Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Ending a Series


Image: visualhollywood.com

When a series concludes, it’s a bittersweet moment.  You want to know how it all comes out, but yet not leave it behind.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the last film in the series based on the books, and it is a doozy.

I knew I would see this one in the theater.   Alas, no Thursday night costume party sneak peeks for me; I had to work the next day.  I hate crowded places, so my plan was to wait until Sunday morning, when everyone would be in church.

You know what a huge Potternerd I am.

You had to know I couldn’t wait.

I was downtown after skating, and drove by the theater to see what the parking situation was.   So I thought…hmmm….I have time…  Before I knew it, I was in a nice comfy theater seat!

The guy next to me smelled like a sour sock.  At least he kept his arms down most of the time.  It’s beastly hot out right now, so I forgave him.   But since Stinky was texting during the movie, I decided that I would wiggle, clap, mutter and cry as much as I wanted.  So there!

If you didn’t read the books, I’ll try not to spoil anything for you.  (But read them. DO IT.)

#1—It explained everything. 

The last novel was split into two films so as not to leave out anything critical.  This is the end of the series, after all.  Rowling wrapped up the loose ends nicely, including the most important one.

They stuck very close to the book, especially in Part 2.  No doubt Potterphiles will endlessly rag on the movies for not being 100% right on, but whenever you translate media this happens.  I’m not going to discuss that now.

Bottom line is everything you wanted to know, you know.

#2—It looked exactly as it should have. 

I love it when a movie closely resembles what I pictured in my head while reading.  Everyone has a different vision, but this was pretty damn close to mine.  I think they did a good job with locations and costumes overall because no one has complained that any of the HP movies don’t look right.

Good world-building allows readers and viewers alike to suspend disbelief.  And the final film in a series is the most important.   Ending images are the ones people will take with them.  There are certain expectations of a finale and HP: DH2 fulfilled them.  Think Pelennor Fields at Hogwarts.  :)

#3—They kept the same actors through the entire thing.

I think this was in their contracts, but other than that I don’t know how they did it.  If we’d had to adjust to a new Hermione or Ron, it would not have worked as well.  The best part (although maybe not for the kids) was watching the characters AND the actors grow up before our eyes.

Holy crap, they were tiny.

Holy crap, they were tiny.

Image:  movieline.com

Richard Harris as Dumbledore was replaced by Michael Gambon, but he can be excused because, you know, he died.

#4—They got GOOD actors, which paid off in the end.

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) have matured as actors over the course of the series.  They gave excellent performances here.  Also perfection are Dame Maggie Smith, (Professor McGonagall), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix LeStrange) and of course Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort).

In fact, the HP films have had consistently good casts over the entire series.  They reek of awesome.  It kept the quality up so that when they finally got to the last one, they lost nothing.

Alan Rickman has never won an Oscar.  You might argue that Harry Potter is hardly award-worthy, but look at Heath Ledger.  He won, deservedly so, for the Joker.  Mr. Rickman should win for Severus Snape, especially in this movie.   I never cried so hard at the theater in my life.

#5—They picked the best composer they could get for the music. 

I’m going to get arguments from some people I know.  John Williams ably scored the first three films, and is now associated with the Potter theme.  He passed the torch to Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and now to Alexandre Desplat (say deh-SPLAH).  His best Potter score is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.   Many people wanted Williams to return for the end, but he did not due to scheduling conflicts.

Desplat’s scores are emotional rather than catchy, which fit the darkest Potter film quite well.  I listened to it for a couple of weeks prior on Streamingsoundtracks.com.   Hearing it in the context of the film made it even better.  A good soundtrack complements the movie without being distracting, but doesn’t fade into the background either.

Overall, my impression is a good one.  I can’t pick things apart unless they are really bad, and nothing bothered me here.  NOTHING!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Read the books!

7 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Ending a Series

  1. DeSPLAT ! J.W. would have been my choice, without exception. Well … James Horner would have been interesting, but that’s an additional lengthy argument. I will be seeing the film tomorrow and will be entertaining thoughts, impressions, and general opinions at that time. *holds nose up*

    Better be good; everybody’s saying it is.

    Damn good. Better be.

  2. Love the picture caption lol! Yes, it was bittersweet the ending and i’m feeling the same as when I finished the last book which feels like ages ago now. Part 2 was perfect, as it should have been.

  3. Okay, as promised … the spells and charms I learned from the last Harry Potter film.

    I was impressed, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I read through comments in forums, and I have to agree that I would have liked to have seen a bit of Harry repairing his own wand with the elder wand before he destroyed it, along with the three girls going against Bellatrix — and the house elves fighting. More intercutting during that whole prolonged sequence would have generated a better response from the audience. And made certain deaths more dramatic and meaningful. However — this is part II of an interlocking picture, and given what it is, I think it’s the best of the series. (Though my personal favorite will always be the first one)

    I enjoyed the CGI; thought it was some of the best I’ve ever seen. I did “not” see it in 3D, and am very happy I didn’t. I hope the blu-ray has extended footage, giving more time to the peripheral characters. I still don’t understand why Malfoy’s mother said what she did when she leaned over Harry’s body. I’ve read quite a bit of vitriolic argument over the on the net, but from my own p.o.v., it certainly didn’t sound like a question about Malfoy, but rather a question “put to” Malfoy himself. And he wasn’t even there.

    I wish John Willaims had scored it. Nothing against De SPLAT, but his music just didn’t quite to it for me — especially at the end. I didn’t buy the make-up, or CGI, or whatever that was they used to attempt to age the kids to “pushing forty”

    It was a very involving story and very well produced, in my opinion. And I am unexpectedly sad that it’s over. I saw the first one not long after 9/11 and the magic of that children’s film really brought me back to life. Now they’ve graduated to a mainstream fantasy/thriller, and I think they’ve done it very well. A- and four and a half stars !

    Mischief managed.

    • No, no no, Narcissa Malfoy asked Harry if Draco was alive. She could tell Harry was, and when he nodded slightly she told Voldemort that Harry was dead. All she cared about at that point was getting away, she and her husband and son. She was no longer a follower of Voldemort by that point; they were terrified of him.


      The 3D was great. It wasn’t obtrusive and it was there throughout the film, so it didn’t leap out at you at key moments and distract. It also didnt’ look pasted on the way the Alice in Wonderland 3D did. Since it was the last film, I’m glad I splurged and got the glasses. :)

  4. I also say that Williams should have been given the last score, but then again I am a Williams fan. The spousal unit and I will give ourselves a special treat and go see this tomorrow morning.

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