The night before I went to see The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 I was trying to think of the last time I felt so sad about a movie or television show ending. Up until this, major entertainment milestones included watching the last episode of Dawson’s Creek (I forgot to tape it for some reason, and I made my next door neighbor bring it to my house right after it was over) or hearing that Rent was closing on Broadway or rushing out to buy the last book in The Baby-Sitter’s Club, even if I haven’t read any of the current releases in a bunch of years. Many bloggers have said the same things in the last couple of weeks – how much the series has touched them, how these characters are just like members of their extended family, and how, quite possibly, the series will never really be over.
So it’s strange to go into a movie theatre and be totally excited and sort of sad at the same time. Especially when you know the ending. But here I was with a big group of Harry friends, armed with a packet of tissues and sour patch kids. Except, TMI, I had to pee from the very beginning… and I even went before the movie. (Lots of water.)
And for two hours plus, I was so riveted I didn’t even remember I had to go to the bathroom once.
Honestly, the movie wasn’t perfect and I still liked Part 1 better. I thought they did a great job with the plot, the instrumentals were moving, and there were several parts that were totally heartbreaking. (I cried a lot.) I guess I was just hoping for perfection in the worst way with this final chapter. I wanted the flashbacks to be more involved and stronger. I wanted the final battle between Harry and Voldemort to have more action. His death to be more dramatic. I would have loved for a more elaborate epilogue. Don’t get me wrong – I thought it was well done. Loved Ron’s beer belly. But I kind of wanted them to speak to each other, and a zoom out on the train heading back to a Hogwarts that is all pieced together again. Fade out.
But those are just small details. The feelings that I had while reading the final chapters of DH were there. The fear, the helplessness, the rush, the sadness, and at some point, the joy of defeat, triumph, and the possibility of moving forward. While the images on screen were not always the way I had imagined, all the elements worked together to make those feelings so real to me. So many moments I was thinking… I’m not sure if I could ever be as brave as Harry. Especially when he finds out he must die.
Another thing I loved about the movie this time around was the humor. It was still there, and I was really impressed with Ron’s comedic timing. I think he really turned it up this time, for sure. I also liked the scene where Harry is reunited with his peers, asking them to search for something somewhere. Not only did I love seeing so many of the characters we have grown to know so well, but hey, it was a light moment in the middle of pure chaos.
Yet again, the main three showed just how much they grew as actors, and truly embodied these characters. This time, I definitely thought there were standup performances from Neville and Draco, once again. (God, it’s amazing how gorgeous these guys turned out since that first movie.) I think the scenes surrounded these two particular characters were so key to the entire series. Neville never thought much of himself, and look at what he became. Draco thought too much of himself. I’m sure he never imagined not turning in Harry to Voldemort, or even being saved by him when everything looked too bleak. (This scene is the reason I love Harry the most. Who would go back for the “enemy”?)
It’s impossible to go over every detail. It’s just like every time I reread the series and realize just how many small (or not so small) elements I’ve forgotten. It makes it brand new for me again. I think that’s why this series is such a gift. A miracle almost. It’s the classic story of good vs. evil but we have managed to attach ourselves so much to these characters and stories but not enough to know them fully. There are always more questions, and more details to discover whether it is by rereading the books or rewatching of the movies. Can you imagine the day when our children are reading Harry Potter in their classes as we read The Chronicles of Narnia or A Wrinkle in Time? Amazing, isn’t it? They’ll even have the movies to supplement all those books. (Lucky ducks.)
And for me, it will always be the friendship of these three different people that will stand out to me the most. Three people who met on a train, and in classes that very first year. A boy with a scar who had never known was it was like to have a friend. Quite suddenly, he became a boy with a home, and friends with two people who were willing to risk their lives to help him defeat the biggest villain of their world. Sure, they fought. They didn’t always understand each other. But it was that friendship that gave Harry the strength to accomplish all that he did. To understand why what he had was so much important than the power and strength Voldemort had worked so hard to acquire. So in the end, the fact that they were standing on that platform 19 years later together, that was the prize to me. No matter how we got there.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.