Boring. Uneventful. Disappointing. These are not words I would have guessed would fit the conclusions of the Harry Potter movie franchise starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, “The Deathly Hallows Part 2” directed by David Yates.
And yet, especially in the first five to ten minutes, the movie already had problems. Eerie silence. Uncomfortable body posturing, lack-lustre lines and poor delivery. It felt to me like all the actors were more focused on their other, more recent projects, and couldn’t wait to put Harry Potter behind them.
I think what the director was going for was somber, calm, tragic, heavy – but I expect that the pace would eventually take off. Instead, it never did; the movie even altered events in the book! Instead of the triumphant, brilliant, exciting conclusion of Harry Potter 7 (as written by Rowling in Deathly Hallows) where Harry defeats Voldemort in Hogwarts surrounded by friends and they all cheer and celebrate, and he explains why the wand responds to him and not Voldemort mid-battle, in the movie Harry battles Voldemort alone – leaving out the key dialogue points to be filled in (and poorly) at the very end.
They even threw in a cheesy scene where Harry and Voldemort wrestle and their faces blend together as if they’re one person – it made my girlfriend laugh out loud.
At first it seemed to be written as a stand alone film for people who didn’t read the books: they kept throwing in extra information that seemed unnatural and out of character, like “Hey Harry, don’t forget to bring your cloak of invisibility, you know, that you dad left you and makes you invisible.” At one point Ron tells Hermione “Harry must be in the room of requirement, that’s why he doesn’t show up on the Marauder’s Map. You told me that last year.” And she says “Yes. I did.”
Hard to explain exactly what I’m getting out – the lines were terse and enigmatic, spaced out by strange silences and weird looks. So even though it seemed they were trying to give viewers all the information even if they weren’t Harry Potter fans, at the same time filmography choices seemed to directly lead them in the wrong direction.
Harry deliberately drops the philosopher’s stone on the ground before Voldemort kills him (close up on the hand, the dropping stone), but we aren’t told why. Dumbledore remarks on Snape’s Patronus being a stag in a lewd way that made my Dad think Snape was secretly Harry’s father.
Non-Harry Potter fans (like my parents) came away from the movie not really understanding what had happened at all. And me, as a huge fan with high hopes, can’t understand what went wrong.
Did you see Deathly Hallows Part 2? What did you think?