Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Theater Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

I am not going to sit here and hash out the entire story line of the final Harry Potter film. If you are currently a fan of the series, you have no doubt read the book or most likely have seen the final film anyway.

So, my ramblings will just blend with what you already know and what you have already read on many other blog and review sites.

My review may be a bit different. I have waited patiently like so many others as the Harry Potter films have been released - usually once a year with a few that took a little longer. But, I have never read a single one of J.K. Rowling's books.

No, I was first introduced to Harry, Hermione and Ron during a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - well after the second film had already been released. Was I blown away? No. But I was definitely intrigued enough to go and see the third film.

It was right around this time that I introduced my mother, my wife and my sister to the books - weird I know, since I have never read a single one - and they fell in love with them.

So, the quartet of us went to a Friday showing of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II - which picks up right where the first one ends.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is still searching for Voldemort's horcruxes with Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). But, they are having a bit more luck during the first half of this film than they did in the entire first film.

This is all leading up to what would be the final showdown between Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Harry. Which takes place at Hogwarts - but before their final battle, a much larger battle looms between the Death Eaters and many horrible creatures taking on the witches and wizards in Hogwarts walls.

Many perished on both sides to protect and serve their leaders - but it is up to Harry to end this war once and for all by taking out the enemy who killed his parents and so many others.

In my last Harry Potter theater experience I felt somewhat dissatisfied. Possibly because the story didn't really end - but I also felt like the entire film was Harry, Ron and Hermione camping. Nothing else really seemed to happen (I re-watched the film on DVD and my original feeling was wrong).

This time, however, I was engaged throughout. We pick up Harry and the gang right where we left them and they immediately are off to find another horcrux, but this time they know where it is - and there is actual adventure when they get there. It was fun to watch - and it continued pretty much nonstop.

As I said before, I had never read the books before - so there were a few things in the film that sort of confused (thankfully I had the other three with me to straighten out any of my questions).

For instance, I was a bit confused by the resurrection stone. I really wasn't sure what it did, or why it was needed. I thought that it was used to resurrect someone when they died, and of course Harry may need this.

Another thing that I mistook (which I took a lot of flak for by Mrs. Kano) was that I was sort of led to believe that Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) may have been Harry's father. I guess looking back at everything else in the other movies I should have known better - but that montage was a bit misleading (ok, laugh at me if you want).

I can't really give out some of my favorite parts of the movie, because they could be potential spoilers for those who haven't seen it. I will say this - it was a great way to end one of the most possible film franchises (ifItalic not the) in years.

I even got chills as they panned back from Hogwarts at the conclusion of the film - before the real conclusion.

It has been an amazing run for these characters. Eight films, and a finale that, if not perfect, was pretty darn close. A great way to say goodbye to characters we have seen grown up.

Goodbye. Thanks for an amazing adventure.


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