by The Editor
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.
In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort.
IT ALL ENDS HERE.
So why on earth, you must be wondering, is Rugby Unplugged featuring the final film of the biggest blockbuster series in cinematic history... seriously...what has it to do with rugby?!
Actually, it has a few tenuous connections, in that the inimitable late Richard Harris who played Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets won the Academy Award® for Best Leading Actor in 1963 for This Sporting Life, a film about a rugby player, albeit rugby league. But more importantly, Harris was a union man and a diehard Munster Rugby fan, often spotted supporting his club side as well as Ireland. And to prove it, the one and only time I had the privilege of seeing the legend was on the concourse at Twickenham at the Heineken Cup Final when Northampton beat Munster 9-8, some clever Munster fan, Conor Ryan caught him on camera along with his old mucker, Academy Award® winner Peter O’Toole.
Next up, the excellent Weasley twins, Fred and George played by James and Oliver Phelps are also big rugby fans, and can often be found at Kingsholm supporting their club side, Gloucester Rugby. You can check them out at Cowes Week 2010 courtesy of The Telegraph, where they were sailing alongside England Captain Mike Tindall’s fiancée and the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, and England and British Lion, Martin Bayfield.
But of course the strongest connection between the Harry Potter films and rugby is the aforementioned Martin Bayfield, who was the stunt double for Hagrid in all eight of the movies, a took a minor starring role in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets as young Rubeus Hagrid too. And we snuck in an exclusive interview with him just before the premiere of the final film...appearing imminently.
So back to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Does it live up to the hype? Is it worth a trip to the movies? Should you see it in 3D? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Movies barely get passed a sequel with any aplomb. The Star Wars franchise carried off three magnificent films before that wall was hit where you mostly think “Really? You shouldn’t have.” Harry Potter has defied the trend entirely to produce the most successful movie franchise in history, a record that will likely remain unbroken for all our lifetimes.
So Harry Potter No.8... I have no time for this 3D nonsense and have repeatedly been told it is pointless and gives you a headache and no one enjoys it. So this was my first foray into the world of 3D courtesy of Warner Bros at a pre-release screening of the HP7 at the Empire, Leicester Square. And I was by all accounts dreading the silly glasses and discomfort.
But let me backtrack and admit my bias at the outset...I am a huge Harry Potter fan, of both the books and the films, so there was little chance of not liking it. I never went as far as queuing for the books at midnight at Waterstones [Amazon did a very nice job of delivering the books the morning of publication thank you very much!], but each film has been seen at least 3 times over.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 left us with an appropriate cliffhanger gagging for more, and what a feast they produced for the final instalment!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 begins where Part 1 ended: with a theft that will have lasting repercussions. The stone crypt of Albus Dumbledore is desecrated and a distinctively shaped wand is taken from the late headmaster’s hands. With triumphant malice, the thief—Lord Voldemort himself—raises the Elder Wand high into the air, sending lightning bolts into the swirling dark clouds above.
That is the only spoiler you will get from Rugby Unplugged...as for the rest, I have this to say: HP7 Part 2 is the most clever, the most engaging, the most exciting, the most action-charged, the most artistically gratifying, the best acted, produced, directed etc etc etc of all eight films. The special effects are light years from Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, the drama created keeps you enthralled throughout, and even the beautiful but oh so wooden Emma Watson found the ability to act! My only complaint is that I looked at my watch on more than one occasion, but only to find that the film was devouring time at such a rate that I was willing it to slow down so it would not end.
And the 3D...I implore you to see it in 3D if you can. There is no better way to appreciate this film than to see it in its full three dimensional glory where you can reach out and touch the fallout from the explosions, you will physically move back as the magic cart hurtles towards you at Gringotts, and you may try and climb out of your seat as the giant arachnids make a final appearance if you suffer from arachnophobia as I do.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is simply breathtakingly spectacular. You will laugh, you may shed a tear, you will feel enraged at the injustice, you will be elated that good still wins over evil, you absolutely won’t feel you’ve wasted your time; you may feel cheated that it ended at all, and you will leave the cinema content that Warner Bros did justice to a British series of movies that will touch generations to come.
THE MOVIES...A LOOK BACK
THE WORLD PREMIERE
And now it’s all over, what’s next for the three musketeers of Hogwarts. Here’s a quick look...
DANIEL RADCLIFFE [Harry Potter]
Currently, he is starring as J. Pierrepont Finch in the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which marks his first Broadway musical. The show is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford. Radcliffe’s work in the show has brought him a number of acting honours, including the BroadwayWorld.com Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
In 2007, Radcliffe earned critical acclaim when he first starred as Alan Strang in the London revival of Equus, which marked his West End debut. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus, winning the award for Best Leading Actor at the BroadwayWorld.com Awards. Both the London and Broadway productions of Equus were directed by Thea Sharrock and also starred Tony Award winner Richard Griffiths.
On the screen, Radcliffe will next star in the horror thriller The Woman in Black, directed by James Watkins and slated to be released in January 2012. His other film credits include the Australian independent feature December Boys, and the title role of Jack Kipling in the true-life telefilm My Boy Jack.
RUPERT GRINT [Ron Weasley]
The hugely talented Grint made his professional acting debut when he won the role of Ron Weasley in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where his performance brought him a British Film Critics’ Circle Award nomination for Best Newcomer and a Young Artist Award for Most Promising Newcomer.
Upcoming, Grint stars in the World War II drama Comrade, about British and German soldiers who are stranded in the Norwegian wilderness and must form an unlikely friendship in order to survive. Directed by Peter Næss, the film is shooting on location in Norway and is slated for release in 2012.
Grint also stars in the independent horror thriller Cross Country. Last autumn, he starred with Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Jonathan Lynn’s independent action comedy Wild Target, playing a young man who is apprenticed to someone he believes is a private detective, but who is really a hit man.
Grint’s other film credits include Peter Hewitt’s Thunderpants, alongside Simon Callow, Stephen Fry and Paul Giamatti; Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons, with Julie Walters and Laura Linney; and the indie film Cherrybomb, which screened to critical acclaim at film festivals in the UK and Europe.
EMMA WATSON [Hermione Granger]
Watson made her professional acting debut, at the age of 10, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and since has won a whole bunch of awards which personally I’m afraid I cannot begin to fathom since as far as I’m concerned, she -and her eyebrows- have got progressively worse in each HP film with the exception of the final film where she passed with flying colours...relatively.
She will next be seen in Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, with Eddie Redmayne and Michelle Williams. Watson stars as a costume assistant named Lucy in the drama, which chronicles a week in the life of Marilyn Monroe during the making of 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl.
Watson is currently filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower, written and directed by Stephen Chbosky. Watson stars in the role of Samantha in the film, based on Chbosky’s own coming-of-age novel and centreing on the trials and tribulations of a 15-year-old outsider named Charlie.
Watson was previously heard as the voice of Princess Pea in the 2008 animated adventure The Tale of Despereaux. She also starred in the role of Pauline Fossil, opposite Victoria Wood, Richard Griffiths and Emilia Fox, in the BBC’s television drama Ballet Shoes.
Apart from acting, Watson has worked closely with Fair Trade and organic clothing producer People Tree in helping create a new teenage fashion line. Earlier this year, she also collaborated with Alberta Ferretti on an organic Pure Threads collection.
Unsurprisingly, the very attractive Watson was recently announced as the new face of Lancôme, following in the footsteps of Penélope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts in becoming the image for the celebrated brand, having already splendidly fronted campaigns for Burberry and Chanel.
Both Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have recently appeared in show-stopping features in Vogue magazine, shot by two of the world’s most talented photographers, Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino respectively.