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Current News, Features, Writer: Tanya

A Little Bit Magic – The Final Harry Potter

I don’t think anyone really anticipated that this far down the line, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two would be released into the cinemas with masses of people, myself included, waiting to be the first to see it at the midnight release.

Let’s start at the beginning of what has been one of the most fantastic stories of our generation, and look at how it got this far.

Author J.K Rowling had been turned down by numerous publishers but on the 30th of June 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. With every book, more and more fans joined the wizarding world that Rowling had created, and I’m not ashamed to say that the summer after my 11th birthday, I checked the post every day for my Hogwarts acceptance letter; whether it came or not is another matter entirely.

The fact is that Rowling had scored big time. Fans everywhere loved Harry, and from the 4th book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), each new release set records for fastest book sales in history.

So it was no big surprise that Hollywood wanted a bit of the action, and on the 14th of November 2001, many fans saw Daniel Radcliffe become the face of Harry Potter.  The success of the first movie, and the continuing success of the books, lead to the rest being made into films with varying levels of accuracy.

With the films being successful, the next step was (as seems to be the fashion today) to create the computer games. Having only played the first one all the way through, it is difficu

lt to comment on them, however there is something about casting those magic spells, even in-game, that reignites the joy that is magic.

But we all know that J.K Rowling created something that, for many of us, has been a massive part of our childhoods. Sadly, this film – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two – is the end of the movie series. Admittedly, Pottermore, J.K Rowling’s new Harry Potter website, will be open to the public in October and thus the stories will be continually kept alive, but to many of us, this is the end of an era.

While things have been changed, the film is one that represents the feel of the end to the series quite well.

For those of you who haven’t read the final book, this review will contain spoilers, but suffice to say, go see it. To those of you who have read the final book, however, here is a more detailed review.

We start where the last film left off: Voldemort holding the elder wand to the sky in the dramatic “I am now unstoppable” pose that had left me angry many months ago. That said, they had to split it somewhere, and that seemed to be the most obvious point.

The film successfully transported me through the build-up and execution of Harry and Voldemort’s last battle.  It was nice to see Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)  getting a much larger role in this film, and he was absolutely perfect. His performance was sincere and rallying, and he provided the film with a much needed joke or three to help everyone get through the more dramatic moments. However, he too held his own with his triumphant speech

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Cover

to Volemort. It was superb to see Neville standing up for himself and it was one of the few speeches that didn’t feel over acted.

Ralph Fiennes was once again brilliantly creepy as the Dark Lord, and all in all, the actors provided us with the characters we’ve all gotten used to.

Snape’s death is changed in the film and, despite my annoyance at this, it works well, managing to hold the entire plot together.

For those of you who have seen the trailer and were wondering why Harry throws himself and Voldemort out of a Hogwarts window, I’m afraid I don’t have an answer. It felt like the studio was trying very hard to make more of the battle than there was.  In parts, the film was trying a little too hard, and the studio still hasn’t seemed to have learned that we don’t need establishing shots every time we change location: the characters have said where they are going, we’ve seen most of the locations many times before, so can we please get on with story?

While it’s not the best of the Harry Potter films, it definitely isn’t the worst either. It’s a decent film that brings about a fair ending to the story of the young wizard that, over the last 14 years, has wormed his way into many of our hearts.

If you love the books and you watch the movie, you’ll complain about the differences between them, but hopefully you’ll still enjoy it. If you haven’t read all the books – either you’ve stopped, or just haven’t finished them – then go see it; find out what happens. You really should know how it ends.

On a side note: they kept in the epilogue. It was nice to see Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) with a beard. However, I personally hated the epilogue in the book, and the film version was just as sickening, but that may just be because I felt that the ending undermined everything the characters went through.

There is only one thing left for me – as a fan – to do, and that’s to save up my money and go to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in Florida. While I work on that, I suggest that you go see the film, and even though it’s over, stay magical.

By Tanya Spalding- YouthPressUK Writer

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