Boy, have they come a long way.
Sometimes, you lose track of how ridiculously big the Harry Potter franchise has become, but then you hear it’s raked in $95 million in a day, and is set yet again, to break all kinds of box office records, and for once, I’m ok with that, because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a magical end.
It’s been 12 years since the first Potter book graced my hands, and I still remember a car ride to Kiama being all I needed to get through the Philosopher’s Stone. I was a voracious reader back then, but by the time I finished the Deathly Hallows, reading had become a rarity for me, and more than anything, I was just glad it was over.
I’d never bothered with the films, but I remember how much I loved the Half-Blood Prince, and with my love of film slowly increasing, I thought it fitting to see it on the big screen, and saw the others in preparation over a few days. The escapism and wondrous nature I got with reading them initially were replaced with feelings of “Why am I bothering with these childish movies?” They did get somewhat better, and I didn’t mind the Half-Blood Prince or part 1 of the Deathly Hallows, but they were nothing special.
I loved part 2.
Deathly Hallows part 2 is dark as hell, the action and adventure are epic in scale [oh hello, amazing bank vault sequence!], it packs an emotional wallop, and even though Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape steals the show yet again, the acting all-round was top notch.
The characters, tone, and filmmaking have come a long way, and I’ll gladly say they saved the best for last. A few might still see Cuaron’s Azkaban as taking the cake, and it was certainly what got the series back on track, and for that I shall be grateful, but David Yates has slowly come to terms with the Potter universe.
I still cringed at the awkward, forced kisses. Luckily, all of the teenagers discovering love was apparently packed into Part 1 [the rows surrounding me were filled with teenage girls oohing and aahing, sighing and crying, pretty much ruining the experience for me], and the cringing was kept to a minimum. Even the epilogue, which I found completely unnecessary and was disappointed with when reading the book, turned out kind of ok.
Farwell, Mr. Potter. Clearly you’ve got some magic left in you to conjure up the high note Hollywood has sent you off on.