Oh, this final Harry Potter movie is a tear-jerker indeed. The plucky underdog, whose struggles you’ve followed through seven previous films, finally gets his time in the sun. He faces down his relentless and terrifying – not to mention annoying – nemesis for the final time. And it ends in heartbreak.
Forgive me this spoiler, but this movie hit me straight in the heart and I can’t go on without addressing the way this saga concludes. If you are to watch this tragedy, you must know in advance that Tom Marvolo Riddle, known also as Lord Voldemort, finally meets his end at the savage wand of the sadistic, wand-wielding killer whom the film series is named after.
Prior knowledge of Voldemort’s untimely passing allows you to better appreciate the time you have left with our slot-nostriled mentor, who is unfairly persecuted for his sublimely innocent will to resurrect his soul and put together an army of black-hooded marauders to dispatch a gang of hippies in order to take a stand stand for wizards’ rights.
I envy you, dear reader, because I didn’t realize Voldy was going to die at the end of this thing, despite having read the book. Sure, I figured, J.K. Rowling felt the need to pander to be “edgy” by killing off her protagonist in the final volume, but surely Hollywood – with its penchant for escapism and happy endings – would correct the author’s error and grant us the conclusion that just seemed so right. Not to mention logical.
I mean, just look at the facts. Voldemort is not only roundly acknowledged as history’s most powerful wizard, and surely tougher than a 17-year-old Hogwarts dropout. Plus, he took such great care to hide horcruxes – magical totems that fuel him with power and provide him avenues to come back to life – in such daunting places as an impenetrable Gringotts vault, his pet, computer-animated snake who’s constantly at his side and, most cleverly, in Harry’s detestable soul – that his death seems about as likely as a Casey Anthony “not guilty” verdict. So you can understand my frame of mind when I put a $10,000 bet down with my local bookmaker that Voldemort would pull off a triumph. But you know what they say about Murphy and his damned law. I have now lost my kneecaps as well as my belief that life, even for someone so proud and altruistic as Voldemort, is anything more than a toxic sequence of soul-poisoning travesties.
Emotions aside, I must heap credit upon director David Yates for crafting a superb finale to his grotesque spectacle of horror. I am sure to have nightmares about Daniel Radcliffe, his beady eyes glowering beneath those ice-cold spectacles, coming after me with his satanic incantations and deadly wand, which for some reason in the final two movies has transformed into a laser gun. Radcliffe’s Potter is a devilishly abominable creation, capturing the dogged determination of Jason Voorhees, creepy ability to infiltrate the hero’s mind of Freddie Krueger and coldhearted penchant for casual animal cruelty of Dora the Explorer.
Bravo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. You have broken my spirit and taken away my idol. You are such a good movie that I will have to pretend you don’t exist. For me, the series ended with triumph at the end of Part 1. But as the maxim goes, the only stories with happy endings are those that aren’t yet finished.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes. Written by Steve Kloves, based on the J.K. Rowling novel. Directed by David Yates. 130 minutes. Rated PG-13.
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