It only took two hours to conclude a decade-long phenomenon, but it was worth every second.
After leaving audiences at a midpoint in November, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” rounds out the series. “Part 1” was to “Part 2” like an opening act is to a concert – the set-up was leisurely, but every atom of effort was obviously redirected to the second half of the show.
I’ve waited almost half my life to see the final film. I even marked my calendar, counting down the months to the finale. As the movie premiere drew near, I felt a cross of anxiety and elation – not wanting the series to end, but curious as to how it would.
For a fan, the last installment was one of the most visually appealing of the series since Alfonso Cuaron’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Director David Yates, who also directed the last three “Potter” movies, didn’t shy away from the graphics, action and the occasional dramatic music. The blasts and destruction would have made Michael Bay proud – bashful even. The anticipated blitzkrieg-esque Hogwarts battle not only symbolized the destruction of the characters’ cushy and wholesome lives, but reminded fans that -- as the movie poster reads -- “it all ends.”
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) carried the weight of the movie well despite his small stature. Harry’s determination for finishing his nemesis, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), was clear. In some scenes you could sense his fiery grit, but in other scenes a lack of facial expression left no transparency into predicting his actions – a type of refreshing spontaneity.
Helena Bonham-Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) gives a memorable and uncannily thorough impersonation of Emma Watson (Hermione) – seamlessly mimicking Watson’s characteristically pensive eyebrows and her featherlike walk – which added a touch of humor.
Seeing the bruised and vulnerable faces of the characters, in comparison to the rosy faces from a decade ago, was nostalgic. The characters’ progression ran accurately alongside time, seeing that the fans grew up with the characters and vice versa.
When the credits rolled, a sense of relief overcame me since I finally knew how it would all end. After summers spent with a “Potter” book on my lap and nights when my television illuminated my room with “Potter” movies, it felt like my past had been revisited only to be closed. It was bittersweet.
J.K. Rowling’s story was not only about magical deference but about the fragility of relationships and the handling of its science among nonmagical humans. The series rounded off with an endearing last two hours that did justice to the story Muggles were first introduced to more than 10 years ago.