Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, dir. David Yates, wr. Steve Kloves (screenplay), J. K. Rowling (book), st. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, or HP as I shall be calling it for the sake of RSI, starts, I imagine, where the previous instalment ended. Little attention is given, admirably so, to anyone coming to the story this late in the proceedings. And why not? Harry Potter has never been about anything other than the fans. And what an eclectic bunch they are. The single most surprising thing I have discovered about my friends over the last ten years is not what political flag they fly or where they stand on God or abortion, but whether they're into Harry Potter. Seriously, sometimes it's been like finding out they're swingers or something. Anyway, HP, from my limited perspective (I am not a Potterite), made for a pretty decent couple of hours. Pacing was tight and controlled. The bevy of Brit-thesps were relegated to uber-supporting-role status this time as this was essentially Fiennes' film. Noseless and doing his Posh Bryan Adams voice, Fiennes was rather good, just the right side of panto villain. I loved how the others would fiercely clutch their wands when performing any kind of magic, yet Fiennes would unfurl a svelte hand, allowing the wand to rest gracefully in his palm, like a dancer reaching out to a partner; there were lots of these moments where just for a few brief seconds, the franchise fleetingly, beautifully attempted something beyond its remit. Only the sight of the Potter kids in the film's unimaginative coda, decked out in paunch-suits and dad-shirts broke the spell, but heigh-ho, what's a mega-franchise conclusion-scene without the standard Slow Zoom Into The Hero-Shot of the Stars followed by an equally slow fade to black?