Rocky Horror Picture Show star Tim Curry, 67, is recovering in his LA home after suffering from a huge stroke.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: A muggle's view
When the curtain opens at the cinema for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, one cannot help but feel like this is a hollow victory. This film marks the end of both Harry's and our own adventure; a story that has lingered throughout our childhoods and integrated itself firmly within our adult lives. Many of us embraced Harry at a young age and as such, have developed a maternal bond with the character over the years. We are, after all, very particular with how the character (and his friends) are portrayed in the film adaptations. We are particular with how the tyranny of Voldemort is adequately demonstrated; particular with how Hogwarts is represented; particular that Harry's love-interest feels believable and we are particularly insistent that the film delivers us a reincarnation of the joy, delight, sorrow, heartache, suspense and closure that the books so lovingly brought. We are, it seems, a rather demanding fandom.
Have Warner Bros achieved this near-impossible goal? Yes - finally. Although I am (and will remain) a dedicated fan and supporter of the original literally material, the movie adaptations have never quite hit the mark for me from a sheer entertainment standpoint. A culmination of awkward acting from the younger cast, under-developed characterisation and frequent plot holes left me rather critical of some of the previous films in the series. Looking at Part 1 in particular, I felt the screenplay failed to transcend into anything bigger than a mere scene-setting film. Given that the series was rapidly approaching its conclusion, I admit that I was growing apprehensive regarding the outcome of Part 2. The reality is that the closing part to the Harry Potter movie franchise bombards any doubt over the films integrity by offering something that is delicious, delectable, distinctive and simply downright enjoyable.
Altogether, my biggest criticism regarding Part 1 was what at times felt like amateurish acting. Gone were the majority of the seasoned cast that the previous films began to rely on and instead, the full thrust of a Hollywood blockbuster was given to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Were they ready for it? Probably not. However, Part 2 abandons most of the intricate dialog and focuses predominantly on action. The young trio - in particular, Radcliffe - embraces this change full-on and delivers a performance that is far more gritty, real and energised. The slow - albeit tense - camping scenes from Part 1 have been replaced with high octane, testosterone-fuelled carnage that ripples with spectacular CGI and special effects.
Part 2 also marks the return of the full cast who all deliver emphatic performances, especially Helena Bonham Carter as the sadistic Bellatrix LeStrange, Maggie Smith as the warm yet deadly Minerva McGonagall and Julie Walters as the grief-stricken mother Molly Weasley. However, no one quite "stole the show" as much as Alan Rickman's final portrayal of Severus Snape; we finally see beyond the unscrupulous and cunning face of Snape as Rickman opens his character to the world as a brave yet broken and damaged man, permanently at conflict regarding his loathing of Harry and his never-ending love of Harry's late mother.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is not without its faults either. The much anticipated 3D doesn't really enhance the viewing experience by a great deal; you tend to forget that it is even there. The entire story arch regarding the Deathly Hallows themselves received about as much screen time as Hagrid's hut and Dumbledore's back-story was seemingly scorched off the script much like Sirius Black's name was blasted from the Black family tree. The Harry/Ginny portrayal feels as awkward and clunky as ever, and sometimes, the lighter moments which do bring some comic relief are just delivered at the wrong time. Nevertheless, these little niggles are not enough to detract from the enjoyment of the film in any way, especially considering how true to the original book Part 2 graciously remained on the whole. The suspense, majesty and supremacy of Harry Potter has finally come to an end, and mercifully, on a high note.
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