The cinematography is beautiful. It’s the first thing I notice. If the first film was glorious Disney sparkle and the sixth was eerie and blue, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2 goes straight for post-apocalyptic grey. It’s as bleached and hopeless as Terminator 4, but has the poetry and grace of the first Pirates of the Caribbean. It could be Gore Verbinski at the helm, and that is high praise, but fair: Potter 7 pt 2 is a very good film.
“Why would I want to read a children’s book?” Him Indoors remarked, smugly, quoting some comedian who also hasn’t read the books.
How many copies now? 450 million? That’s more than … well, almost anything. The Lord of the Rings has sold 150 million copies; A Tale of Two Cities over 200 million.
Harry Potter is, quite neatly, Dickens meets Tolkein, and not a lot else. Sure, it borrows heavily from ancient myths and has quite unsubtle anti-Nazi allegory running through it. It takes a bit here and there from Narnia and has the sly, off-beat humour of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Mostly, though, it’s just Dickens’ David Copperfield with 20% more Sauron.
Sometimes – like David Bowie – the reason something’s popular is just because it’s good.