Daniel Radcliffe AKA Harry Potter

There was no way that this final chapter was going to be anything but spectacular. The eighth in the series, it needed to wrap everything up in snazzy fashion, while at the same time delivering the same top-flight caliber rung of excitement. Well, it certainly does in fine fashion and on all fronts. I had never heard a screening audience so quiet at the beginning of the movie as this one was. Literally, it picks up right where Part 1 ended, with a subtle reprise of the chilling final scene when Voldemort opens the cast stone casket of Dumbledore , then it's off the charts. It's a dark, dark time in Potter-dom as the three main characters (Harry, Hermoine and Ron) attempt to sever Voldemort (and his dark forces) once and for all.

All of the principal cast is back and extra kudos go to Alan Richman for his utterly brilliant portray of good guy/bad guy Professor Severus Snape. My daughter had urged me to re-watch as many of the previous movies as possible and it was damn good advice, as the one consistent thing author J.K. Rowling did was to weave an utterly delicious tale beneath the non-stop supernatural action of the books. That, plus non-stop narrative. Richman, who I've loved since his turn as Hans Gruber in the first, and best, Die Hard movie (1988) chews the scenery with a snide, yet knowing presence. His character is utter evil … but, wait, there's a big reveal here that bonds his character with Harry like never before. I didn't read it in the book, but when I saw it onscreen, I was riveted by the moment.

Rowling writes in shades of grey; so, there's always one or two ways to read and interpret each scene. It's an interesting technique, which has served her well for sure … and, provokes non-stop conversation and thought; which is always a good thing! Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Felton, are all back and excellent. The direction by David Yates is nothing short of staggering and he again distinguishes himself as one of the premiere directors out there … right up there with Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, have all grown into most formidable actors; Radcliffe in particular, not only looks great, but has developed a real affinity for his character and makes one wonder what he'll do next; he actually is terrifically capable of anything; witness his recent turns in Equus and the current How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying on Broadway. Watson, having developed into a beautiful young woman with terrific acting prowess can really head in any direction she wants. I'd love to see her in a full blown romantic drama or in flat-out action movie. There's also a rather romantic moment between two of the characters that has been in the works for years; its framed perfectly by Yates and produced a most satisfying, and audible reaction from the audience. You have to credit not only Rowling's efforts, but also the audience's continued support and fascination with her work. It's a symbiotic relationship that is indeed a milestone in modern movie making. If the books didn't work; how could the movies? There's a final coda, that was revealed in the book … and, it comes off exceptionally well. There's no question that in lesser hands it would have been considered a mistake, but this way it somewhat leaves the door open for future endeavors from the team. The music from Alexandre Desplat is just excellent (as good as his score from the recent The Tree Of Life) and the screenplay from Steve Kloves, who did seven of the eight scripts, is spot-on perfect. I can't sound one negative word on this epic work; just spectacular from start to finish. 'A' game indeed. Well done all around. This could be their biggest installment yet.

Photo By: RD/Dziekan/Retna