The title of this post does not mean I’m about to get all sentimental about the end of Harry Potter. I loved the Harry Potter series, but any ounce of wistfulness I had about the stories being finished was felt when I closed the cover of the last book. I haven’t been as invested in the movies. I’ve seen them, of course, and enjoyed them all, but I place the books and the movies in two entirely different categories. So instead of talking about how I grew up reading Harry Potter, or how it’s the end of an era or whatever, I literally want to talk about the end of the last Harry Potter movie (as in, the last 20 minutes or so).
(Also, I am about to publicly geek out; if you can’t handle that side of me, leave now.)
Let me go ahead and say that overall I thought the movie was great. I had one Big Issue, though.
Am I the only who felt that they could have dedicated one minute of film–one minute!–to everyone learning the news that Voldemort was finished forever for real this time? Because there was nothing.
In the book, Harry and Voldemort fight while everyone looks on; Harry passes out after winning, but not before realizing that everyone is crowding around him wanting to touch the Boy Who Killed Voldemort. In the movie, Harry and Voldemort have their ultimate battle alone (yes, symbolism, I get it, fine), old Voldy gets defeated, and then in the next scene is Harry walking down the Great Hall and people are kinda smiling sadly at him–which does not suffice. (I’d go so far as to say it’s not a “realistic” reaction, but given that I’m blogging about wizards, I’m fully aware I’m treading near full-on nerd status here. So I’m not going to say it. Just know I’m thinking it). He gets a little hug from Hagrid. It might have even been a side hug, but don’t quote me on that. Just know it was insufficient. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have a crossroads moment on a bridge between Hogwarts and the rest of their lives, you jump forward an unconvincing 19 years for the epilogue, end scene.
Everyone was ruled by the fear of Voldemort for decades, Harry Potter had an all-consuming struggle with Voldemort for years. The most evil wizard ever known is defeated after a monstrous battle, countless have willingly risked and greeted death in the effort to defeat him, and NADA. Just a melancholy daze for the remaining minutes, people tending to the dead and wounded, and then fade to black. It almost ruined the last few minutes for me. I just sat there with my hands figuratively in the air and my eyes literally bugging out. I honestly didn’t think I’d care that much, but after ten years of following this story it turns out that I do. I wanted to stand up and point at the screen and look at everyone and say, “He just killed Voldemort, didn’t you all see?”
Of course, I don’t want to imply I didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole. It’s been very fun to experience these movies with the same actors from beginning to end, I totally cheered for Neville in all of his macho scenes, and Professor McGonagall had some really funny lines. I thought it was all very exciting and well done, and it was a little bittersweet to know that last film really was “the end of Harry Potter.”
An aside: Carmike Cinemas is doing this thing where you can buy a bucket of popcorn for $12… and for the year you can refill it as many times as you want for $2. It’s incredible. Go buy one.