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Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: It All Ended

There is no precedent for this. I can't think of any movie series that has been so long lasting with the same actors, or any other series where we have literally been able to watch the actors grow from children to young adults. It's been ten years now, and because of this, it's nearly impossible to review Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. II. It's such an exhausting, emotionally satisfying and bittersweet experience for so many people. It's not even really a film anymore. It's the end, the last bit of Potter as it exists now.

Needless to say, I loved the movie. LOVED it. It was never going to capture every detail of the book, but I can't imagine a better capper to this always consistent series. Though largely jettisoning heavy plot for a simple, balls-to-the-wall war/sacrifice story, the movie manages to be the most emotional, gasp-inducing entry yet. Just like the book, this is dark, resonant stuff. I think every Potter fan will be satisfied, and there is no shortage of clap-and-cheer moments... payoffs that only a series of this length can properly produce.

And above all, it's the characters. It's always been the characters, of course, but I can't think of another movie where I've felt more engrossed in the good vs. evil conflict. Sure, I already knew how it was gonna end, but the stakes were HIGH. Crazy high, and shiver-inducing at moments. It's in the expressions of the actors, the filters used in the cinematography and the swell of the music. Fictionalized wars don't mean a whole lot if you don't care about the people fighting. And in DH2, we not only care about the people, but we care about the place, too. Hogwarts has become iconic, as have the hills and valleys surrounding it. To see the castle as a war zone is devastating. To see what happens in the Forbidden Forest later is even more so.

But then there's the ending. It's pretty perfect. Part of me wishes that in a decade or so we'd get a continuation. The rest of me says, don't ruin a good thing.

Final word: go. You're going to go anyway, but go as soon as you can. Preferably with an army of fans.

Speaking of: we attended the midnight showing last night. Got there an hour and a half early (after watching DH1 at home) and the line was already around the entire theater. (Our favorite costume was a girl dressed as the golden snitch - very creative!). The audience was (of course) ridiculously responsive. LOTS of cheers and gasps and even a fair amount of noisy sobs (!). Seriously, there was sobbing in the theater. Very strange.

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