It’s hard to believe that Harry Potter has been a part of my life for fourteen years.
The first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, released in 1997, was read to me in installments by my wrinkly, old, fifth-grade teacher Mrs. DaSilva. Since then, Harry and his friends provided 15-minute, sometimes even 15-hour, sections of time in which I could escape from my reality and slip into the magical world of Hogwarts, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, and Butterbeers.
Harry sympathized for me through my chestless years of Middle School, and even survived a few awkward dates with me in High School. At twenty-one years of age, saying goodbye to Harry Potter is literally like saying goodbye to my oldest friend.
However, the final installment to the Harry Potter films helped make this transition less heartbreaking.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is the second installment in the two-part film based on the novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, written by the one, the only….J.K. Rowling. But before moviegoers gallivant to the theatres, dressed in their Hogwarts best, they should probably watch Part I. Unlike most sequel movies, there is no “Oh, hey…this is what’s been going on the whole time, in case you forgot,” moment in the beginning of the film.
As a finale to an 8-part adventure, the crowd can expect plenty of explosions, extreme confrontations and nail-bitingly intense duels. Though the movie is incredibly action-packed, it does (surprisingly) take the time to wrap-up character storylines that began ten years ago with the first film. The following performances were unexpectedly awesome and truly helped to make the movie a success:
First off, Alan Rickman, who is already referred to as a God, performed divinely in this film (pun!). In the past, his portrayal of Severus Snape has always been en pointe with the right amount of brooding/awesomely messy black hair. In the final film, however, Rickman manages to shake the character mold for a villain in a way that audiences seldom see.
For several years, Snape plagued Harry and his friends utilizing his apathetic, impersonal, and detached demeanor. In the final installment to the Harry Potter films, however, the audience is quieted by his faithful devotion to Harry and his emotional departure. Anyone who has seen the previous Harry Potter films, or picked up one of the seven books, knows that affection and Snape do not go together. The fact that Rickman pulled this off just blows my mind. Apparently, he blows other people’s minds too because he is already on the Oscar Watch (Hollaaaa!) as noted in this article.
After seeing Part II, it became clear to me that we need to have a serious discussion about Molly Weasley, portrayed by Julie Walters in the finale. By now, we all (should) know that Molly has been a surrogate mother to Harry ever since Ron and Harry met. Through the years, she has cooked thousands of enchanted meals, knitted dozens of itchy woolen sweaters, and lovingly griped and nagged Fred and George for us.
She is the quintessential mother.
In the final installment to the Harry Potter films, however, Mrs. Weasley becomes something else—a complete badass. But, to really understand why—you’ll have to see the film.
Another actor who made the movie is Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom. Let’s face it: Neville is kind of a badass, too…right alongside there with Molly. His transformation has been long and slow but, in the final film, it nearly blew my socks off. I’m not exactly sure when this…
turned into this…
In the last movie, Neville finally becomes what he admired in Harry for so long—a strong, vigilant leader. Good looks aside, Neville really is a dynamic character. His sobering experience with death early on in life gave him the insight needed in the final film to become a driving force in the war against Voldemort.
Last, it is important to recognize how awesome McGonagall was in this film. Portrayed by Maggie Smith, McGonagall has always been a beloved, protective character in the Harry Potter franchise. Her strong dislike of peeves, preference toward structure, and unyieldingly tight bun has made her a phenomenal personality in the character lineup.
Here, the audience gains another level of respect and attachment to her character. Even through the turmoil and stress of Hogwarts literally crashing around her, she maintains her characteristic stern front and manages to lead the school through its epic battle. She has several moments in the film in which her love for Harry and Hogwarts almost becomes too much, and it seriously makes you want to cry.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II had a lot to accomplish for the series. First, it had to give fans around the world closure to the incredible story that has been a part of our lives for almost fifteen years. David Yates, director of the film, was able to do so with an amazing script written by Steve Kloves and an arsenal of marvelous actors. The entire movie had an air of finality to it, and all loose ends were tied at its conclusion.
Second, the film had to give tribute to the dozens of characters who made Harry Potter a magically unique story filled with emotion and believability, despite floating staircases and talking portraits of dead professors. By focusing on crucial interactions between characters, even through chaotic battle scenes, the audience was able to say goodbye to beloved characters. Any fan that has spent time with these characters though the years will be satisfied with this incredible finale. Its only true flaw is attributed to its length—2 hours and 10 minutes is too short.
But, I guess we all have to say goodbye at some point.
I give it 5 stars out of 5