Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

How many films have gone with eight films that most of the audience enjoys? It’s an insane Hollywood anomaly. Perhaps it’s because the book were such bestsellers, the producers knew not to stray away from the source. Or perhaps they recognized there was a strong story at the core of each entry.

Instead of focusing on making each one bigger than the last, Harry Potter has been slowly setting up a smart full story. The movies can’t accurately depict how well Rowling as set this up. The final book is by far my favorite entry because it shows all of the cards with full effect. Rowling made sense of almost every plot point from the last six books by introducing horocruxes and Dumbledore’s knowledge.

So how can the movies pull that off? On a business end, it made sense to start the movies with 2001, even though the final book didn’t come out until 2007. They had no idea what would play the biggest part in the finale, but they made due with the most satisfying finale possible.

It’s hard to see Part 2 was a full movie. It’s really just the ending. It’s a lot of action, quality dialog, and brief moments of humor to remind the audience how much the creators care about these characters. They continue with the best effects possible (aside from a few flying scenes) and there are so many shots of quiet moments that shows there is still powerful storytelling at its forefront.

They have to pack so many scenes in the last two hours, but director David Yates and screenwriter Steven Kloves know it has to count. They can’t just show the moments; they have to make the moments work. For the most part they pull of it off. The movie has an unprecedented sense of epicness and the stakes are high. The series has never been able to shine upon some of the secondary characters so if—hypothetically—some of them die, the emotion isn’t there.

Yet when focused on the main three heroes, the film works. Very well. Voldemort is the baddest of the bad and Harry, Ron, and Hermonine are the best of the best. Their courage, creativity, and sacrifice is what maintains the heart of the franchise. There are plenty of exciting moments but the reason they matter is because these three are in the center of it. There is love and care with this series and that’s why it has maintained successful.

Is this the best movie of the series? No. Is this the best movie of the series when combined with the last film? Yes. This is when they have been able to break format and show how important all of these things are. This isn’t about winning the House Cup. This is the fate of the world and that point is made clear. Everything matters in this last battle.

The film built up the final moments so much, it’s hard to payoff successfully. I’m not sure they did, but they got very close. The final scene works better than it did in the book, but still wasn’t able to contain all of the nuances of the series. Although, I preferred the movie version of the last scene to the book’s version. For the book was too invested in the smaller details, the movies tried to stay to what’s the most important. Therefore, a nice balance is created. The Harry Potter movie franchise will live on to incredible recognition and will be happily shown to future generations. Until it’s remade, of course…

For no particular reason here is my ranking of the whole series: 7>3>8>6>4>5>2>1

1 comment:

  1. I certainly agree with you about the first movie being the worst of the lot. I was amazed at just how low budget the special effects are in the first movie when I saw parts of it again this past weekend.