"It's complicated," says Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) early on in this last installment of his epic as he tries to explain some obscure plot element. Indeed. I haven't done the math, but I'll bet J.K. Rowling's seven volumes put the word count of Remembrance of Things Past to shame.
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No surprise then that two of the more striking scenes in the film take place in huge mounds of clutter: searching for one Horcrux among multiplying gold baubles and for another in piles of discarded arcana. And if you don't know what a Horcrux is, then you're at the wrong movie. Ultimately, though, the heart of the story is simple: a version of the messianic myth, perhaps, or an allegory of growing up and mustering courage, loyalty, and a belief in human decency in the face of evil and death. When director David Yates focuses on that rather than the gimcracks and pyrotechnics, the long saga seems truly magical.