My mom was in town last weekend. We had a lot of fun, going around seeing some of the sites and just having a nice relaxing weekend. On Saturday, the three of us decided to go see the final Harry Potter film.
My wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans. We’ve both seen all the movies, and read all the books multiple times. So, this is something we had been waiting a very long time for.
We all enjoyed the movie a lot, even my mom who is more of a casual fan of the series. Even though, she didn’t quite know the full story, she was able to mostly jump in and enjoy the exciting conclusion to this epic saga.
However, I have noticed a problem when I was trying to build an overall review of the film in my head. This is just something I do with everything. For good or for bad, I’m always looking at things with a critical eye. The problem with this film, is it is not a complete movie.
In your standard 3 act film story structure, this film begins near the end of Act 2 and the majority of the film is Act 3. This film is all resolution with little to no setup. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is truly a 4 and a half hour film that has been chopped. So, talking about this film by itself is literally like talking about a film where you came in late and missed the first half.
Of course, I’ve seen the first half and greatly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to have both films on blu-ray where I can sit down and take in the full story. But, I feel that you can’t really review Part 2 by itself, it needs to be judged in context with Part 1.
So, this is not my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. That review will never truly exist, because I really want to look at this as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Not Part 1 and Part 2.
The Harry Potter films are among the best adaptations of books to film out there. In any adaptation, changes are required. Some things that work in a novel, just don’t work on the screen. I know people always complain about any changes, I have done plenty of this. However, with these films, I think that the vast majority of changes have been positive and have served to make the overall story better. Deathly Hallows is among the most faithful of the series, part of the reason why it is so long. But, the film never seemed to drag, lose focus or get caught in the minutiae.
It’s sad to see the story come to a close, but I’m very happy with the conclusion. I hope that others will use this series as a blueprint for adapting other novels to films.