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Harry Potter - The End of my Childhood

30th July 2011

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With the News of the World scandal on the front page of every single national newspaper, it would take something historic and monumental to take its place as headline news. Political scandal? Royal weddings? No, it took people waving wands at each other and Alan Rickman’s silky voice. Yes, the final installment of the Harry Potter film franchise hit our screens, and it has got the whole world watching, and in some cases, crying.

The makers of Harry Potter decided to well and truly cash in on the success, by splitting the 7th book of J.K Rowling’s epic tale, The Deathly Hallows into two parts, as well as prolonging the agony of 16 year olds everywhere having to say goodbye to Harry, Ron and Hermione. For people who grew up with the books and films of Harry Potter (me included) you cannot help but feel sad that it has all come to an end, and during the film even a non Harry Potter fan would not help but be swept up into the atmosphere created by the most successful movie franchise of all time. (By the way, I am a massive Harry Potter fan, so expect some bias).

But enough about Harry Potter in general. Let’s review the film. As a fan of the books, I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the first part of the Deathly Hallows. It felt rushed, and missed out on some key issues of the book. The second part however, despite having some of the same issues as the first, I found fantastic, if not the best installment so far. Some of the action sequences, dare I say it, were magical, with the battle of Hogwarts being the stand out moment, up there with the battle scenes from the 'Lord of the Rings' or '300.' The special effects were not too over the top, but were captivating; the pace of the film was perfect, with the anticipation of the final battle between Harry and Voldermort kept the viewers attention. The acting from the three stars, which at times in the previous films  has been, let’s say questionable, Harry and Voldermortwas this time up there with the adult stars of Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith. I found myself willing to come up with something bad and critical to say when I was watching the film, but the only thing I found frustrating was a person’s phone going off in the middle of the film.

And I was not the only one who was captivated by Harry Potter. Never before have I been to a film where there was applause at the end, which I found too cheesy to join in, but still! Then there was the woman next to me, who at times cried, I won’t tell you when, it will ruin it, but who before the film started was so excited that she looked like Wallace just before he is about to eat some cheese. All this goes to show just how much of an impact Harry Potter has had on everyone’s lives, not just kids (Did I mention that the woman beside me looked as if she was in her 40’s?).

But was the film perfect? No. If you read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and watched the film, you may be slightly disappointed by the lack of certain elements from the book, such as Dumbledore’s story. In addition, I believe that there may have been a bit too much of Neville Longbottom, with the speech he made feeling like that of a 12 year old, not quite the awe inspiring speeches of William Wallace and Winston Churchill. But these criticisms are almost forced, there is no doubt this is the best film I have seen, since last year’s classics of Inception and Toy Story 3.

Overall, I would present Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with four stars. It was truly a fantastic film, one that I will purchase as soon as it comes out, in order to complete the collection. However, that is where the true story lies. I know personally it feels like the end of my childhood now that Harry Potter is over. From the age of 10 it has been with me, and there is no question it is the end of an era. So it is quite easy for me to say that I give the whole Harry Potter franchise, the most successful movie franchise of all time, the biggest selling books of all time, and my personal favorite, 5 out of 5.

Thank you Harry Potter and thank you Emma Watson.

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