I’ve made peace with the fact that everything won’t make it into the films - really fantastic things too, like Kreacher’s rallying of the house elves. There simply isn’t time to include everything and things have to be changed to make it fit into the film format. It used to piss me off, but I get it now. So, with that in mind, I think the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 did a wonderful job closing out the series.
The start is a little jarring. It's probably a good idea to watch Pt 1 again. You’re just thrown into the action with no preamble and it’s a bit disorientating. It took me a while to settle back into the story and get used to the pace because it felt like things were just happening too quickly. Once you get past that, however, it’s an enjoyable ride that delivers both the familiar, while also taking some interesting turns. It’s great for example to see the others fighting during the Battle of Hogwarts because it’s not a view you’re afforded in the books, always being tied to Harry. I thought it was quite clever to show Voldemort coming undone with the destruction of the horcruxes, becoming more desperate and more deranged as it went on.
Some memorable moments for me was Neville’s turn as a total BAMF and McGonagall stepping up and being completely awesome. I was thrilled with the translation of ‘The Prince’s Tale’ to the screen – it was everything I could have hoped for and Alan Rickman’s performance was a real standout of the film. Really though, I thought the cast all turned in convincing performances.
I think it’s testament to a franchise’s strength that it can continue to surprise you and continue to push you into wanting things to go a certain way, even when you know exactly how it all plays out. In the stand-off scene between the Death Eaters and the Hogwarts fighters, I so desperately wanted Draco to stay on the Hogwarts side. I knew it wouldn’t happen, but I just wanted this character to finally be something more, to redeem himself and live up to his potential. Even though I didn’t get that, I thought it was oddly fulfilling to watch him and his mother walk away. I found a grudging respect for Narcissa there.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but everything seems to have come together in the final film, the performances, the effects, the balance of the book-to-film tone. Overall, I thought it to be a suitable end to an era. It’s bittersweet, sad but triumphant and hopeful, and isn’t that really a mirror of how we all feel? It’s over but, you know, somehow it’s okay.
Music: On an unknown beach - Amanda Palmer