“Ultimately, these films just bring people together, don’t they?”
If you’ve read or have been lucky enough to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we’re pretty sure you’re like us and consider Scorpius Malfoy to now be your favourite Malfoy. (Sorry, Draco!) So who better than the OG Malfoy son, Bertie Gilbert, to cast his filmmaking eye over the Harry Potter franchise?
“To me, the Harry Potter movies are top-tier, pedigree, blockbuster entertainment,” is our opening gambit, and we could’ve just left the review there, but Bertie discusses how the Wizarding World has redefined entertainment with British quaintness.
To start us off, Bertie delves though the first four instalments, explaining that, despite initial issues with a meandering plot, the series was immediately in safe hands in Chris Columbus. He then adds that Chris’ experience with big budget blockbusters led to a glossy style, which helped to establish the world, noting the decisions made in these early years had to carry through the remainder of the franchise.
Order Of The Phoenix is where Bertie notes a change, summarising how this film moves at pace and introduces new elements to the story. Whilst darker tones were present in the early years with bigotry, death and manipulation, this time around it’s more focused with David Yates’ style of measured filmmaking. Bertie pays particular attention to Imelda Staunton’s Umbridge and Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore. “You just hate her in a way I don’t think you hate Voldemort,” he says of the former, whilst praising the new energy Gambon brought in this instalment.
Bertie ensures his former co-stars are given plenty of praise for their performances across the series. Be it Ralph Fiennes’ iconic “he just loves being evil” performance of Voldemort, Imelda Staunton’s tyrannical “cat-loving monster” in Umbridge, Tom Felton’s “shining” portrayal of spoilt school bully to being manipulated in Half Blood Prince, or Alan Rickman’s heartbreaking final scene, it’s clear that the performances across this huge ensemble cements the franchise as one of the greats.
Reflecting on the two-parter climax, Bertie says together Deathly Hallows sums up everything that is great about Harry Potter – from the spectacle and wonder, to the intimacy, introspection and angst. “To strip everything back, and focus on Harry, Hermione and Ron for a good chunk of the film is perfect,” he adds, highlighting the Harry and Hermione dance scene as one of his favourites, “It’s one of those rare moments where dialogue isn’t necessary.”
Unfortunately, all we saw on Bertie in Deathly Hallows was the back of his head. He revels in telling us on what was filmed and left on the cutting room floor, and sums up his experience on set, from mucking around with Tom Felton to being playfully called a “little shit” by Daniel Radcliffe. (10 points from Gryffindor for that!) It’s clear just how special this experience was, and he hasn’t forgotten the impact his brief time in the franchise has had on him – even being the “teeniest part”, as he states, he wouldn’t be doing what he loves today if he “hadn’t played Scorpius bloody Malfoy”.