For ten years, the Harry Potter film franchise has held a fan base like no other. Whenever an anticipated part of the series was released in cinemas, there were no bigger critics than the readers of the beloved fantasy books written by J.K Rowling. Every second of every adaptation has been closely monitored, to ensure the screen does the page justice. While this has been happening for a decade, there is no more important entry that the grand finale, the end of the battle between good and evil. So, does the final film succeed?
The movie begins from where the previous ended, understandably as it is a continuation of the final book in the series, The Deathly Hallows. With the monstrous Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) obtaining the elder wand, all hope for our heroes seems lost. Despite having recently buried a slain friend, Harry and his companions continue the difficult task of finding and destroying the horcruxes, which are the key to ending the reign of their enemy. The first few scenes are quite slow, though are necessary for those who haven't seen the first instalment, or have forgotten the storyline. But once the action begins, the experience acquires speed and doesn't let up until the dust has settled and the battle is complete.
Interestingly, this is the first Harry Potter production to include 3D effects. The wizard world is the perfect setting for what has now become a very hit and miss addition to cinema, and the only shame is that the other seven movies would have greatly benefited with such stunning visuals. The viewer feels a part of the action, as spells, bodies, rubble and monsters are hurled towards the screen. The audio is also impressive, not only because the volume was cranked up (causing the cinema to vibrate) but due to the tweaked melodies and battle cries of those involved, increasing the attention to sound.
The acting isn't spectacular, though the actors fit the roles of the characters they play, simply because they've been doing so for ten years, and no other could replace them, especially that of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Such is the need for those actors, that they are used for adult versions of themselves in the epilogue. Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman (Snape) are highlights, transforming physically as well as mentally, though some of the original children have grown in ways that confuse even the most devoted fan, who may stare at Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom with suppressed laughter.
The runtime (130 minutes) is shorter than what many expected, and with various key scenes from the book not reaching the screen, it becomes understandable that the creators wanted to focus on action and importance. For parents taking children, beware: death is constant, as is blood, scenes of torment and frightful creatures. The M rating demonstrates this, and while not everyone is a Harry Potter fan, the film is good enough to attract positivity from those willing enough to purchase a ticket. Overall, I would give this film an 8/10, as the visual/audio aspects are almost flawless, the adaptation is worthy of the book and the emotion held by the actors is infectious, knowing this will be the last time they portray their characters.
I also believed it to be a fitting end to one of the most succesful film franchises ever. The highlight of the film, which I again agree with you was Alan Rickman's portrayal of Severus Snape, and Ralph Fiennes' disturbing illustration of Voldemort. This is not anything new, as I believe they have been the highlights throughout all of the films. Their versions of the characters were truly breathtaking and their experience would have been indispensable throughout all of the films, especially with such a young cast to support at the time. It can be seen just how much Daniel, Emma and Rupert have learnt and how far they have come in perfecting their craft. This movie, and the whole franchise, will leave the youth dazzled for generations to come.