As a Potter-sceptic, the movie wasn’t at the top of my ‘to see’ list: however I found myself pulled along in the interests of being sociable, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the same for a number of readers. I generally have difficulty with these sorts of films: the Potter universe is large and complex, and for anyone not in the way of following it, some of the terminology might be confusing. Initally, at least, I found myself thinking “what the Hell is a horcrux?”
Don’t let that put you off, though: it’s a pretty good film.
To cut a long story short, Deathly Hallows pt 2 marks the climax of the Potter series, with Harry facing up against the evil Lord Voldemort in a battle royale at the gates of Hogwarts.
As someone who has taken a generally detatched view of the Potter universe, the finality of what is happening on the screen in front of you takes on a whole new cultural significance. I’ve watched Radcliffe, Grint and Watson change from children to near fully-grown adults over the past decade, and staying in character for that length of time, under intense media scrutiny, can’t have been easy. That they all continue to give creditable performances is testimony to the professionalism of three young adults with a long way to go in the film industry. It remains only for me to wish them well, and trust that they will ‘go a bit wild’ now that they are freed from the contractual obligations of having to live clean, wholesome lives.
Rickman’s performance as Severus Snape left me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, his was the most complicated character, with amazingly ambiguous loyalties: on the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel that he got what he deserved, which I don’t suppose is what the audience is supposed to think. His ambiguous relationship with Radcliffe’s character was well played, though, and he remains a convincing bad guy: even when he is theoretically a good one.
Much credit must go to the team behind the CGI in the film: the final, epic battle at Hogwarts in particular. The viewer is transported to a crumbling castle under seige by a motley crew of Death-eaters and other assorted evil-doers, including high-heid-yin, noseless baddie Lord Voldemort, convincingly played by Ralf Fiennes. The other stand-out moment of the movie - for me - was the scene in the LeStrange bank vault where our heroes find themselves very nearly drowned - or crushed? - in a sea of rapidly multiplying gold. It was a nice touch.
The film is suitable for the whole family, though some of the scenes may be disturbing to younger viewers (particularly the surprisingly high casualty rate in the Hogwarts battle). It is primarily aimed at those who have followed the books and - as far as I am - aware - stays fairly faithful to Rowling’s original storyline.
That said, it’s one to see. Even if you haven’t read the books.