The end of the Harry Potter book series engendered a woeful wail from fans of J.K. Rowling's boy wizard. And now, the coming of the final film adaptation has cast its own melancholy spell -- not least among the cast and the filmmakers, who told reporters at a Manhattan news conference this week about their mixed feelings as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" opens.
"In the scene where we stand on the bridge after the battle," recalled Emma Watson, who plays fledgling wizard Hermione Granger, "I remember just really feeling exactly how Hermione would be feeling, which is, 'Wow, this is all coming to an end; look at everything that we've achieved.' . . . Not much acting [was] required really. It was just all there for me."
That same scene also affected Rupert Grint, who plays the red-haired young sorcerer Ron Weasley. "It has been quite an emotional week, really," he said. "And seeing the film, I did get a little bit choked up at the end. There's one scene, where it's the three of us" -- Ron, Hermione and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) -- "after the battle, where we're walking on the bridge. There's almost this parallel, that moment, with our lives. It's over for us as well. It's quite sad. I'm gonna really miss it."
Fans can still look forward to the requisite deleted scenes on the eventual DVD release. David Yates, who directed the final four "Harry Potter" films, said specifically that he planned to include "a longer version of Aberforth and Harry," referring to a scene in The Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade Village, where the late Headmaster Albus Dumbledore's gruff brother helps Harry and his friends even while advising them not to confront the evil Voldemort.
As well, Yates said, "There's an extended scene on the beach with Ron disguised, before he gets to the [Gringotts] bank," which the three friends and a captured goblin infiltrate, "and a lovely little exchange between him and Bellatrix Lestrange."
Yates described one deleted scene that audiences actually glimpsed in the early trailers.
"There's a moment," he said, "where Voldemort's looking at Harry and . . . says, 'Why do you live?' And Harry says, 'Because I have something to live for!' It was a really cool moment, and I'd actually asked [screenwriter] Steve [Kloves] to write it. . . . And, of course, when I put it in the movie, and the reason Steve didn't write it in the first place, is because Voldemort would just kill Harry -- they won't stop and have a conversation! And it was in the movie [with] a slightly longer sequence of them fighting. You pull it out of the trailer and it looks quite cool, but in context it feels slightly labored and a little self-conscious, so we lost it."
Of course, little stays lost in Harry Potter's world. The movies may have ended, but whether it's DVD extras or Rowling's upcoming Pottermore website or whatever the future holds, endings often are beginnings.
OK, "Potter" fans -- it's been a long road for Harry and his pals. How well do you remember the journey? Take our trivia quiz.
A. Albus Sirius Remus Percival Dumbledore
B. Albus James Brian Wulfric Dumbledore
C. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
D. Albus Brian Bilius Percival Dumbledore
2. What Hogwarts house was Moaning Myrtle in?
3. Who was Hermione's date to the Yule Ball?
A. Harry Potter
B. Ron Weasley
C. Dean Thomas
D. Viktor Krum
4. Name the three Peverell brothers.
A. Cadmus, Remus and Peter
B. Godric, Salazar and Padfoot
C. Antioch, Cadmus and Ignotus
D. Antioch, Cadmus and Marvolo
5. What spell is used to erase one's memory?
1. C; 2. B; 3. D; 4. C; 5. A
-- ELAINE VUONGfirstname.lastname@example.org
In his 2 1/2-star review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," which ran in Tuesday's newspaper, critic Rafer Guzman said the movie was "entertaining and fast-moving, but only fans will shed any tears." You can read the entire review at Newsday.com/movies.
Here's a sampling of other reviews:
"Gorgeous, somber and startling."
-- The Associated Press
"Proof that authentic movie excitement is its own form of magic."
-- Entertainment Weekly
"A triumph of spectacle and well-earned sentiment."
-- Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A potion that induces euphoria, tinged with melancholy.
-- Philadelphia Inquirer
"This isn't one of the best films of the series, more like a comfortable midlevel one."