Matinee: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

In June of 1997 a certain book, about a certain wizard written by a particular unknown female author was released and they rest they say is history. 14 years, 7 books, eight motion pictures and about 15 billion dollars later, here we are and the Harry Potter phenomenon has indeed come to an end….for now.

In a way, the last two films were always going to be the most important, everything was always leading up to the moment when the series came to an end. The first six films could’ve been absolute drivvle…. and at times they were , the producers could’ve cast Pee-Wee Herman as Harry Potter….and at times I wish they did and it probably wouldn’t have made a shred of difference. The success of the series was always hinged on the how the last book was going to be replicated. If the final installments of this mementous cinematic event were to fail, then that is how the Harry Potter film series would be remembered and some of the great moments and performances of the other 6 films would be forgotten and even I would say that would be a shame.

So what’s the verdict?

I would thoroughly enjoy and love the oppourtnity to tear these films apart and perform a final avada kedavra on the series. But I can’t. Like the series as a whole, the final two films posess some really glorious and inspiring moments that really make for sensational viewing, but with that comes an equal number of moments that are unforgivably awful.

For a group of young actors that have been in each others’ pockets for about half the time they’ve been on this planet, they have about as much chemistry as a cheese sandwich. Emma Watson seems to be playing her own game of how many different faces she can pull in each scene while she doesn’t have any lines, eyebrows are indeed working overtime. Daniel Radcliffe continues to apply coat after coat of Ronseal to his wooden frame, for a character that has so much depth and intrigue about him, a dream role for any young actor its a shame that a piece of Ikea furniture continued to show up,there’s a certain strain on his face throughout that looks like he’s either forgotten his lines or he has problems with his bowels. Rupert Grint does indeed plays dimwitted Ron rather well, but when he isn’t being dimwitted, when he’s called on to be the leading man, to be a lover to Watson, a friend to Radcliffe he struggles to hit the high notes as it were, as if he was holding back. Maybe I’m being incredibly hard, maybe they do deserve some rewad for a job well done. But, if you compare the performances given by the three leading actors in the first few films to their performances towards the end of the series, they lack that enthusiasm, that enjoyment, that sense of giving it their all that they had when they were children. I guess through the whirlwind that has been there life throughout the series, they had truly forgotten what it is like to enjoy a character and given 100% in their craft. I don’t doubt that they all have considerable talent and I will look forward to watching their careers unfold, but by the end of it, I think that this whole ordeal, playing the same character for ten years,  had taken it out of them.

The turning point for me, is David Yates’ inspired directing. For someone to have never directed a a feature film before, to then go on take the helm and finish off the biggest movie series of all time, well… he’s got bigger balls than me. He has indeed showed his work as an auteur and really found his own directing style, that give the final films a brilliant, dark chilling and tense feel throughout.  The Harry Potter series owe their success to him, he doesn’t rush through the story he spends just the right amount of time on each scene for it to serve its purpose, to drive the story along to its final climax. The battle sequences are atonishing and beautifully shot. The score holds this air of dread and impending doom which mirrors Harry’s task perfectly. Plus, The Three Brother’s animation sequence is beyod sublime.

Alan Rickman…..enough said really. There are not enough superlatives to describe this man. His severe lack of screen time throughout the series is completely forgiven for the flashack revelation we get to see in Part 2, it is evidence of an actor at the top of his game, a performance of pure emotion that I wish had rubbed of on Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. Ralph Fiennes is equally brilliantly Shakespearean and Matthew Lewis deciding to pull something out of the bag is a real treat.

For all the bad moments that leave you cringing in your seat, the unnecessary comedy, Tom Felton’s tears, Voldemort’s hug, the Harry Potter series is given the send off it deserves. And whatever that certain female authour decides to do next with him doesn’t matter. Harry Potter has been a part or millions of people’s lives for the best part of fifteen years and for all its discrepancies and the times you’ve felt let down by the films. They will still be watached over and over, until the disc can play no more, the books will be read and re-read again until they fall apart. This is indeed an end of an era.

Or is it?


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