Film Review – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

 Along with around 3000 other people I attended the Harry Potter screening at Leicester Square’s Empire on Friday, 9th July.

Needless to say, nervous energy ran through the crowd.  There were obvious fans, lots of kids and also industry professionals in the house.  By the time 18:30 rolled around and after a brief chat from the Warner Bros spokesperson, welcoming everyone to the last Harry Potter, silence descended with the darkness, and a round of spontaneous applause and whooping.

There is no re-cap of what went before in HP7.1 so be sure to re-watch it otherwise you may flounder for the first few minutes.

***minor spoilers, which aren’t spoilers if you’ve read the books***

Harry, Hermione and Ron are at the forefront of the Harry Potter 7 as they come to terms with the fact that in the six months they’ve been gone from Hogwarts, all hell has broken loose in the wizarding world.  Snape is now headmaster at Hogwarts, Harry, Hermione and Ron are wanted criminals, the others in the “rebellion” are in hiding and in fact, everything is pretty awful for all concerned.

Harry, Ron and Hermione are still very keen on finding the various Horcruxes, the items Voldemort used to store parts of his soul in, in his quest for immortality.  Three Horcruxes have been found and destroyed but four remain.  And if even one of them remain, Voldemort cannot be defeated.  Combined with this search is the search for the three items of the Deathly Hallows themselves: The Elder Wand (the wand that is touted as being the strongest wand in all the world),  the cloak of invisibility and the Resurrection Stone.

When Harry speaks to Mr. Ollivander, the wand maker, he is told that if the Elder Wand falls into Voldemort’s hands, all is lost as no one will be able to stand against him.   Harry decides to focus on those Horcroxus as it will give him a chance.  He also speaks to Griphook, one of the bankers from Gringots and Griphood reveals in this suitably sly way that there are several items in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault that might be of interest to Harry and his friends.  They decide to pull off a heist to gain entrance to the vault as Harry strongly suspects that he may findone or more of the other four Horcruxes in Bellatrix’s vault.

I won’t say much more than this as these scenes have to be experienced as they were nerve-wracking and perfectly strung together.  The 3D worked really well here too and the whole composition of the sets, the acting and the tension, combine to make some memorable moments.

The three manage to flee to Hogsmeade and are immediately set upon and hunted by cronies of Voldemort.   They are near to capture until someone calls to them from a dark doorway and helps them down into basement.   This is Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth, who has some very sharp words to say to Harry about everything, including his implicit trust he placed in Dumbledore, cautioning him that he does not in fact know the whole story.  Harry shrugs off the warnings but Aberforth agrees to help them, by sending someone to go and call for help.  It turns out to be Neville and he leads them back towards Hogwarts, along a new tunnel that had been dug after Severus closed down all the other secret tunnels.

Harry (quite dramatically) reveals his presence in Hogwarts, along with all his rebel wizarding friends to Snape and there is a brief but awesome battle between Professor McGonagall and Snape, with Snape exploding through the window in the Great Hall and disappearing into the darkness.  McGonagall sets about making Hogwarts secure and locking the Slytherin contingent in the basement for bad behaviour.

With the Elder Wand in his possession (think back to the ending of HP7.1 when it ended with Voldemort triumphantly opening Dumbledore’s tomb and using the wand he finds there to send up a beam of powerful light into the sky) Voldemort thinks he’s utterly invincible.  He marshals his forces and focusses his attention on Hogwarts which is the last bastion of the wizard rebellion.

The whole movie explodes from here onwards into some great set pieces full of drama and action.  All the big moments are there, along with the kiss, Mrs. Weasley’s stand-off, Neville and Nagini, Voldemort and Harry,  Harry and Dumbledore…I personally think this is the best of all the HP movies I have seen as it is emotionally satisfying and conclusive.

The battle scenes are choreographed really well and the FX bits are superb.  Voldemort is so supremely evil that I felt I couldn’t stand against him if I had to.  He is portrayed as so righteous in his own convictions that he does not realise, for one second, that he is wrong.  He has this one goal in mind, to force everyone to bow to him, so that he can eradicate the muggles and be the supreme overlord, that he never wavers, not for one second.  His will is so overpowering that each time he was on-screen, he exuded power and charisma, and you could sense the discomfort of the people in the audience.

The two characters however, who stole the movie in my opinion is Snape and Neville Longbottom.  I won’t elaborate on why, I’d just urge you to go and see it.  It is also why I chose to put Neville’s picture at the top of this review in the movie poster.  He has become a bit of a crush.

The film, all 130 minutes of it, is a breathless race from start to finish with some superb acting by the young cast.  I can’t help but applaud the script writer (Steve Kloves) for tackling this impossible task of bringing the cast and story to life and keeping the fans happy.  Along with the producer David Heyman director David Yates, and the rest of the crew who worked so hard on this movie, they should be very proud of this final instalment because it just ends the way it should and is really the best of all of the Harry Potter movies.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, is out on the 15th July.  And I can’t wait to go and see it again!

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One comment

  1. Comat Tone /

    I saw it last night. I agree special effects are well-done, but the whole composition is lacking a certain feeling of coherence. There is extreme focus on Harry, so even Ron and Hermione have parts which are more reduced than in the films before. I am not a fan of Radcliffe’s acting, but in some scenes he is quite good. I agree that Snape and Neville have very good scenes, and Rickman as well as Matt Lewis really show nice performances. Voldemort is also very well and intensely portrayed by Fiennes. I was not taken by the performance of Emma Watson. Whatever acting abilities she may have or not, the script was unfavourable to them. Likewise for Lynch and Wright. Bonnie Wright delivers Ginny again without any visible emotions in such a way that it is unconvincing. The case of Evanna Lynch playing Luna is similar in this movie. But what can you do with a film which is just a collection of scenes in between battle scenes. It’s not bad on the whole, but not a cineastic masterpiece. Yet, that was somehow to be expected. The second part of the DH book is, in my view, one of the weakest parts of writing of the whole series. But see yourself. Some CGI is visually quite impressive, especially in 3D.

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