Potter returns to theaters in darkness

For Harry Potter fans, with the release of the final film installment based on J.K. Rowling’s international bestseller, there will be reason to celebrate twice.   The film adaptation of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will premiere in two parts: Part 1 was released Nov. 19, 2010 and Part 2 will be released July 15, 2011. The opening weekend of the anticipated first installment brought in a whopping $339 million in the worldwide box office, according to The Kansas City Star. Part 2 will likely rank just as high. Nine years ago, families across the globe watched Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson enter Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as the lonely Harry Potter, witty Ron Weasley and whip-smart Hermione Granger.   The Deathly Hallows begins with the beloved trio of Potter, Weasley and Granger, though it is no longer a jovial return to Hogwarts.  A new feeling of dread comes through in the shadowy setting and character development. Here, the legendary Lord Voldemort and his evil army of Death Eaters are gaining power.   The movie begins as the jaws of Voldemort’s snake open to consume a Hogwarts professor, but stops short as the trademark title brightens the screen and the teeth close. There is an increased element of evil, darkness and violence worthy of its PG-13 rating, but if children read the books it is appropriate. They would be the first to say book seven is the grimmest. “This is scary,” Bereklee College of Music sophomore Melanie Donnelly said.  Having read all of the books in her youth, there is compelling reason to see the movies through.  “Imagine if that was in 3-D,” she said of the snake and shudders. Audiences of all ages will not be disappointed.   Like the six previous movies, the characters come alive through the screen.  One cannot help but jump when they jump, laugh when they laugh and cringe when they cringe at the magic brought to life by director David Yates.   There is, however, a sense of monotony in some respects.   Scenes where Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate to numerous destinations in search of Horcruxes — objects in which Voldemort has stored his soul — become tiresome, but closely follow the text. Suspense is built up immensely during the final scenes, and it is easy to find yourself on the edge of your seat as the ending speeds things along. Duels, danger and death rush the movie to the credits almost too suddenly. This feels a bit anti-climatic, but for those tickets to sell and for devoted fans to find closure, we will all wait for Part 2.