Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2011. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Question: Any Harry Potter fans out there? I know dumb question but I have to start with something. I just got back from the final installment in J.K. Rowling's magical tale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and it far exceeded my expectations. Well done!

About twelve years ago I started reading the Harry Potter books and found them fascinating, entertaining and wildly imaginative. It was a world that I so wanted to visit again and again. Ten years ago the first of eight movies was in the theater. I was blown away with the leap from book to silver screen. The first movie captured everything and more from the casting, special effects and the telling of the story of the boy who lived.

The next six movies all did a fantastic job translating the tale but usually with a lot of details removed. That didn't ruin any of the movies but I was happy to know the deeper meaning of each film; and since this series of books landed on the best sellers lists again and again I knew I wasn't the only one privy to the extra information.

If I had reviewed the first seven movies they probably would have averaged 8 out of 10 for me. Each one helping us delve deeper into the wizardly world of Harry Potter. Every character, spell or creature compelled us to follow the path to the next movie (book). So today when my son and I went to see the final chapter I was a little sad to see it come to an end. However, let me say, they saved the best for last! WOW!!

I am not going to go into much detail like my other reviews, but I have to say that the final movie captured what I deeply adored about this tale: That love is the greatest power and what gives you the courage to face your fears. Many might not realize that this is what Harry Potter is about - they might think this is about good vs. evil, or learning to find your potential or just really cool magic. And, yes, those are a part of this wonderfully bewitching story but I always saw something more.

To me Harry Potter was always about something greater: Love. The love of a friend, the love of a family member and even a love from a far allows everyone to find the courage to live even when faced with the what looks like insurmountable odds. And with that kind of love sacrifice is an easy choice to insure this world is a better place.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 finally revealed many things that were never answered or answered differently in the previous films. The storytelling was perfect. I remember when I finished the book I lingered there realizing I just finished one of the best messages I had ever read, and the same thing happened when I finished this movie. In fact, I started this review not twenty minutes after it ended. I couldn't write it down quickly enough.

Now I don't think you should see this movie if you hadn't seen all the earlier movies. Sure you can skip reading the series but I ask: why would you? (My son is reading the books now and halfway through the movie he whispered to me "Mom, this is a 10 out of 10!" I smiled thinking the same thing.) Harry and the gang gave us a thrill ride and I want to thank them for a great time.

The special effects were spectacular, the acting was spot-on and the emotions it evoked brought tears to my eyes, several grins and even a huge chuckle but finally a cathartic sigh. It was a relief to know that the filmmakers took the time, respect and care to tell us this perfect tale - a tale of love. That is the greatest magic of them all, don't you agree?

My favorite thing: One character, who will remain nameless now, whose sacrifice was heartbreaking for me but probably one of the greatest form of love I saw on film.

My least favorite thing: not one thing!

Rating: PG-13
Length: 130 minutes

Review: 10 out of 10

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