Like any huge Harry Potter fan, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the films. Some things just won’t live up to your expectations and to some degree this is true of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, with that little disclaimer, if you’re not psyched for the second to last installment of Harry’s adventures, you should be, because it is epic. And awesome. And excellent. And brilliant. And about fifty other adjectives.
From the opening sequence, this film was absolutely riveting and I had an emotional investment from the get-go. Out of all its predecessors, this film was the most faithful to the books. Writer Steve Kloves did omit several scenes that disappointed me, such as a very pivotal scene between werewolf Remus Lupin and Harry. But after his miniscule role in the sixth movie, I’m used to my favorite werewolf getting the shaft.
The special effects were breathtaking. I had forgotten how amazing it is to watch a group of wizards duel in the middle of downtown London—narrowly escaping double-decker buses and nearly falling out of their flying motorcycles. There is one scene—the scene where Hermione tells the story of The Three Brothers, a fairy tale about three mystical objects called the Deathly Hallows—that took my breath away. I can’t tell you more than that without giving anything away, but trust me: when you see this scene, you’ll understand.
The acting was also quite excellent. Jason Isaacs usually plays Death Eater Lucius Malfoy with a sneer, but in this film we can see just how frightened he is of his master, Lord Voldemort. And speaking of the Big Bad himself, Ralph Fiennes pulls off some serious make-up and prosthetic work to give the entire audience chills. The adult characters have always stolen the show from the teen actors, but in this movie Rupert Grint, the actor playing Ron Weasely, stole the show right back.
Honestly, with the exception of the special effects, the beauty of this movie lies in the simplicity and subtlety of the details, like two characters falling asleep holding hands, a joke shared between twins, a summer wedding or a stolen kiss goodbye.
I know that the first six Harry Potter films have escaped any Oscar buzz, but I think that this is the film to generate it. I predict at least three Oscar noms: one for best original score, one for cinematography and one for directing. The music, composed by Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat, for his work on Benjamin Button, gave me chills. Director David Yates brings out the best of both the actors and the sets–he used the rolling English countryside with breathtaking precision. Cinematographer Eduardo Serra previously received two Oscar noms–one for his work on 2003’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” and a second for 1997’s “The Wings of the Dove.” As a college student, it is my highly professional opinion that another Oscar nomination is in Serra’s future.
And now for the big question: is this movie worth the price of admission? Uh, yeah. Yeah it is. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is worth the price of at least two IMAX tickets. Trust me when I say this is a movie that you do NOT want to wait to see.