Saturday, 21 April 2012

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Thanks to the power of DVDs I have, these past few months been catching up on the series. I got bored of reading the series about halfway through the fifth book and I couldn't be arsed actually reading the rest, so the films will have to do.

Something that does translate well from the books to the films is the strength of main cast, but even more impressively, the supporting cast. Thanks to being able to use eight feature-length films and ten years, pretty much everyone gets reasonably developed (at least, as far as they're going to get in what is, ultimately, a children's film). Over the series, watching Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson grow up and become proper actors is a pretty unique experience. Hell, I've f*cking grown up along the same time as them (I can still remember my class at primary school going to see the first film).

I digress, like I said, my favourite part of this film in particular is the supporting cast. Resolutions to minor arcs all over the shop: Malfoy's family finally being not terrible, Neville becoming a badass, why Snape is actually a good guy, Ron and Hermione finally getting their sh*t together and a lot that I'm probably forgetting. I'm also fairly certain that Helena Bonham Carter gives us one of my favourite secondary characters in film as Bellatrix Lestrange. It's probably just because I have a thing for HBC, but the scenes where she is playing Hermione masquerading as Bellatrix are particularly impressive. Apparently they had Emma Watson act out the scene herself (which they used the voice off) then had HBC do it for shooting, so you've got HBC acting like Emma Watson acting like Hermione acting like Bellatrix.

The film works great as a feel good film. I'm pretty sure you can guess that in the end the good guys win. If it weren't what it is, I'd say that it felt a little too neat of an ending. There was a lot of carnage in the final few set pieces that just gets glossed over a little bit, and a lot of things that one particular character should be bothered about at least (one of Ron's brothers is killed off, and he doesn't seem particularly shaken by it at all in the next scene). But I can accept that, even with the darker tone that the later films have taken the series would always have had a largely good ending. One thing I really couldn't enjoy was the epilogue, waaaayyyy too short. A two minute scene catching up with only the main characters is fine in a stand-alone film or anything up to a trilogy. But an eight film series? Come on, I've waited ten years and sat through something like 18+ hours to find out what these characters end up doing. I didn't even see any of the supporting cast (apart from Malfoy) in the background in that last scene. What the f*ck happened to them? I'm honestly considering going out to buy the book just to get the proper epilogue, and if it's just as bad in there I don't know how I'll handle it.

But yeah, all-in-all I love these films, particularly the later ones. It might be the rose tinted glasses of a childhood favourite, but they're really well produced and give you a lot of great moments between the main cast, even if they are so cliched they're signposted from outside the theatre.

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