Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Allow me to moan frustrated about the horribly disfigured aspect my 3D glasses gave to this film. The spectacle cast in shadow, almost unrecognizable, to no purpose whatsoever. I paid the pounds sterling equivalent of £6 for this shit (this in a cineplex in Varna) and feel royally ripped-off. Kill this fad dead, please, movie-theatre-going public, I implore you.

THAT rant over with, we can move on to say that this final chapter was thoroughly enjoyable, with slight reservations. Radcliff will never be Harry Potter, but the onrush of events and the gravity of the melodrama serve to disguise that fact. Indeed, there is really very little space for the kind of character-building Part 1 indulged in, which comes as a relief. Shorter, sharper pay-offs, and a greater emphasis on metaphor and theme, make this installment arguably the best of an uneven series.

Two things, really, one done well and the other not. Heaven is hard to do in fiction, but the white plain stretching to pillars blurred with refracting light did the business. And the call-back in the final scene at King's Cross is overt, underlining the importance of free-will. What do I do now? -- that endless question. Death or the courage to go on. You get to decide.

But a Harry Potter film wouldn't be a true Harry Potter film without at least one concluding scene botched. Immediately after Harry threw the broken pieces of the Elder Wand off the bridge, I began to direct the scene differently in my head. Cut the sweep, Mr. Yates. Radcliff should have let Grint's question hang in the air, then grin and say "Yes!", giving the audience the impression that he WILL claim invincibility, greatness. And then he should have calmly snapped the wand in two, and dropped it as if it were worthless. Stepping down, trading a determined look with Grint, then Watson, and they all smile at each other. And they walk back to Hogwarts, like they always have before, picking up the threads of conversation as the camera cranes away. Power rejected as an empty prize, our heroes settle for love and normality -- the family dramas at platform 9 3/4 which close the film. THE POINT, of all of it, bottled, quietly sipped. THAT'S how it should have been done.

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