We have now reached the end of the Harry Potter saga with the eighth and final film. As most of the fans are well aware of only seven Harry Potter books have been written but the studio decided to break the last book up into two parts. Returning to direct is David Yates who has done the previous three Harry Potter installments. Can the final film in a franchise that has been said by some critics to be this generations Star Wars meet those expectations?
The film begins with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermoine (Emma Watson) planning what they should do next because they now know that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) now is in possession of the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand is said to be the most powerful wand in existence. The three continue their quest to hunt down and destroy the remaining Horcrux’s (pieces of Voldemort’s soul that he has hidden in various locations) in order to weaken Voldemort so they will be able to defeat him.
Like the previous film this movie relies strongly on the emotional attachment that the audience has developed for the characters over the course of this film franchise. This becomes even more apparent since the same actors and actresses have all returned. That is something that these movies deserve a lot of credit for because the audience has now seen these actors who started off as kids grow up into young adults. Furthermore, with each film the performances get better and better. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson are the next generation of movie stars. All three are great on screen in this film, especially Radcliffe who is able to evoke the emotion required to make the scenes as convincing as possible.
Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) has always been a great actor. However, in this final film his character plays a much more significant role. He has played a larger role in the previous films but in this one his role is much more compelling. It would be a shame if Rickman did not get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the work he does in this film.
The film’s pacing is also worth mentioning because it manages to balance both drama and action in a way that most modern blockbuster movies do not. The well timed cuts do not allow the audience to grow restless, just when the talking and the banter begin to outlast there welcome, the film than shifts to the major battle scene and vice versa. Furthermore, I mentioned earlier about the emotional attachment that the audience has to these characters and the audience feels the full brunt of that. This is due to the fact that this movie has several major characters that get killed and everyone in the audience was tearing up. I have no shame in saying that I was right there with them as well.
I do not have many bad things to say about this film. However, one of the minor issues that I do have with it is although I praised the movie’s pacing and how it cuts at the right moments, I wished some of the emotional scenes would have gone on just a little longer so the emotion could have been a little deeper. I just want to make that point because I felt that some of the scenes were cut a little too prematurely. My only other issue with the film is there introduction of new characters. This movie introduces Albus Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth. Since Albus was such a major character it is natural to think his brother would be as well. However, little to no information is given about him. I do not know if this is the same in the book but since he is a new character more information would have allowed me to understand his significance to the story. These two problems are little in nature but I just wanted to mention them.
When this film concluded I sat in my chair for close to ten minutes, I did this mainly because it hit me that it is all over now. At first I was not sure if I agreed with what the critics were saying with regards to the Harry Potter franchise being the modern day Star Wars. The more I think about it the more I now agree with them. The Harry Potter movies have been an amazing ride and I am happy that I jumped on. It would be a crime if this film did not get a Best Picture nomination as well as several other nominations. I love this film.