Every new release was awaited with baited breath. Be it the hard back books in which the readers created their own Potter world or the eight motion pictures, which brought it to life for them with devastating effect. Yes, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley ( Rupert Grint) are back, for the last time. But before you get the tissues out, STOP because the film won’t warrant them.
For those of you who have been living on a different planet for the last decade while the Harry Potter juggernaut whizzed by, I’ll fill you in! In a sentence: Harry Potter is a talented wizard engaged in a battle with Lord Voldermort AKA “he who must not be named”, an evil force who murdered Harry’s parents but failed to kill Harry. In a word: magic. The beauty of the films is that you don’t have to have seen them all or read all the books to enjoy them. But don’t tell the HP fanatics that!
Hardcore Harry fans know every “expelliarmus” and” lumos” spell off by heart so this film had to eclipse all the others. I believe it did, not just because it was in glorious 3D. Minerva McGonagle ( Dame Maggie Smith) even got in on the act, unleashing a crazy spell and admitting she had always “wanted to do that”.
It wasn’t just McGonagle who saved her best to last, every single character shone.
In the latest installment Harry, Ron and Hermione are desperate to find the final horcrux and destroy Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) and his pet snake in crime, Nagini. They literally go to the ends of the wizardry world to locate the elusive object. Central to the plot is the universal battle of good versus evil.
Battles, brooms, adventures into the realms of darkness and scenes tinged with emotion are plentiful. The much anticipated first kiss between Ron and Hermione occurs but at a somewhat inopportune time.
There are some scenes that are spellbinding (excuse the pun). Particularly when there is a colourful explosive collision of spells against the dark backdrop of the night sky. It’s so vivid and gives a kind of Disneyland feel to the production.
Countless times throughout the film I found myself thinking this is it, this is the end. But instead it was just the beginning of the end. This was just purposeful trickery employed by the director David Yates to play with our already fraught feelings and extend the running time to 2 hours and 10 minutes! It worked though because every time I thought the storyline couldn’t become tenser, it surpassed itself. Comedic moments from Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) provide light relief every so often. Albus Dumbledore (Sir Michael Gambon) came out with some gems of wisdom to treasure too.
Harry’s life hangs in the balance for the majority of the film, will he or won’t he?
The boy wizard journey swings full circle in the end. I was mostly satisfied with the end but my one gripe is that it was a bit too conclusive and fairy tale-y. Then again this is expected from a big budget Hollywood production so maybe I'm being overly critical. However, this hugely successful film franchise is in a class of its own. Therefore I expected it to break the rules.
The film is certainly memorable for the right reasons. Now it’s all over there is left to say is Rowling, we Harry problem!