Daily Archives: July 22, 2011

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 (spoilers)

I guess it’s about time I started reading the books.

I have now seen all the movies. I just returned from the final entry.

The final story in a cohesive series bears a huge burden. It must tie together the threads of not only its own story, but of the entire series in a satisfying way. In this case, there have been seven movies leading up to this final showdown. That’s a lot of story to tie together and a lot of weight to carry.

I haven’t quite finished processing what I think of this film yet, so I am just going to list some thoughts I have below. We’ll see where that takes us. There will be huge, massive spoilers. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know. Seriously.

  • I enjoyed the film overall, but something felt missing. I wonder if that would improve if I watched parts 1 and 2 back to back. I admit to having forgotten some detail of part 1 in the intervening months.
  • Snape turns out to be a good guy. No surprise there. I was surprised, however, at the violence of his death – and really that he died at all. I thought he’d make it.
  • Snape had the same patronis as Harry’s mother and Harry (right?). Here I’m a little confused. Was that simply because they’d been friends for so long and he loved her, or because he was really Harry’s father? I think that distinction was a little unclear.
  • I think I need to hear the Deathly Hallows story again. Am I right in gathering that Dumbledore was the central character in that story? He certainly had possession of all three hallows.
  • What was the point of the resurrection stones? Just that he can talk to dead loved ones? I’m not sure I see why he dropped it in the woods.
  • I liked all the callbacks to previous films (mostly in revisiting key locations).
  • I’m a little confused about the timeline surrounding the Gryffendor sword and its replica.
  • I’m a little disappointed in the death of Voldemorte. It looked cool and dramatic and all, but I really don’t think it was pulled off in a way that supported the theme of all the stories (which it had to do): that love is greater than evil. As shown, Harry fought evil with power and smarts, though in the end it came down to power. I understand that I’m oversimplifying and that friendship and love did figure in, but the emphasis was really on the fact that the Elder Wand was rejecting Voldemorte. So it’s just the mechanics of magic that beat him and Harry was good enough to capitalize on that. That’s fine, but doesn’t really support the love theme very well. As I said to my wife on the way home, really all they had to do to refocus the emphasis was to show the ghosts of his loved ones standing around Harry encouraging and supporting him. That would have clearly shown that what was sustaining Harry was love. And I wouldn’t have minded seeing a little more fear – or maybe rage – on Voldemorte’s face at the end, either.

There’s more bubbling around in my head, but those are the biggest rocks tumbling around in there.

Have you seen it yet? Read the books? What did you think? Can you answer my questions?