The final instalment in the Harry Potter series came to an end with David Yates’ The Deathly Hallows Part Two on the 15th July, promising to tie all ends to the epic story of the young wizard. For a decade fans have watched Radcliffe, Watson and Grint mature with their performances, along with the vast talent which has accompanied them. A slew of talented directors have taken part in the franchise, such as the great Alfonso Cuarón – responsible for the series best film to date, The Prisoner of Azkaban. All in all, it has been an enjoyable ride as Warner Bros at least maintained a certain degree of charm and appeal to their eight magical films.
Throughout the series, the films have increased in maturity and have become a lot darker, to comply with the aging fans. However, does the final send off meet the demands of an audience who have stuck by wizards and witches for ten years?
Well, there was no doubt about it. Warner Bros weren’t going to leave fans unhappy, as The Deathly Hallows Part Two meets the expectations of many, finishing off the tale of one of the most beloved characters in film history. The ending boasts tremendous performances from Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes, bringing their characters full circle, finally completing their journey.
Rickman yet again delivers what is possibly the most entertaining performance of the series, as Snape’s tale is finally revealed with well crafted filming and acting, providing fans a fantastic montage of events. Readers of the books know what specific scenes these may be, as they definitely leave that lasting impression for the whole film.
Fiennes’ evil Voldemort is still as frightening and as brutal as before, leaving no space for error. His confrontation with the magical wizard is compelling and fulfilling, giving viewers some of the best scenes throughout. The fight scenes may leave a few desiring just a little added content, especially concerning the fact that this is the final conflict of the Second Wizarding War. Apparently some of these scenes don’t completely occur in the book, so Yates knew what he was doing at least. All in all though, the epic brawls nicely finish off the film with explosive sets and dramatic endings all round.
The main three, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe all manage to leave fans with an emotional, satisfying conclusion to their journey. Even though Radcliffe has always been the star of the show, Watson and Grint remind us as to why they were picked up for the series as such a young age.
However, it’s Matthew Lewis that steals the show when it comes to the feisty students of Hogwarts. His character Neville Longbottom goes from strength to strength, providing the bravado and comedic elements which others may not completely possess. All the regulars of Hogwarts appear throughout the film but Neville is one character that many will struggle to forget as his acting even stands out amongst the great Rickman and Fiennes.
Whilst all of this positive feedback seems promising, there are still some minor criticisms. Bellatrix Lestrange has always been a dull, unimportant character at best and this film is no exception to that problem, as her role seems ignored even more-so this time round. Her character is thrown away within mere moments and although some may cheer at her inevitable demise, unfortunately it leaves a lot to be desired.
The importance of the Malfoy family doesn’t necessarily hold much strength to the ending when it should. Draco has always been an important figure in the entire series – as his parents have been – yet their roles seem unfinished. This may be due to the sheer amount of characters to concentrate on or due to Rowling’s decisions towards finishing off the saga, but to lazily apply the Malfoy’s involvement towards the ending seems criminal.
Finally, the epilogue doesn’t seem to work on a level that fully satisfies. It seems rather forced and too rushed. Sure, to some extent it follows the book closely. The real problem is that perhaps such a short epilogue needn’t have been so badly handled. The make-up effects of the aged characters doesn’t seem too convincing and perhaps many invested so much time in Hogwarts and the Wizarding World itself, that a more appropriate lengthier ending would have sufficed.
It is worth noting that these are minor, small criticisms to an amassing saga which has managed to capture the imagination of children and adults alike. The sheer fact that Warner Bros managed to produce eight, quality films is incredible. Each film may suffer from small issues, but everyone involved in the production of these films matured along with the story. The films appropriately became darker, therefore further strengthening Rowling’s focus on the mystery and implications of death.
It is inevitable that Rowling’s Wizarding World will be picked up again for various different projects, whether they are new prequels, spin-offs or unnecessary remakes. For now though, marvel in what has been an incredible run for Warner Bros. Here’s to the cast moving onto more projects, which will hopefully inspire many.