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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Penultimate ‘Potter’ best of the series

Since “Harry Potter’s” cinematic debut in 2001 (and the novels’ British beginning in 1997), the world has fallen in love with the boy wizard. Nearly ten years later, J.K. Rowling’s epic series is coming to a close. Although the books have only seven entries, the film adaptation of the last installment was split into two parts due to the novel’s length and complexity. I’m pleased to say the first part is as exciting, emotional and exhilarating as any entry that’s come before it.

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” the world of muggles and wizards is quickly closing in on one another. Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) has regained his former power and is tightening his grip on those who oppose him, namely Harry Potter (Radcliffe) and those who stand on the side of good. Knowing that he must destroy the remaining Horcruxes (objects where a fragment of a soul is stashed and a safeguard against death), Harry and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) set out against all odds to locate and destroy these objects, which is the only way to defeat Voldemort once and for all.

“Hallows” is not only the best “Potter” so far, but it also shows a maturity in both acting and tone that has been building since “Prisoner of Azkaban.” Gone are the days where the biggest obstacles the characters face are winning a game of Quidditch or the house cup. The stakes have been raised drastically and death waits at every turn. Perhaps what “Hallows” does best is showcasing the high caliber of acting Radcliffe, Grint and Watson turn in. Their fear is palpable, as is the confusion they feel. Grint is no longer just a sidekick used for comic relief, and Watson has learned to express emotion through more than just her eyebrows.

While previous “Potters” have all had that same sense of dread and evil foreboding, “Hallows” is the first film in which the danger feels real. The wizarding community has turned into a totalitarian police state. Indeed, even the Ministry of Magic (now taken over by Voldemort’s followers) has the feel of an Orwellian dystopia, especially with their new motto: Magic is Might. While death was typically featured as the climax of the previous “Potters,” here it comes fast and furious, with a handful of beloved characters going to that great wand maker in the sky.

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Although I wish I didn’t have to wait until July for part two, I’m glad “Hallows” was split into two movies. The intertwining narratives of the book would have been glossed over in just one movie and the titular relics may have been treated like something of no consequence when they’re actually used to draw parallels between Dumbledore and Voldemort. If there’s anything that “Harry Potter” has taught us, it’s that our choices define us far more than our circumstances.

More than likely due to the split, Steve Kloves’ screenplay is the best of the series and thankfully includes most of the more memorable aspects of the book. It’s especially nice to see characters that were beloved (or hated) in previous adaptations. Without spoiling anything, I wish one of these characters had been included in more than just one of the prior films, since this character’s  demise would have been all the more emotional.

The creation and inclusion of the dancing scene between Harry and Hermione is beautiful in its simplicity and heartbreaking in its subtext. However, when Harry travels to his parents’ grave in his birthplace of Godric’s Hollow, it does slow the film down a bit and could have been trimmed, but it’s still good to have. The more Potter the better.

Some critics have complained that a few scenes drag on, most notably when the trio are camping. I disagree, though. These scenes effectively convey the loneliness, hopelessness, desperation and pure frustration the characters are going through. It becomes the ultimate strain on their friendship and shows how far in over their heads they are.

“Potter” fans should feel lucky. There haven’t been many times in film history where a seven-book series has been given its own big screen adaptation. With Part I now in theaters and Part II due out in July, the epic saga of “Harry Potter” is almost over and I’m thankful for the journey it’s taken me on.

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