A Phenomenological Recounting of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2


Hm. Okay, so there’s Voldemort. Still doesn’t have a nose. Do they explain in the books why he doesn’t have a nose? You’d think noselessness would be worked into the story as a motivating factor. I bet Harry’s dad chopped off his nose or something. Why doesn’t he magic himself up a nose?

Oh, there’s that wand from the last film. Crap, I barely remember the last film.  They were in the woods or something. They were there forever? That’s what I get for downloading a crappy cam copy and watching it drunk.

And now everyone’s at a house and they’re sad. And there’s a little goblin and he’s wearing a spiffy shirt. But he’s peeved. Or grumpy? I see, he just belongs to a grumpy, avaricious race. Excellent goblin racism, Rowling. Now they’re in an abandoned set from The Temple of Doom. What are they doing here? Finding the Goonies? Oh, they’re getting a horcrux. I hate that word. It sounds like leg braces for ancient prostitutes. Now for the complications and the escape.

And now they’re somewhere else. Why are they somewhere else? Why doesn’t this film do non-Potterphiles the courtesy of explaining where we are and why we’re there from scene to scene? Oh, someone’s there now. We’ve never met him but he’s integral to the plot, because sure. Why the hell not. It’s the last half of the last book, why not just throw in more characters.

And now they’re in Hogwarts! Finally, something I recognize. But everyone’s sad. Fight, fight, fight, fight, looking forward to the ending. Is this the ending? He’s in Heaven’s train depot with Voldemort as a bloody fetus. No, it’s not the ending. He’s gaining vital wisdom and arming himself with the knowledge that’s going to win him the battle. And here’s some exposition on a character we’ve barely seen for two films. But there’s fighting to be done, and I’m glad, because the rest of this film is like footnotes without a text, and fighting is at least clear.

Wait, did we use up all the deathly hallows? They didn’t really have much to do with the story. They could be deathly peanuts and have as much effect on the plot. The Peanut of Invisibility. The Peanut of Resurrection. The Dry-roasted Elderly Peanut of Power. And that’s on top of all the horcruxes. Why stuff your story up with two MacGuffins spread out over ten objects? It seems like a bit much.

Hold on, they’re fighting again. This is good. They fight and fight and the clumsy guy kills the snake with that sword they picked up in the last film, which I still can’t remember very clearly. The snake is a horcrux, which duh. And Voldemort’s gone.

And Harry gives up Voldemort-grade power and he and Ron and Hermione stand there on the bridge, because that’s what heroes do. They save the home but their experience has set them apart so they occupy the threshold. Then suddenly they’re old and lame and their hair is fucking atrocious. It’s all part of the great cycle of bright-eyed kids overcoming great battles to become lame adults who produce more bright-eyed kids. Hey kids! Know what’s in store for you? That’s right, Potter world, adults suck. It’s true. That’s your takeaway. That was the cultural event of the decade.