I have been and always will be a Harry Potter nerd. I went to midnight book releases as a kid dressed as Hermione with wand in hand. I was very upset when I turned 11 and didn’t receive my acceptance letter to Hogwarts. So to say I had high expectations for the movies is an understatement. Yes, I still went to every midnight premiere, but I critiqued every single movie. Picked it apart for every missing scene, actress I didn't like, or just in general if I was unhappy with how they were portraying my favorite book. I do love the movie series, don't get me wrong. Part of the reason I love the movies, is because of how well they have depicted the magic.
Obviously no one knows what magic looks like. That was up to the creators of the Harry Potter series. How would spells like “Avada Kedavra” and “Wingardium Leviosa” be depicted? The creatures? Hogwarts? The special effects team had a whole world to create. Harry Potter nerds, like me, already had a picture in their minds. We were expecting a lot. The final battle is a scene I love from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. So much happens in these two and a half minutes. It’s the infamous last clash between Harry and Voldemort. Neville kills Nagini. Voldemort dies. It’s quite overwhelming. It’s very interesting to watch the two struggle, it really looks realistic. I think the use of color is very important in casting spells. At first I didn't know if I liked that Harry’s want cast red and Voldemort’s green. But I have grown to see red as a powerful color for Harry. “Color tends to be a subconscious element in film” (Gianetti 22). I don't believe this is true with Harry Potter. I notice when the color becomes darker, or the colors the wands cast. It is a very prominent part of the movie. In this movie, logos isn’t a factor. Obviously magic isn’t real; there is no such thing as Hogwarts. You become pulled into this world with all the special effects and forget all of that. Neville killing Nagini is a huge pull on ethos. He’s probably the last person you would expect to be so brave. Also, Nagini is scary and a very believable. I still don't understand how special effects work, but I would love to see how they created such a thing. Pathos is a huge part of the Harry Potter series. You feel for Harry throughout the movie, but especially during this scene. You want him you win. He’s gone through so much to get here and Voldemort is just plain evil. No one is rooting for him. One thing I don't like about the scene is the way Voldemort dies. It’s not how I pictured it, but it’s almost laughable how they portrayed it. Here is this awful, villainous character, who we have despised and feared the whole series and he floats away in pieces? It was very anti-climactic for me. I mean, Neville had just killed Nagini, the last horocrux. Here’s the final stretch of the battle, super intense. Voldemort is losing his power, and then he finally dies and it looks like he turns into paper. It was definitely a low point.
This movie and the whole series were enhanced by the use of special effects. There’s no way Hogwarts or magic would have been the same without it. Each movie was littered with special effects, even now thinking back on the movies, I realize how important the use of special effects was. So from the Harry Potter nerd, I say a definite 3 tickets.