Harry Potter and the slam-bang finale


Finally, after all these years, it’s over.



And this final movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two,” is the best of the lot.



All of the young actors know exactly what they’re doing now. (It’s been ten years, so they’d better.) It’s wonderful to see Emma Watson as a calm and very confident young woman; Rupert Grint isn’t goofy anymore, but stalwart and funny and sort of cute if you squint at him the right way; and dear Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, the Wimpy Kid of Gryffindor, has matured beyond all recognition, and is now handsome and brave and pretty much the tallest kid in his class.



Daniel Radcliffe. Okay. He’s excellent. But he’s a place-holder. He’s you, you see? He’s your foothold in the story. You’re supposed to identify with Harry, so they couldn’t really cast anyone really dramatically distinctive in the role – not a funny redhead like Grint, not a zombie albino like the mutant who plays Draco Malfoy. Radcliffe is perfect in this regard, sort of like Elijah Wood over in “The Lord of the Rings”: he’s got an interesting face and a pleasing personality, but he mostly reacts to stuff. Picture him in your mind. You’re seeing him looking at something and reacting to it, aren’t you? And that’s perfect. I foresee a long and successful career for Mister Radcliffe, and more power to him.



The older actors – you know, the entire British acting community over the age of thirty – really only need to show up in costume. But it’s wonderful to see Maggie Smith’s deadly serious face when she’s wand-to-wand with her adversary, and later to see her irrepressible giggle when she casts a spell that she’s always wanted to cast. Nice to see Emma Thompson with her thick spectacles on; nice to see Julie Walters growling like a mother tiger, fighting with the terrifyingly insane-looking and insane-acting Helena Bonham Carter.



Hope I didn’t spoil the movie for you with those glimpses.



But I didn’t, did I?



And, see, that’s the thing. There are no spoilers here. You’ve either read the book, in which case you know what’s gonna happen, or you haven’t, which means that – well, you pretty much know how it has to end, right? (Hint: don’t get that Death Eater tattoo just yet.)



The cinematography is beautiful. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie with night scenes in which I could actually make out what was going on. (We saw it in 3D, and there are a few worthwhile effects – some of the spells, some of the pyrotechnics. But, kids, save your three dollars. You really won’t miss a thing if you don’t see it in 3D.)



The movie actually improves upon the book in a few places; it omits some of the tedious flashback stuff, and straightens out a few of the more roundabout plotlines. And maybe things don’t happen quite like the book in a few places – but wouldn’t it be a bore if they did?



And I am so effing grateful to see the bloody quidditch stadium burn down. Because – you know what? – I think quidditch is stupid.



But this movie is not stupid. It is really grave and beautiful and solemn.



And a lot of fun to watch.



So. Imperio! See this movie!




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: