So, Harry Potter franchise has finally come to an end, after 10 years of immense success. The eighth movie has been released all over the world, and moviegoers have flocked to the cinemas to see their little heroes one more time.
However, some of them might be disappointed. Me included. I was walking into the cinema with lots of hope for a brilliant ending, especially after watching the impressive trailers. I put so much hope into it that we even opted for the 3D showing, even though we were not really fans of 3D technology. Well, the movie turned out just ok, not fantastic and not extraordinary. Even the 3D effects were not really eye popping. A far cry from Avatar in terms of technology.
Of course, among the ordinary, there were still special moments, and most of them involved Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. Compared with Harry and Ron, Hermione really shone. Emma was acting quite naturally, and she displayed the emotions much better than her co-stars. Watching her, I could share her feelings, and undertand what she went through. The rest of the movie was simply sequential and monotonic.
The movie stayed true to the story for the most part of it. That could have been good, since the book was full of details and surprises and knots waiting to be untied. However, having focused too much on the sequence of events, the movie become a boring narration. There were few special moments, where the director could show his talent, change the pace and focus on the people involved, to leave a deep impression in the audience. Too few to make it an outstanding movie.
The challenges faced by Ron and Hermione in this journey were supposed to be the key to unlocking their feelings for each other, bringing them closer and building the bonds between them. However, that failed to be presented in the movie. Instead, I had a feeling that Hermione was closer to Harry than Ron, and the kiss between them suddenly felt out of place.
This book was also the final showdown for Voldemort, where he showed his full power, his utmost brutality and his true face. However, the Voldemort that I saw in the movie was just a mere shadow of the brutal Dark Lord I had constructed from my imagination after reading the book. He was normal, at times mediocre, and did not evoke much fear. He talked too much, said too many unnecessary lines, and portrayed a soft person instead of the ruthless dictator. The improvisations by the film makers at the end of the movie made things even worse. The prolonged final battle made it almost a joke, and the way Voldemort died was modified beyond recognition and beyond the logic of the previous events.
Having said that, the final movie was not really too bad. It was just a bit less fantastic than what I imagined it to be. Moreover, it was a bit too short, and coupled with the lengthy final battle, that left insufficient screen time for the rest of the journey. When you have limited time, and so many things to cover, it’s understandable why things turned out monotonic, as you simply could not have the luxury to stop and let it sink in, and had to make use of each and every second.
In terms of the characters, besides the star of Hermione, the one that caught my attention was Bellatrix. She was still the same Bellatrix that we saw in the previous movies, brutal, merciless, mental and thirsty for blood, death and pain. Of course, she could not explode into tiny particles, but even with that, she was still outstanding and stood out from the rest.
Another actor who showed consistency throughout the whole franchise was Alan Rickman, who played Professor Snape. He was cold, calm and collected, and never raised his voice, not even once. He was a perfect spy, walked the line from the first moment till the last, yet not raised any suspicion. He was every bit the Snape we saw in the books. He was really a star, the rare true gem of the movie. He did not have much screen time, but he made full use of every minute allocated to him, to portray the image of one of the best spies the world has ever seen, and of a man who lived every minute of his life with pain and loss and hatred for himself, thinking what he had done was unforgivable.
Last but not least, this might be the last time I watched 3D movie in cinema. My patience with 3D has become very thin. The movie seemed to look worse in 3D format. It was too dark, and the layers were not clear. Moreover, there were only 2 layers in most part of the movie. It seemed like a crude version of 3D, with no depth, touched up from 2D in a rush for premiere. I will wait for the DVD and watch it again in 2D format to see the difference.
So, goodbye Harry Potter. You have charmed us for 10 years, now it’s time to move on. I will miss the feeling of waiting for the next movie to come, just like the feeling of waiting for the next book to come and the emptiness I felt holding the last book in my hands. However, the show must go on, and who knows one day, Harry Potter will come back, to charm us all one more time.