Earlier this week marked the closing chapter of that relationship as my wife, Michele, and I spent two captivating hours watching the final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise, “The Deathly Hallows Part 2.”
I haven’t overly enjoyed any of the previous seven Harry Potter films. I’ve always felt they fail to catch the true magic of the books, while leaving out vital bits of information and adding unnecessary scenes.
That all changed with the second “Deathly Hallows” installment. Obviously, the film doesn’t follow the book exactly, but it does hit all of the key spots in visually and emotionally stunning fashion.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter was great as an 11-year-old, but lost me in the middle films before winning back my admiration with an inspiring performance in “Deathly Hallows 2.” Also outstanding is Alan Rickman as Severus Snape and Ralph Fiennes as the dreaded Lord Voldemort.
The day before we went to see the final film, Michele and I watched the opening chapter of “Deathly Hallows” on DVD. It’s a bleak, cheerless movie — just as the first half of the book was gloomy and depressing.
But it serves as a perfect lead-in to the conclusion of the saga, which jumps right into the action and never slows, taking viewers on a heart-thumping voyage that evokes tears one minute and cheers the next.
I always hate coming to the end of a great book; I wish it could go on forever. Nearing the end of the Harry Potter series — all 4,100 pages over a 10-year time frame — the feeling was more like saying good-bye to a good friend.
The Harry Potter movies kept the relationship going four years after the final book was published; and, at the DeYoung home, Potter-mania will live on for years. Miriam, 8, and Owen, 7, have read the first two books and are currently working on the third. The most popular movie picks before bedtime are the opening two Harry Potter films, and the most frequently played Wii game is “LEGO Harry Potter.”
Still, the days of looking forward to another Harry Potter book or another Potter movie are behind us, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” was the perfect send-off to a phenomenal franchise.