.....an unparalleled accomplishment

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

An Illusion Review by Joan Ellis



            Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 marks the close of an extraordinary chapter in the lives of millions of children. Imagine what a chunk of life a decade is to a 15 year old who loves Harry Potter; to a 20 year old who has already begun to look back on Harry with perspective; and to the parents who fell in love with the stories themselves. Whoever you are, this last of the series ends the excited anticipation that made a whole generation of kids line up for every new book or movie. Once found, their attention never flagged. And now here comes the void that follows the ending of a really good read.
            J.K. Rowling's achievement lies not so much in the financial figures that have astounded the publishing and movie industries as in the creation of an imaginary world that drew the affection of millions of young people and then held it for more than a decade. Potter people soak themselves in the details of the Hogwarts world. We watch in horror as the three pals hide inside a giant bell to avoid the lethal swing of a scythe, and in terror at the approach of the deadly snake through an open door.
            That, of course, brings us to J.K. Rowling. The woman who wrote the opening chapters on a pad in a British café managed to ensure the quality of the books and movies. If publishing and movies were new to her, the determination to do justice to her work was inherent in her character. Millions of children read because of her; their parents didn't make them do it; they judge their reading by the J.K. Rowling standard. It is an unparalleled accomplishment that just happens to have enriched the literary canon for young people all over the world.
            Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint were circling eleven when they signed on for the first film. They have managed to go to go to college and begin lives as adult actors while remaining steadfastly loyal to their commitment to J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. They have acted wonderfully in eight movies.
            They do it again in Deathly Hallows: Part 2. By now we love things that do the impossible: the invisibility cloak, the wand, the elves, dark magic. We enjoy the entire cast of British acting royalty that has become so adept at conveying Rowling's theme of good vs. evil. She has shadowed both with the complexities of the darkness that is the reality of human beings. Hermione will remain forever a great role model for girls - serious, fair, and very smart. Ron is their ever dependable pal, and Harry, always a little distant, is the earnest innovator. In fine collaboration with director Christopher Nolan they have created a remarkable finale to a now beloved story. And who but J. K. Rowling has contributed so much to so many young people for so long?

 


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