It’s the end of an era. A decade ago, Warner Brothers Films took a chance on books written by a woman in the United Kingdom named J. K. Rowling. Her story in itself could become a book. Rowling was a single mother on welfare who had written a series of books in which she created a world of magic and witchcraft.
Rowling’s series wasn’t just a career-maker for her. It has been a career maker for many, many people. It has also revived the publishing industry and made movie executives renew their stock in films based on books. After all of the hype and hoopla that accompanied the publishing of the Harry Potter franchise, the series comes to a close with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
For the uninitiated, myself included, the last installment of the franchise finds our lovable trio Harry (played by Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Harmione (Emma Watson) looking for more horcruxes to destroy. Once they are gone, Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) will become mortal again, thus easier to get rid of, I think; the point of the film being that Harry and Voldemort will have their day/evening showdown after which only one will remain living.
Films adapted from books generally have their own following because of the popularity of the books. Most screenwriters are supposed to take into consideration that there is a segment of the film’s audience that will not have read the book upon which the film is based and will buy tickets to see a movie that looks like it has a good story and that people are talking about. That said, a film adapted from a book should be able to entertain the loyal readers of the series, as well as make sense to the people who have never read the book.
I am not a Harry Potter fan. Rowling has written books that are at least 600 pages long. I don’t have the time to read them, so I’ve tried to get to the movies, instead. For the most part, the films are interesting, with the exception of Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, Part 1 which is way too dark.
Speaking of darkness, I am glad director David Yates decided to use more light and color for the final installment. Deathly Hallows 1 was so dark that half of the film is in darkness — literally. I couldn’t possibly tell what was going on.
I just wish that screenwriter Steve Kloves had considered that there will be people in the audience who have not been following the films very closely and have not read the books. There are things going on in Deathly Hallows that I’m not fully clear on.
Nonetheless, Kloves’ script is still entertaining and from what I’ve heard in the comments of the lovers of the books, the film stays true to Rowling’s story. This includes the lackluster ending. When the last Harry Potter book hit the bookshelves and literature hungry teenagers and adults read it, they were mostly disappointed with the ending. The book and film ends with a bit of a thud. After 10 years, seven books and eight films, I would have liked to see more of a bang.
I am also disappointed that Rowling, Kloves and Yates had so much violence in a children’s film. Children under 13 aren’t old enough for the amount in this movie.
Despite my disappointment with the ending, I still think that the final Harry Potter does live up to the hype.
Kimberly Grant may be reached at KAliciaG@aol.com
Photo by: Warner Bros/Jaap Buitendijk
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2'.