From the brilliant mind of David Bean:
$6.9 Billion Dollars.
That’s how much the Harry Potter film franchise has grossed in the last decade.
That’s more than the current Gross Domestic Product of Fiji, theCentral African Republic, ANDGreenland. Combined.
But I digress.
As a long-term fan of the series, (books, audiobooks, and films) I am in absolutely No Way qualified to offer a fair and balanced review on the final film of the franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. It’s obvious that every true fan of the series has one of two polarized opinions
“GREATEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!! These are the first films my children will ever watch. They’re just…they’re just…..ohmigoodnesss……best movie ever.” – Actual comment from a midnight-premier moviegoer.
“Man, I was SO DISAPPOINTED that Grawp didn’t have his scene in the Battle of Hogwarts. I also can’t believe that they didn’t include EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE from the book. I love Harry Potter, but these movies didn’t do them justice.”
Alas and alack, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
And so, as I said before, I digress. Therefore, in lieu of a typical review, I will simply present my…
5 BEST and 5 WORST Moments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two.
Best – Voldemort’s Introduction
I love this opening scene. People are settling down in their seats, opening their Cherry Cokes, passing the popcorn, silencing their cell phones (or not), ready for the movie to start when suddenly OH MY GOODNESS VOLDEMORT HAS THE ELDER WAND AND HE’S GONNA KILL EVERYONE. The “Villian Open” is a lovely way to jolt us terrifyingly back into the plot and world. I did not pee myself. That’s Cherry Coke.
Worst –The Wimpy Weasley
Bill Weasley = Not a Win. In the books, I fondly remember Bill being described as “cool”. Bill in the movies was not “cool”. He was “kind of a pansy who monotoned his couple of lines and lost any chance for coolness”. I got all excited when I heard Bill was going to be in the movie. The excitement faded quicker than a dropped prophecy.
Best – Snape’s Pensieve Memories
Hey, I think this is fantastic because after a literal decade of having to wear the same pained-facial expression as Snape, Rickman got to show pure, raw emotion, which for Snape is as rare as having your Crumple-Horned Snorkack choke on a Nargle. But in all seriousness, this was a beautiful montage, especially the moment in which Snape holds Lily’s body on the nursery floor moments after her death. Is that moment in the books? No. Is it canonical? Probably not. Do I give a rip? Nope. That moment brought genuine tears to my eyes. Kudos to you, Alan Rickman.
Worst – Snape’s Pensieve Memories
*Gasp!* What? The same scene is a Worst? Well, yeah. I won’t jump on the same bandwagon as everyone else who simply says “It was too short, they didn’t show everything, blah blah blah” but I WILL take a grievance with the lack of ebb and flow to Snape and Lily’s relationship. Not just the building, but the falling of their relationship, and Snape’s unconditional love in spite of that, is what makes it beautiful. Also, this was potentially confusing for those who haven’t read the books, as it did for a good friend of mine who thought, until corrected, that Snape was actually Harry’s father.
Best – Filch
With the biggest laugh line of the movie, Filch was easily (again) one of my favorites. Second unforgettable moment – his woeful attempt to clean up the half-demolished castle entrance. If I ever become a crotchety, cantankerous old man, I hope dearly in my heart to be Argus Filch
Worst – Confetti Death
Yeah, not sure how I felt about this one. Both Bellatrix and Voldy getting the old Confetti/Melt Away Into Tiny Pieces Death. With Bellatrix it worked. Anyone gets squeezed tightly enough by a corset like hers I can see it happening. But with Voldemort, I felt his body hitting the floor with “Mundane Finality” a final crucial piece of the story to demonstrate that in the end, Tom Riddle was indeed human. Also, if you consider it, in the film, Harry and Voldemort are the only ones around when they duel. So Harry comes running in with “I killed Voldemort! And he, uh, kind of, disappeared! It’s okay! You can believe me! I’m the Chosen One!”.
Best – The Hogwarts Professors
McGonagall, I could have kissed you. Maggie Smith finally gets the screen time and brilliant lines she’s always deserved. Her battle with Snape, “Piertotum Locomortor”, and “Harry….it’s good to see you” all brought cheers from my midnight premier audience. But the other professors were not left behind. Flitwick, Slughorn, Trelawney, and even Sprout and Madame Pomfrey all got their time in on the screen, as a wonderful tribute to these fine academic instructors we’ve all grown to know and love.
Worst – Emma Watson Falling in Love With Someone Other Than Me
And for the first time since the series began, males across the wizarding world wished to be Ron Weasley instead of Harry Potter.
Best – The Epilogue
Thank you, David Yates, for not being an idiot and leaving it out, as was rumored. Many people in my midnight premier showing apparently didn’t know if it was coming or not, because a great cheer erupted when “19 Years Later” appeared on screen. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful conclusion. Visually and emotionally satisfying. In my mind’s eye, I could never see what Harry looked like 19 years in the future while reading the book. I saw it on screen, and it was exactly what I needed to close the series. Call it full circle, call it a fitting end, it worked.
Worst – The Final Shot
Worst…because it meant the end. Worst…because here were three faces, three characters..three people I had gotten to know, and love…and this was the last time I would see them in this setting. In terms of emotional impacts, it has been rarely topped in my existence to date. Layer it with John William’s brilliant melodic theme from all the way back to the first movie, and I sat through the credits with genuine tears on my face, cursing my willingness and ability to fall so completely in love with a world that must come to an end on page and screen.
Yes, “It All Ended Here”. But in a way, it never will. I look forward to many years of future joy that is still to be contained in the revisiting of the Burrow, Number Four Privet Drive, King’s Cross Station, and Hogwarts. Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for an unforgettable adventure.