Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two – Review

Wednesday I went to see, along with my daughter, the second part of the film «Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows». From a cinematographic point of view I have no concerns: it is a good movie, well built, with decent special effects and good picture. What disappointed me a little bit, however, was the comparison with the book.

Rowling wrote a modern fairy tale that, like all self-respecting serious tales, has no qualms about showing how reality could be cruel and harsh even in a fantasy world. The goal is to ensure that children and, why not, adults, acquire a greater awareness of the world where we live in every day and accept it for what it is. In fact, the universe of Harry Potter is magical, but this does not prevent wizards, as it happens to normal human beings, that is, muggles, being selfish, false, stupid, cruel, even evil. And I’m not talking about dividing the world into good and bad, but to discover both the evil and the good in all of us and all those around us, including those we love, if not even come to understand that judging what is bad and what is good could be sometimes difficult if not impossible.

So, in the last book of the series we discover that Albus Dumbledore was not free from blames, how bastard was the father of Harry, and how Severus Snape was animated by deep feelings of affection for Harry as well as for his mother, a yet impossible love in its purest acceptation. In the seventh volume of the saga, more than any other, we have to face death: death of relatives, friends and companions, a Death who blindly mows without making any distinction between heroes and cowards, between good and bad. The battle in the Castle of Hogwarts is a real battle, where young boys and girls suddenly face a reality of pain and death to protect principles and values they believe. It is not fancy, because every day kids that in our rich countries we are afraid to even let go to have an ice cream at the bar, in other countries live with rifle in hand and a history of violence and death because of bombings, reprisals, landmines and much more.

In the movie, you do not see anything about that, apart from the scene of a girl savaged by a vampire and some corpses here and there in the background. Most of the damage caused by the battle concerns the castle walls and an army of animated stone statues. You do not see any blood, wounds, mutilation of any kind: it is an aseptic representation dominated by special effects, but devoid of any real human emotion. Even Hagrid, when he carries a supposedly dead Harry in his arms, seems to show no emotion. That should have been a far more painstaking scene but it stays in the background with respect to others which were objectively less important. On the contrary, Rowling’s book is alive, full of feelings and emotions, so that it becomes quite difficult not to feel involved in the way a chronicle of the life of a little bit special teenager in a little bit special school, evolves in a true epic drama, a war for survival which involves a whole universe. It is a crescendo that reminds me a bit the battle of Helm’s Deep in the Tolkien’s «Lord of the Rings».

The movie bringing to the screen the second part of the seventh book in the series, was supposed to be intense, definitive, and should have clarified a number of points that had hitherto remained obscure or someway ambiguous. It does it poorly and badly: of course, some aspects are explained but others, such as the relationship between Albus Dumbledore, his sister Ariana and his brother Aberforth, and the one between Severus Snape, James Potter and Lily Evans, remain vague, confused, clouded. Yet it is in human relationships and feelings that is the true strength of Rowling with respect other writers. Potter’s saga is not just a story of magic, good and bad, but of feelings, mistakes, hate and love: it is a history of human beings to whom magic does not give any advantage concerning life over any other human being, at least not in terms of feelings.

This film is lacking. Eventually you realize that it is a commercial product in the negative sense of the term, probably geared primarily to the U.S. public, who has always been afraid of traumatizing children by showing the reality for what it is. In a society where teenagers are more concerned with the prom or not to be part of the nerd tribe in school — Glee or Disney Channel rules here — showing violence and war is a taboo, especially in family films. No wonder then if these children of such a happy-ending-America are shocked when they are sent to fight a real war in some remote part of the globe.

Rowling wrote a high quality saga and the latest book is certainly among the best if not the best: in my opinion, the film has not done justice to her.

Comments (3) to «Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two – Review»

  1. utente anonimo says:

    Ciao! Condivido appieno il tuo giudizio sul film, come ho scritto nel mio blog. Grazie per il tuo contributo!

  2. @Caterina Qual è il tuo blog? Così vado a darci un'occhiata… Grazie.

  3. utente anonimo says:

    Ciao, sono Antonio. Condivido anch'io pienamente la tua recensione, è l'unica che ho trovato sul web che collima al 100% con i sentimenti che ho provato vedendo il film.

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