David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived premieres November 15 at 9 pm ET on HBO.
The Harry Potter film franchise may have officially concluded, but the Wizarding World lives on through various avenues such as the Fantastic Beasts prequel films, stage productions, theme park rides, and video games. Despite controversies surrounding the author, JK Rowling, fans, both old and new, continue to be captivated by the magical world she created.
One of the unique additions to Harry Potter’s screen legacy is the documentary David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived, which tells the story of a stuntman whose life was forever altered by the film franchise. David Holmes, the stunt double for Daniel Radcliffe, found himself paralyzed from the waist down after a horrific accident during rehearsals for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
The Boy Who Lived not only celebrates Holmes’s contributions to the film series but also sheds light on the reality he has faced since the accident. Director Dan Hartley uses traditional documentary storytelling techniques, including a three-act structure, emotive score, talking heads, and archival footage, to convey Holmes’s journey from a young gymnast to the beloved stunt double for the iconic character, Harry Potter.
Behind the Scenes
The documentary includes behind-the-scenes footage, training sequences, and outtakes that will appeal to fans of the franchise. The camaraderie between Holmes, Radcliffe, and other stuntmen is evident in their lively anecdotes, demonstrating the bond they shared during filming.
Holmes’ infectious attitude and unwavering pride in his work are palpable throughout the documentary. Despite the physical demands of his job, he approached it with enthusiasm and dedication, leaving a lasting impact on those around him.
While the documentary lacks in-depth analysis of the film industry’s relationship with stunts, it excels in capturing the emotional depth of Holmes’ post-accident experience. Viewers witness the vulnerability of the stunt crew as they recount the “worst moment of their lives,” adding a powerful layer of emotion to the film.
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived is a poignant tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and a testament to the enduring impact of the Harry Potter franchise.