Following the release of Part One in December, the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was released a couple of weeks ago.
THIS POST WILL CONTAIN BOTH MAJOR AND MINOR SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE BOOK AND THE FILM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I went to see Part Two last night and very much enjoyed it, though for some reason I was not quite as impressed as I thought I would be. I can’t quite put my finger on why, as the film was very good.
As a Harry Potter nerd, there were a few changes to the book which I didn’t particularly like, such as Harry’s irritating tendency to call his elders ‘Sir’, clearly the influence of the American screenwriter Steve Kloves. Snape’s death scene is moved to a boathouse, which has never been mentioned in the books or seen in the films. I’m not sure what was wrong with the Shrieking Shack. Perhaps they didn’t have the budget to film the Whomping Willow. There was a brief reference to Neville having feelings for Luna, which is non-canon and has in fact been denied by J.K. Rowling. The final climactic battle between Harry and Voldemort is a private affair rather than taking place in the Great Hall in front of everyone, which I felt took away from the scene. I also thought that a little more attention could have been paid to the deaths of some of the series main characters.
That said, the breaking into Gringotts sequence was excellent and it was nice to be able to return to the familiar stomping grounds of Hogwarts following the previous film, in which the school did not feature at all. Almost every character who has had a part to play in the series returned for a little face time if not a line, even the more minor characters like Professor Sprout and those who have not appeared for several films, such as Percy Weasley. It felt like the characters were being honoured in a way and was very appropriate.
I wasn’t sure if they would include the book’s ’19 Years Later’ epilogue but they do and it worked surprisingly well. It would have been naff to end the series with other, older actors playing the older versions of the characters we know and love so I was pleased to see that they stuck with the main stars. The film crew team did an excellent job aging Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron through new haircuts, different clothes and subtle changes to their face shapes to indicate putting on weight. They also made Snape look younger during a flashback scene.
The series has been an absolute triumph and that is no easy feat. The books, as with most books adapted into films, are superior, but to do such a good job with the film adaptations is very impressive.