Magic Is Might

Why didn’t anyone tell me that the latest Harry Potter installment is a magnificently shot rumination on personal and political fascism with some lovely landscape photography? And that it contains a small segment of exquisite shadow-puppet inspired animation? From reading the popular reviews – like Ebert’s, for example — I’d never know it.

I’ve watched The Deathly Hallows animation sequence several times now and not only is it a brilliant bit of exposition, it’s also a beautiful short film in its own right.

The latter Potter episodes are dark tales, and I’m not the first one to say so. However, this particular one is the first in which the cinematography matches that tone perfectly.

The franchise is still burdened with back stories that the uninitiated know nothing about (though there are fewer adaptation annoyances and embarrassments here than there were in Peter Jackson’s LOTR but maybe that’s because I love LOTR and don’t love Potter.) and even after all this time Radcliffe is just barely a better actor.

Still, I’ve watched it twice. Without fast-forwarding.