Since November (and essentially, 10 years), Harry Potter fans have been eagerly waiting for the release of the final film in the series. Now that it’s here, millions worldwide have piled into theaters since Friday morning and will be throughout the upcoming weeks to join the trio as they seek the remaining horcruxes holding pieces of Lord Voldemort‘s soul so they can finally defeat him.
I was among those who saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Friday morning (at midnight). And as a fan who has grown up with the series, I was not disappointed. In fact, I’m ready to see it again!
**NOTE: If you haven’t read the books or seen the movie, I’m going to warn you now that a fair amount of spoilers lay ahead, so proceed with caution!**
The film begins with the Harry, Ron and Hermione at Shell Cottage, the home of Bill Weasley and his new wife, Fleur Delacour. They question Mr. Ollivander about the Elder Wand since Harry knows Vodemort now has it. They later question Griphook the Goblin about breaking into Gringotts Wizarding Bank because they believe Bellatrix Lextrange‘s vault holds another horcrux.
The very next scene is of the trio and the goblin beginning their bank heist. For the sake of time, the filmmakers cut out the planning process for this endeavor, which I thought was a good idea because that would slow down the pace of the film tremendously. As tense and suspenseful as the scene is with the fear that they would get caught, it’s also quite funny. You get to see Helena Bonham Carter playing Bellatrix as usual, but based on the way Emma Watson thinks Hermione would play her (all these layers of role playing reminds me of a certain “Friends” episode). Thanks to Polyjuice Potion and a strand of Bellatrix’s hair from Hemione’s torturous experience, the latter transforms into the former. Seeing Hermione’s version of Bellatrix was entertaining as she tries to as mean and vicious — all while walking in a pair of heels.
Once they’ve escaped Gringotts via dragon, Harry informs Ron and Hermione that Voldemort knows and they’ve got to head to Hogwarts, where one of the horcruxes is located. Throughout the rest of the film, as horcruxes are destroyed one by one, Voldemort feels them. And as a result, so does Harry. In the book, Voldemort has no clue when the horcruxes are destroy, but I liked this addition in the film. As the Dark Lord realizes his growing mortality, he becomes more rash and desperate in his actions. Seeing Voldemort attacking and killing his own Death Eaters just for addressing him shows viewers just how dangerous he has become.
The battle scenes in the film were just incredible. Even though J.K. Rowling describes the scenes in great detail, it isn’t until this film that we really see on how grand of a scale this war is being fought. The scenes with Voldemort leading his Death Eaters show a sea of people preparing to charge at the castle. You see for the first time just how powerful he is now. You also see how small the side of good is in comparison. One of my favorite things about the battle scenes is how they showed a number of characters fighting, from the Weasleys to Harry’s classmates. Everyone has their moment. And since the books are from Harry’s point of view (mostly), it was nice to see what the other characters were up to when he wasn’t around to see it.
And while the fighting is almost nonstop, there are a few moments of tenderness and humor that help us catch our breath. One of my favorite moments is the scene where Hermione destroys a horcrux. We only hear about it from her and Ron retelling the tale to Harry. I loved how Rowling and as a result, the films had each horcrux destroyed by different people. It just shows that Harry is not alone in the fight.
The above scene also leads to the eagerly anticipated kiss between Ron and Hermione. As I’ve said before, the “Will they? Won’t they?” of these two’s relationship had become about as pressing in the Potter world as the question of who will live and who will die. So much so that the theater I was in bursted into applause when it finally happened and I was cheering right along with them.
Other great moments of romance are when Neville Longbottom seeks Luna Lovegood to declare his love for her since they all may be dead in the morning and when Harry finds Ginny in the midst of the fighting and kisses her for the same reason. He just says, “Ginny.” And her simple response is, “I know.” As in, “I know, I love you too.” There’s also this great moment with Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks in which they are casting spells to protect the castle and reach for each other’s hands. I just thought it was really sweet.
I loved how they portrayed Snape’s story. For a character whose motives have been questioned since the first book, it was great to finally learn where his loyalties lie. Alan Rickman beautifully portrays a desperate and heartbroken Severus Snape when Harry dives into his memories. You can truly feel his love for Lily Potter and his need to protect her. And I love how complex of a character he is. Snape is one of the best cases that shows that just because a person is not very nice (understatement), does not mean they are evil.
One of the scenes I was very worried about seeing come to life was when Harry enters the Forbidden Forest to die. He uses the Resurrection Stone to call back his parents, Remus and his godfather Sirius Black. Just before sacrificing himself to Voldemort, Harry has a chance to see them and it’s the most emotional scene in the books for me. I ALWAYS cry when I read it. Surprisingly, I didn’t tear up while watching this scene, although it is extremely emotional. One scene where I did begin to tear up was when Hagrid brings Harry’s body back to the castle and the moment Ginny realizes who it is. Her screams are truly heart wrenching and they will break your heart to see her pain.
Obviously, I can go on, but this is getting pretty lengthy and I don’t want to give away everything. You’ll just have to watch it (again) for yourself!