My wife and I saw the final installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2:
First, the obligatory disclaimer. I’m not the family’s Harry Potter fan. That position belongs to my son, but he wanted to see it with a girl he’s dating. He has read the books several times and watched the movies countless times. My wife has seen the first movies over and over, simply by being in the room with Andrew when he’s watching them, but she’s not read a word of the books. I however have read the first four novels, skimmed the fifth one, and read the last chapter of the last novel (I know.) I’ve watched all the other movies at least once, with the exception of the second one, because I keep falling asleep during them.
So then, Cheryl and I arrive at an hour before showtime to find the theater filling up fast. We snagged a couple of seats, then watched family after family trail in, wander up and down the aisles, ask some teenagers behind us if those seats were available (three or four kids were keeping the entire row saved for their friends, who didn’t arrive until the lights were dimming.) Then the people would wander up and down the aisle and finally settle for seats on the front row along the aisles, so that you can watch the entire movie with a crick in your neck. At one point the theater’s manager came in with a clipboard to find out where, exactly, were the remaining seats, and to answer the complaints of people who don’t wanna sit on the front row. Seems to me that if people buy their tickets online, they don’t have to be there at any particular time, and if your friends have the sand to save a row for you, then more power to you. Buying a ticket gets you seat availability, not seat selection.
As for the movie, I have to remember this is the second part of a two-parter. Think of this as one movie with a really long intermission. With that in mind, I kind of wished I had re-watched Part one recently, because some characters and events were baffling to me. Who’s that guy? Why is Harry talking to him? What’s that thing that that guy is holding? Etc.
Still, the effects were glittery, there was a lot of action, and the evil Voldemort was vanquished, so YAY!. But my, there were some puzzling elements. (Some minor spoiler alerts ahead) Did Harry Potter really die, or was he faking? The poor kid’s always had a credibility issue in the past, in that no one will believe him when he claims that, say, Voldemort is back or that he’s not guilty of crimes. So when he staggers back from defeating the most evil guy in all evildom and no one saw it, everybody (A) believes him completely that Voldemort is dead, and (B) doesn’t seem to really care. Where are all the Death Eaters and the ghosty prison guards? This was supposed to be the equivalent of the death of Hitler, Stalin, and Osama bin Laden wrapped up in one hairless villain–so where are the ticker-tape parades, the throwing up Harry Potter on shoulders and leading him through the thronging masses? Instead, everyone is just sitting around sharing war stories.
Still, I know the end of a classic when I see one. Harry Potter will be much loved by at least another generation or two, and I cannot praise J. K. Rowling highly enough for getting kids to read and showing the world that kids love to read good stories. So well done, Rowling and company.