Rating: 4 Stars
~ ~ ~
Review: My sister and I ventured into the wizarding realm of Harry Potter a bit late. We only just finished reading the series, and we have not even watched all of the movies. I was determined to experience the iconic Harry Potter phenomenon by watching at least one of the movies in the theater. Just reading the series was an adventure outside of our normal scope of historical and inspirational fiction, but we both enjoyed the books. We knew that watching the movie would be an even greater step outside of our comfort zone, but decided to take advantage of our last chance to see Harry Potter in the theaters and went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Our main thought was that the imagery would be too graphic and violent for our tastes. Reading descriptions is one thing, but seeing them visually represented can be quite another.
Of course, there were violent scenes, dragons, and strange looking creatures in much of the movie. It was a departure from the usual heartwarming movies that we usually watch, but we enjoyed it overall. The visual effects were gripping and intense, keeping us on the edge of our seats, even though we knew the final outcome and Harry's ultimate triumph. There were a few humorous moments, but more moments of danger, fear, and sadness. By the end of the movie, our beloved Hogwarts was ravished and the cast was devoid of several characters. My sister and I both agreed that we felt the loss of characters more in the novel, although the sight of dead and wounded in Hogwarts following Voldemort's first attack on Hogwarts was heartbreaking. I overheard several sniffles in the theater at certain moments. At other moments, there were applause, cheers, and laughs from viewers who had obviously been with Harry, Ron, and Hermione since they were young first-years.
After both reading the book and watching the movie, we decided that we prefer the novel. It was difficult not to compare the events in the movie to how they happened in the book. There were parts of the movie that we would not have understood as well without the context provided by the book. Part 2 is a good representation of the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it is not a substitute for reading the book itself.
We have reached the end of the Harry Potter era; but without a doubt, the books and movies are now ingrained in pop-culture and will be enjoyed for years to come. Although the series is sometimes controversial for its sorcery and witchcraft, there are many valuable lessons to be learned from Harry Potter, such as teamwork, overcoming adversity, and using one's talents for the benefit of others. We are glad that we ventured out of our comfort zone and into the Harry's world.