Last night I had the great privilege of attending the 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' premiere. It was a huge event and the red carpet stretched all the way from Trafalgar Square down to Leicester Square, they had also turned half the carpet into Diagon Alley. I had been so excited about seeing the film I hadn't really thought about the fact that this was the end, despite the words 'It All Ends Here' being superimposed over every poster in the world.
I have been reading Harry Potter since I was six, therefore as Harry has grown over the past seven books and eight films so have I. I couldn't tell you precisely what it is about the books that makes them the all time best books in my opinion, yes there's the fantastic names (Neville Longbottom, Severus Snape etc.) and the magical world being set in England, in places that we all recognise (Kings Cross Station, Surrey, Tottenham Court Rd) but it's more than that. It has to be, there's a reason these books are the second most widely read novels in the world, second only to the Bible. There's a reason why we all (myself included) queued up at midnight to get a copy of the books, why next week everyone will be at the Odeon at midnight to see the first screenings of the final film installment. It's because we all love Harry, not in the same sort of way we love an action hero, but we love him as a best friend and care about what happens to him and Ron and Hermione.
The new film is in 3D, a move which I wasn't thrilled about, I think 3D is quite gimmicky and Harry Potter doesn't need it. However, soon I was so engrossed in the movie I'd forgotten all about the clunky glasses on my face. The movie begins exactly where the last one finished, with our three protagonists at Shell Cottage trying to decide whether to go after the Hallows or Horcruxes. I promise this review won't have any major spoilers (although let's be honest it's not like you haven't all read the book a dozen times,) so I will focus on my personal highlights and I've narrowed it down to three scenes.
Scene one: The 3D came into its own during the break in scene at Gringotts Bank. It felt like we were on a roller coaster as the cart twisted and turned through the underground vaults.
Scene two: All the teachers and the remaining members of the Order come together to defend Hogwarts against the imminent attack from Voldemort and his followers. As well as some very witty lines from McGonagall (Maggie Smith) there is a fantastic shot of the protective enchantments coming together and forming a bubble around Hogwarts.
Scene three: The most obvious one, the Battle of Hogwarts. I don't want to spoil it so I will just summarise it in one word- epic. It was quite simply very, very epic.
For those of you worrying about too many changes to the book in this film don't be, obviously there are changes, there always have to be. But J.K Rowling was one of the producers on this film, and if she was happy with the changes then so am I. The splitting of the final novel allowed for far fewer details to be skipped over, unlike in the sixth movie. The only thing missing from this film was the promise of another one to come. During the premiere J.K Rowling cried, Emma Watson cried, Daniel Radcliffe cried, Rupert Grint cried and I bawled. These movies and books mean so much to so many and as Daniel said last night; "I don't think the end of the story happens tonight because each and every person who will see this film will carry the story with them through the rest of their lives." And he's right because in the words of Seamus Finnigan; "there's only one Harry Potter," and I for one miss him already.