The unique alternative world of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, originally created by the extraordinarily imaginative J.K. Rowling, is a visually and logistically challenging endeavor for filmmakers. Here are 10 reasons why the summer blockbuster Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (screening at the Village Theater) shows director David Yates waved his wand and achieved movie magic.
- From clanking chalices to rustling leaves to the menacing whispers that swirl throughout the theater, the sound quality in this film is both precise and crisp.
- The instrumental music looms and builds to a curious intensity.
- Special effects involve more than bony winged dragons flying over the city. Vanishing swords, lively paintings, and galloping fire demons crop up in vivid detail.
- Lighting. The blue-mooned darkness is eerily beautiful throughout, as is the pearly dream in which Potter reunites with Dumbledore.
- Flittering black capes in a dovetail sky, as well as ink-in-water artistry, make for gracefully ominous patterns.
- Set design is marvelous. Slick, drooling caves. Leaded glass castles. Deep vaults of horror.
- Makeup. Who painted the spidery veins on Voldemort’s bald head? Someone had fun transforming Ralph Fiennes.
- The film becomes more compelling as it progresses. The pace is steady and the story arc climbs the way it should.
- The dialogue is appropriately dramatic, not overwrought.
- Severus (Alan Rickman) acts his cape off. His intonation, dramatic pauses and emotive pleas lend surprising humanity to the film.
The last Harry Potter film brings satisfying closure to the mega-series. It’s dark, though, so you might want to leave the little ones at home.