Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Let me make one thing clear: I’m too old to see the midnight showing of anything. Even seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II Thursday night at midnight was arguably a mistake. One: Too many teenagers. Two: No good seats. Three: I have to pay to see it again because I missed some of the lines. Okay, now that we’re clear …

I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II Thursday night at midnight, and it took me days to recover. (No, the movie wasn’t bad; it was brilliant, actually.) I had to recover from a creeping, overwhelming depression. Being in the woods beside Bear Canyon Lake for the last three days helped. I could even pretend I was camping out with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But I was still really depressed. Like … really.

I’m better today. Again, camping helped, as did lots of good beer. I’ve had time to think back on Deathly Hallows Part II, and the general conclusion is that it was not my favorite Harry Potter film. Although they’re back at Hogwarts for half of it, the easy answer is, I miss the innocence of the first four films. Deathly Hallows Part I and Part II are heavy, heavy, heavy. I expected to cry, and I don’t like going into a movie expecting to cry.

To recap: in Deathly Hallows Part I, Harry, Ron, and Hermione leave Hogwarts and head off into the woods in search of Lord Voldemort’s missing Horcruxes (items that hold pieces of the dark lord’s soul). In order to kill Voldemort, they have to kill the Horcruxes first. Much of Part I takes place in the woods. It’s depressing, especially when one of my favorite characters dies at the end. Part II starts right after this favorite character’s death. The hunt for the Horcruxes continues, culminating in the battle to save Hogwarts, along with the lives of every character in the series.

JK Rowling had a hell of a task before her, ending the Harry Potter missive. She did a great job in the books, so how did director David Yates fare? As good as he always does, of course. He did a great job with imagery, actor-coaching, and plot flow. The movie is not slow, but it also doesn’t move too fast. A lot happens in the last Harry Potter, and Yates miraculously fits it all in.

What makes Harry Potter movies work so well is the comedy and the romance. No matter how awful things get, there are still moments of laughter. One of my favorite lines in Deathly Hallows Part II is from Neville Longbottom: “Have you seen Luna? I have to tell her I love her; we’ll probably both be dead by morning.” We have watched these kids grow into adults; this final film is the culmination of their development—the teenage love, the bravery, and the realization of their mortality.

Daniel Radcliffe blew me away. The boy who could barely act in Sorcerer’s Stone has become an emotive genius. Most of the times I felt the need to sob uncontrollably happened after a dramatic camera angle right in his face. He is and will always be Harry Potter to me. This may be a deterrent to his acting career, but he nailed it, as did Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) and Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), most notably.

I can’t tell you much more about the plot, because I don’t want to give anything away for you non-reading folk. I will say the battle scenes were akin to the best firework show I’ve ever seen. The script was well-written and manageable, even if you haven’t read the books. The actors did stellar jobs, and “catharsis” is an understatement in regards to this emotional roller-coaster of a film. It was just like I pictured it would be. In that, I would like to congratulate everyone involved for a job well done.

The Harry Potter series is now complete. The books are done; the movies are done. The children are now adults, and they’re off doing things like Broadway. Where does that leave the rest of us? We are Hogwarts alumni, too. We also feel as though we’ve been fighting Lord Voldemort for ten years, which is maybe why I was so exhausted Friday morning.

Now, it’s time to graduate, get married, have babies (or puppies, in my case) … but let us not forget Harry Potter: the lonely kid who taught us dedication to friends, astounding bravery, and the beauty of imagination and magic—at any age.

9 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

  1. I have been waiting to see what you had to say about this final film in the series. It left me to wonder what J K Rowling meant by it all- after making the huge effort of writing the books it is impossible to imagine that there was no deeper meaning intended by her books. As I see it Harry goes on a journey of self discovery, overcomes the ordeals, dies and is reborn to overcome the essential evil that besets his world- a classical plot. But what did J K intend for it to mean to her readers?

    • Excellent question. For me, it meant escape. I think it was the same way for JK when she wrote it. It was an escape from real life for awhile into a magical world where we would all like to live. Furthermore, it is simply good vs. evil, where good triumphs, despite all odds. I’ve mentioned it before, but again, it’s feels good to read a book where the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. It’s not like real life, which is another example of why Harry Potter means ESCAPE. It’s not very deep or anything, but that’s how I feel about it. What about you? I’d love to hear your take.

  2. I am still depressed. I love midnight premieres of HP movies. I disagree that you are too old to do midnight showings. For me it is mostly adults acting like kids. We were kids when they came out. We have grown as they have. This was one of the only excuses for me to dress up and go to the movies. Now all I have are Rocky Horror (not that that is a bad thing) but I will miss donning my Potter glasses and lightning bolt scar I have come to perfect with eyeliner. I think the movie was well done. Not the best by far, but a proper ending that touched on all of my emotions. I cried out of sadness, joy and laughter… I think Larry even shed a tear or two. I will go on to the midnight showings of Twilight and whatever else I get into, but nothing will beat the feeling of camaraderie and joy I felt at the Harry Potter showings. Now a moment of silence…

    • Hey, if you ever want to just randomly dress up as Hogwarts students, I’m in 🙂 You’re right: I cried over just about everything in this film. I will honor your moment of silence for Harry … And I miss my Mary, too!

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  4. OMG! You have said it brilliantly! However, I have to say that I cannot simply move on! I am looking forward to starting this series all over again with my son after the first of the year. I look forward to experiencing the story vicariously through him as he discovers it for the first time. I just hope that he loves them as much as I do! If not, then depression will definitely be setting in!

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