And so, the moment that everyone had been waiting for finally arrived. The final installment of Harry Potter opened in cinemas, and already at this time of writing it has broken box office records for the amount of money it has earned.
When the first Potter movie came out 10 years ago, I was 14 years old in Form 2. The stars like Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe were something like 11 years old. Today I'm 24 and working, and they are about 21-22 and millionaires. Hands up if you think life isn't fair! *hands up*
But I digress. The point is the Potter franchise has finally come full circle after appearing in our lives nearly every year for the last 10 years. I have to admit though that I have never been a fan of the movies; I've always thought the script is too rushed, and the plot never picks up enough key points from the books. There are even some movies that I didn't bother watching! But this being the final, FINAL episode, no way we were going to miss it right? =P
For those who can remember, Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they embark on their secret journey to find and destroy the Horcruxes of Lord Voldemort. This proves to be a difficult task, since not only do they have no idea what form the Horcrux might be in, but they also had no idea how to destroy it. Along the way they discover the existence of The Deathly Hallows, 3 extremely powerful magical items which consists of the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak (which Harry already had). Part 1 ends after Lord Voldemort finally finds the Elder Wand in Dumbledore's tomb, and so the stakes are raised in Part 2, to see if Harry can truly defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Does he succeed? Does he survive the ordeal? Does anyone else die in the process? All answers finally answered in the final installment of Harry Potter!
|The final epic battle!|
Of course, if you have read the book then you'll already know how everything ends lah. And so for the many legions of fans who have devoured the books years ago, watching the movies is more like an exercise of monitoring how closely the movie follows the book, as opposed to watching something new. In that sense, splitting the final movie was a very good move, since it allowed the director much more time to show more of subplots from the book.
|Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, the Boy Who Lived|
|The beautiful Emma Watson as Hermione|
|Rupert Grint as the ginger-haired Ron|
|The three work brilliantly together|
From the acting point of view, there is really that sense of satisfaction to see Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) grow and mature into the actors they are today. I have to say that the 3 of them have come a long way since those first movies, and I can definitely see them all having a good career in the movie industry, if they choose to stay in it. Radcliffe said in an interview that he felt this episode showed some of his best acting, and I have to agree with that observation.
|Harry going head to head with Voldemort|
But good acting isn't just limited to the 3 main stars! Alan Rickman who plays Severus Snape, stands out as he plays the pretend-villain role so well. His timing in delivery is impeccable - the audience can nearly feel the loathe/fear/pity in his voice as he drawls through his lines. The most memorable scene for this was when Snape addressed the pupils as Hogwarts as their new headmaster (since that was also probably the most lines he's had to say at one go in the entire series -__-").
|The seemingly bad Snape played by a solid Alan Rickman|
The other baddies in the movie once again deliver - Ralph Fiennes at his best once again, terrorizes on-screen as Lord Voldemort; the mightily quirky Helena Bonham Carter as the demented Bellatrix Lestrange (and in a scene where Hermione takes some polyjuice potion to morph into Bellatrix, Carter displayed some fine comedic timing) and Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy.
|He Who Must Not Be Named, played wonderfully by Ralph Fiennes|
|Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix (well, as Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix :D)|
|Tom Felton (centre) as Draco, Harry's nemesis|
Of course, the contributions of the other actors can't be discounted either, but the list is too long to mention them all here! It was wonderful to see as Maggie Smith as the tough Professor McGonagall again, and not forgetting Warwick Davis as Professor Flitwick (in a dual role as Griphook the greedy goblin from Gringotts too!) too.
|One of the favourite characters throughout the movie installments - Prof. McGonagall!|
|Some of the best scenes of the movie takes place in the final half an hour at Hogwarts where most of the cast is reunited|
I won't go into storyline details, since nearly everyone has read the book. One part that I want to highlight though is the final scene, 19 years later. It was one of the most anticipated scenes for me, and I wanted to see how close they would stick to the book. My verdict? It was good, but could have been better. The final dialogue was woefully lacking, and I found myself wishing for just another "Hey, Hermione" or "You okay, Ron?" to wrap up the whole experience. But no, the ending focused on the exchange between Harry and his son, which I guess must have been done that way to focus on some artistic interpretation.
Oh and I cannot leave out "The Kiss"! Legions of Ron/Hermione fans (Wendy included!) have waited literally years just to see that monumental moment in the series played out on the big screen! And how was it? Well, it was quick and simple, and they were both wet. Sadly, it all looked a bit too shy and awkward between them, like as if they knew millions of people would be watching them snog on screen. Reminded me a bit of William and Kate's kiss, minus the real affection.
So all in all, was Part 2 worth watching? For the simple fact that it IS part 2, then yes, there's no way around this movie - it has to be watched at least once.
|One of the memorable scenes of the movie|
|One of the movie's most compelling scenes - Hogwarts under siege|
|The train tracks into Hogwarts crumble under fire.|
|Voldemort keeping us on the edge of our seats.|
Was it memorable? Aside from some fine cinematography and solid acting shown above, it strangely wasn't as memorable as we had expected. In fact 2 weeks since we did the marathon, both Wendy and I find ourselves remembering more of Part 1 than Part 2! But again, you can't watch a beginning without the end. So on that note, I'll end by saying this is the end that all Potter fans and movie-goers must watch to have some closure in their lives......
(Obviously, Lord Voldemort ain't too happy about the closure.)