It was with some apprehension that I walked into the cinema to see this final instalment of the Harry Potter saga. For, like many others my age, I grew up with Harry and this certainly defined the end of an era. For over 10 years, children and adults alike have been greatly anticipating the next book or film, and as the tag line to this epic finale states so simply, “It all ends.”
The film starts by re-establishing the ending to Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Voldemort has the Elder wand, and it is once more down to Harry and his friends to save the wizarding world from his evil grasp, a story which many found weary after the last few films failed to receive high critical acclaim. A short recap down at Bill and Fleur’s beachside cottage and we are then immediately flung into action when a trip to Gringotts is in order. The 3D journey down to Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault plunges our characters into darkness, leaving your stomach churned and attention engaged. However, with all this happening within the first 20 minutes, you start to wonder if the entire film will go at this fast surface pace. However, as the hour moves on, it becomes evident that director David Yates wanted most of the on screen action to be spent in Hogwarts. As Harry’s true home, it’s the rightful place to end the series.
So after a dragon ride and a trip through Hogsmede we are back in familiar territory. It seems all characters past and present are brought to the fore to make their final appearances and Neville Longbottom’s (Matthew Lewis) moment has officially arrived. A boy who in previous films has often had little more then a few quips to his name, is now playing a key role in the final battle, gracing us with a scene stealing performance and an emphatic speech of bravery and conviction. Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) plays a somewhat softer version of her character, which contrasts strongly to her usual haughty exterior. Meanwhile we see Alan Rickman’s enchanting and sincere performance as Professor Snape in a state of sheer vulnerability. His pivotal scene is enough to move anybody to tears, as he finally reveals to Harry the truth.
All in all it is the spectacle we had been hoping for and truly does justice to a novel which has gripped the world for such a long time. There’s epic battles, tear-jerker moments and let us not forget a certain romance that has been long in the coming. Yates, the actors and crew all did J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter fans worldwide, proud.
Cheryl Burns is a member of the Screen Lounge team at Phoenix Square. She is currently studying English Literature and Media, Communications and Culture at University.