Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best laid plans.'" -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"He wanted to tell them what that meant to him, but he simply could not find words important enough." -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'All's fair in love and war,' said Ron brightly, 'and this is a bit of both.'" -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"It was not, after all, so easy to die." -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"…their presence was his courage, and the reason he was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other." -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.'" -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.'" -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'Tell me one last thing,' said Harry. 'Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?'
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'" -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Random Musing
When the first Harry Potter film came out, I was eleven years old and already in love with the book series. I went to see the movie with my family and, even at the very young age of eleven, it disappointed me. I didn't see another Harry Potter movie in theaters until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out and my mom decided (after seeing a well-done trailer) that she wanted to see it. We went and to my surprise I found myself really enjoying the movie. From there began the slow shift in my view of the movie series.

I went from being a vocal detractor of the Harry Potter movies to really appreciating them for their own merits. They're entertaining movies which do a fair job of adapting complicated material. Could they be better? Yes. Should you read the books instead of watching the movies? Yes. Are they very fun to watch despite not being nearly as good as their source material? Yes.

My opinion that the movies simply need to be fun and entertaining, as opposed to legitimately good, changed slightly with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Here was a genuinely good movie - not just for a Harry Potter movie, but simply as a movie on its own terms. I absolutely loved the film - thought it was a phenomenal adaptation, and I've watched it many many times. It's my favorite of the Harry Potter films, and because of how much I like it my expectations for the final film were astronomical. The other movies in the series could stay simply entertaining, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was going to be adapted into two genuinely wonderful films.

And so last night, like so many other people, I went to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 expecting an amazing epic finale to the series. Unlike so many other people though, I don't think I loved the film. I say "think" because I need to see the movie one more time to decide how I really feel about it.

I was expecting a movie that would be just as good as Part 1. Personally I don't believe that the movie managed that gargantuan task. The pacing felt overly manic to me, deaths were (oddly) not treated with the respect or gravitas I was expecting, and special effects took over characters. This isn't to say that Part 2 isn't a good movie. I believe it is. There are some very well-done moments and it's entertaining and fun to watch in the same way most Harry Potter films are. I have no qualms about paying to see it again in theaters. However, is it what I wanted it to be? No. Did it live up to my expectations? No. And do I agree with Rotten Tomatoes (and apparently the public audience at large) that it is the best of the Harry Potter films? A very firm "no."

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