Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two
This is the fifth and final installment of the famed “Harry Potter” series, because there are no more books, unless author J.K. Rowling decides to take pen in hand again for the next generation, an intriguing possibility which she distinctly leaves open at the end.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is now a young man, past being a student at the Hogwarts school for aspiring young wizards, but he continues to hang out with his best buddies from there, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), who have developed a decided interest in each other. But this film isn’t about their budding romance. It’s about Harry’s fight-to-the-finish with the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), or, if you prefer, “The-One-Who-Cannot-Be-Named” because to even invoke his name is to stir up the fear in his dark power, and add to his dominion of darkness (hmm, I wonder how Christians’ attitude toward Lucifer would change if that name were treated the same way….but I digress).
Harry seems mostly left to his own devices here, because his mentor, Professor Dumbledore, is dead, the Hogwarts school is itself assaulted by the evil magic army of Lord Voldemort, and even smart Hermione and loyal Ron just seem to be tag-alongs. But help comes from unexpected sources: a former school rival, a dour old elf who gives Harry a cryptic clue about a sword with special powers, and, most importantly, the spirits of the dead, especially his parents, whom he not only senses around him, he can actually speak to them. This is a rather advanced concept of the communion of the saints, bordering on angelic host: not only are the faithful departed watching over us, they’re surrounding us with goodwill and encouragement, especially when we venture forth to combat evil.
But now we borrow a page from “Star Wars,” and realize that just as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader had a family connection, which made them enemies literally of the same flesh and blood, so also do Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter share a mystical connection through the perishing of Harry’s parents, when some of Voldemort’s “life-force” literally rubbed off on the infant Harry. The good news is that now, his special powers developed, Harry senses where Voldemort is, and seems to know what he’s up to (similar dynamics in “Star Wars”). But Harry also, to his distress, feels a kind of furtive kinship with his archenemy and nemesis, as if…..Lucifer really is a fallen angel, formerly soaring in the heavenly habitations but now forever banished. It seems that Dodge City isn’t big enough for both Voldemort and Harry. So one of them has to figure out a way to undermine, disenfranchise, isolate, and remove the other. Not at all a pretty sight, but then, a fight to the finish rarely is.
But you know, that is an interesting concept, from the allegedly non-religious J.K. Rowling, about the spiritual communion of the saints being, instead, a kind of invisible commune of the magicians, passed down from one generation to the next, kind of like, well, faith itself.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor, United Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Tx