Warning – contains spoilers!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was always going to be popular, was always going to break box office records, (a massive £297m worldwide on its opening weekend) and was always going to receive huge praise from the critics.
After seeing the film for myself on Sunday afternoon, I would completely agree with those billing it as the ‘film of the year’ and feeling saddened at the end of such an incredible journey. To say that a lot of late teens have grown up with the Harry Potter books, and now the films, is not an understatement; this has been a project spanning nearly a decade.
Unfortunately, despite Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 being a truly spectacular, epic and thoroughly enjoyable film, I was expecting more.
The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ran for just 130 minutes and 16 seconds which is around 8 minutes shorter than the previous shortest Harry Potter film, which was Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.
The Deathly Hallows Part one left a relatively small amount of actual storyline to be covered in Part two, which I thought would be a massive advantage; every little detail of those last, devastating moments during the battle of Hogwarts could be explored thoroughly.
For me, it felt like it wasn’t. The emotional highs and lows were not high or low enough for my liking. Fred Weasley’s death was seen and gone before the audience had chance to work out which twin it was, there was a similar situation with Lupin and Tonks death. And the euphoria at the death of Lord Voldemort felt equally short lived and almost understated after requiring arguably 7 films of build up.
To David Yates credit, it felt like this film was very true to the novel on which it’s based. Yet another 15/30 minutes could have explained so much more and made it so much better. Especially during the ’19 years later’ epilogue where none of Hermione and Ron’s children are introduced. Neville Longbottom, a undeniable hero who arguably outshines the so-called ‘big 3’ in this film, Ted Tonks and Victoire (Bill and Fleur’s eldest) are all completely absent.
While the attention to detail and intricacy of Rowling’s writing has not and cannot ever be matched in a 2 and a bit hour film, it has always been understandable when films have missed out elements of the book. But here, there were opportunities to go further that were missed.
Over-critical? Quite possibly, but after a decade of time invested in the franchise I’d hope for perfection, only to be left with outstanding.
Undoubtedly, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a great film. What frustrates me is the feeling that it could have been so much more, moving it from the very very good, to the truly inspirational.