After a year waiting for the much touted second (and the last of eight movies based on the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling) installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the film opened in Boston to audiences camouflaged in Harry Potter-like costumes. At AMC on the Boston Common it was running on 4 auditoriums simultaneously, and the lines of avid fans waiting to get inside went all the way out the doors and around the corner. The same scene could be seen at Regal Fenway and other theatres that joined the giant goodbye party.
The final chapter begins as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality (Voldemort has created several Horcruxes in an attempt to cheat death. Appropriately, his name is French for “Flight of Death” or it can also mean “Stealer/Cheater of death”). But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
This film is the only Harry Potter film to be released in 3D in cinemas in their entirety (only select scenes were available for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and only in IMAX).
The film, is a veritable who’s who of the English theatre and movie industry: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, John Hurt, and Helena Bonham Carter among others. It also featured all the young actors that helped make the series such a hot commodity: Evanna Lynch, Domhall Gleeson, and Clemence Poesy to name just a few of the cast of hundreds.
Over the years we have seen these young actors who started working in the series when they were not yet in their teens, become young adults. Few of them have been able to blossom their careers creditably.
The series has created much a print and electronic media frenzy. Every crew and staff change has been documented ad infinitum.
But what of the film as such? I must confess it was more entertaining than Part 1 which made us wish that Part 2 would never come to life for there was no real story in it. It was a cheap attempt to capitalize on its popularity with no real script. It also meant a chance for old stars of the series to make their cameos. Well, Part 2 was just a small improvement. The faint applause at the end was as much of relief that this would be the last exercise in futility as it was to recognize the series as a whole, but it wasn’t praise. Only a bored audience gets up in the middle of the movie to go to the concession stand and to the bathrooms: this audience was bored and fidgeting. The pace was very slow, the wand fights were monotonous, and there was no effort at originality of the special effects.
Should you go to see Harry Potter? You be the judge after you see it. By all means, don’t miss the last of the boring series. After you read the books, the films are a waste. Remember, as one young fan told me, it’s a generational “thing”.
With a lot of help from my friends in the audience who are so eager to share their comments after we leave the auditorium, from Beautiful Beantown on the banks of the Mighty Chuckie, for The Examiner, this is Lily… Have you bought your ticket yet?