it was in there at the end. I really think that the book readers and lovers, once past the initial changes of the film, will be very pleased with the accuracy. On a technical aspect, we are again treated to some wonderous cinemetography that is synonymous with this series, and the visual effects were glorious. It was very pleasing to the senses, and I think that the 3D IMAX version would have been even better [I say the regular version]. The soundtrack helped with the emotional pull of the story, and again followed suite with previous films.
We were also treated with a bountiful collection of past characters and actors, and they really pulled through. It is an incredible thing to witness the growth of these completely unkown 11 year old kids throughout the series, something I doubt we will ever see again. Daniel Radcliffe, as Harry, Emma Watson, as Hermione, and Rupert Grint, as Ron, have really matured to become really very finely tuned young actors. It also helped that they are the virtually the same age as me, so I pretty much grew up with them. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort was satisfyingly creepy and menacing, although he was given some mediocre dialouge. All of the supporting adults in the film were solid in what time they had on screen, but if there is one person deserving of an acting award in thsi film, it was Alan Rickman. Completely void of emotion, facial expressions set in stone, a monotone voice with a touch of hate and despair, Rickman created a perfect embodiement of arguably the most complex character in the entire series.
And lastly, the end of the end. The final battle of [and in] Hogwarts. The movie’s version: action-packed. Spells flying every direction, hundreds of people on-set running to-and-fro, fighting for their very lives, and eventually, Voldemort and Harry themselves, isolated for a duel. The books version: A more meaning final duel, although prbably not as good for “Hollywood” as the movie’s was. The book was more powerful and emotionally intense, as Harry and Voldemort verbally battle before casting their one signurature spells. The movie had them truly dueling, wizard style, and it looked pretty badass, but I longed to have the information of the books final battle, with was somewhat left out of the movie. Overall, it did its job in finishing the story of these two foes, one good, one evil. And as a surprise to me, until I was informed by a friend while waiting for the movie to start, the movie has included the epilougue from the book. We get to see our characters grown and aged, with children of their own. This was also done with great accuracy to the book.
– 3.5/4.0 Fast-paced, action-packed, and true enough to the book, the finale of this long-going series is an exciting and emotional cherry on the top of what has to be the greatest true movie series of our generation, and maybe of all time.
The Boy Who Lived, Gone Forever
Back in 1997, at seven years old, I ha only read one book on my own accord, and reading wasn’t really that big for me. For some reason, unknown to me, my parents bought me a copy of the fast selling book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The idea of wizards sounded pretty cool, so I gave it a shot. Never in my life has any form of entertainment latched onto me so fast. I probably read that book in 3 days, when I had barely ever read anything over 20 pages in my life. I was beyond hooked, I was obsessed. Over the next several years, I bought every book the day/night it came out, and I hounded through it at ridiculous speeds. I loved it. This series was instantly a huge part of my life, for many reasons. These books are what got me into reading, which I now love. They allowed my imagination to expand, inspiring me to write and create my own things. This story, and these characters, were a staple in my childhood.
But there are two things that haunt me in that senctence having seen the final movie. The words “were”, and “childhood”.
With the end of this movie series comes the end of everything new that will ever be created in this series. J.K., while still doing things in relation to Harry Potter, is not going to write any further works for the series, and the only other medium that could arise would be a tv series, which does not sound appealing to me, or a recreation of the movie series, in which I feel the same way. These characters that were virtually real, are now gone, their lives and stories halted forever. Being my most beloved work of fiction for me, this fact weighs heavily.
The second thing that I have somewhat been connecting to this series end is my childhood. For 2/3 of my life, I’vd had the world of Harry plotter to become a part of, for most of my entire childhood. Now at the ripe age of 21, I can not help but fear the final conclusion of my young, care-free days. Does the end of this story mean the end of my inner-child, my true imagination and child-like wonder? It seems to feel that way.
But with the end of the book comes reassurance and hope. We take a step 19 years into the future in the final chapter of the books, and what we see is a happy, safe world, in which old enemies have become friends, and people have moved on to incredible things [i.e. marriage, parenthood]. It is a good reminder that the end of childhood and our teen years does not mean the end of true fun and wonder. With our maturation and change, our methods of recreation and joy change with us. The future is bright and holds many gleeful times and experiences, and now, I step forward with confidence and hope for better things yet to come.