I quite literally just came back from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. After waiting in line with my friends for over three hours and trampling the slow and weak for decent seats, I had the pleasure of watching the one defining franchise of my childhood and, well, my life, come to a close in its final form in front of me. While I experienced what felt like a devastating loss when the books came to an end, I knew that I wouldn't have to part with it entirely, what with the movies still ongoing; now, it's starting to hit me that that's it.
The film was bloody fantastic. Running on complete adrenaline the entire time, I was constantly on the edge of my seat, in awe of the surplus of intense action before me. While it got off to a slow start and at times hit minor snags (which are truthfully permissible, as such a high octane film needs room to breathe and expand past being just brainless like, say, Transformers), the payoff was immense, and it served its purpose (and more) as the send off to the series. From a cinema student's perspective, the movie was quite literally beautiful - maybe not as stunning as Half Blood Prince was (I am in love with that movie's aesthetic), but there were many shots where I found myself oohing and aahing.
The prolonged sequences of action were incredible, and in truth, the movie shot past the book in that sense, because in my opinion JK Rowling's words about the action of the final battle weren't as powerful as actually witnessing it. (I should be shot for saying that, but it's true) Spectacle after spectacle, I didn't want it to stop.
Emotionally, I did find myself at times a bit disjointed. I feel the movie's major and fatal (no pun intended) flaw lay (again.. no pun) in its handling of the deaths: while I literally cried when reading the book when [spoiler] Weasley was killed and [spoiler] + [spoiler] were mentioned as being dead in the Great Hall leaving behind a newborn baby, I didn't feel much when seeing it onscreen aside from a fleeting - very fleeting - chill. In fact, the Weasley death was quite literally a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, and the audience I was in didn't even have time to react until it showed their body surrounded by family a great deal later. My biggest problem with a changed death was a certain [spoiler], as his death was removed from the Shrieking Shack and placed in the freaking Hogwarts' boathouse - beautiful my ass - and it came off as slightly corny with the whole "look at me." I expected to cry. (now really, this is just the book purist in me bitching)
Did I cry? No, and I was expecting to bawl. I think I expected a little bit too much, but that's reasonable, and I wasn't disappointed by any means whatsoever. The closest I came to crying was during a beautifully edited scene of a certain someone's memory, and holy shit was it incredible. I was also sure I was going to lose it in the final scene, but I should've known I wouldn't, given that I loathe the 19 Years Later chapter and that's exactly how they ended it. Any emotion I had was yanked out from under me as I surpressed laughs at the main trio's - plus Ginny's - aged makeup.
My parents, among others (casual fans, not having read the books or only following the movies limply), look at me with a crooked eye when I divulge into how much Harry Potter means to me. It simply does. I read the first book in 1999, and since then bought each book the first day it was released and saw every single move on opening night; the fantasy is legendary, immersive, and I would even go as far as to admit I have many Harry Potter video games and various memorabilia including the Daily Prophet t-shirt I'm still wearing now. This franchise is ingained in me. I literally grew up with it, and I'm very sad to see it wrap up onscreen. I'm exceedingly pleased with the quality of the movie, and I'm satisfied.
God, please let me live long enough to see the movies be remade.