DVD REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry and Voldemort have their final showdown in the halls of Hogwarts as they fight to fulfil the prophecy; only one can live while the other survives. The question is, who will it be?

It is interesting to go back and look at the final Harry Potter film again, after so much time has elapsed from its cinema release. I am a massive fan of the franchise – and have been for over 15 years – so when I reviewed the movie the first time around, I gave it 11 out of 10. I knew there were issues with it, but the movie gave the characters such a good send off, that it didn’t really matter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the battle movie that we have all been waiting for. The film doesn’t build slowly to the action; we are immediately thrust into the middle of the action and the pace barely lets up. Harry and his friends are racing to find and destroy the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds out what they are up to. The first hour of the film sets up the battle for Hogwarts and what a battle it is.

Daniel Radcliffe is on great form as Harry. His performance is much more subtle than those that have gone before. All of the hallmarks of his childhood – the cheek, protestations and petulant outbursts – have vanished, and the audience is given a hero who is prepared to die for the sake of the wizarding world.

Radcliffe is brilliant in his role, but he allows the supporting cast to shine – every character we have met throughout the films returns, along with some new ones. Ciaran Hinds appears as Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth, and is unrecognisable in his long wig and robes. He is as enigmatic as his brother, but with a gruff edge. Alan Rickman finally gets his moment to show some depth to Snape, and his final moments on screen are truly heartbreaking.

The film deviates slightly from the book, but this sacrifice was made for the sake of pacing, and makes sense. This is the only Harry Potter film that is not held back by it’s attention to detail; the mystery has been solved, and all that needs to happen now is the confrontation. There are a few mysteries that could have been explored more deeply, and the epilogue at the end was not needed – nor was it needed in the book, so these are small complaints.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wraps the series up in an emotionally satisfactory and action filled way. The bad guy is defeated and order is restored. Harry Potter may be bidding us farewell, but he does it with style and flair. This is action the likes of which we have never seen in Harry Potter before, but it allows the emotion to shine through as well. A delicate balance that is expertly realised.

The special features on the DVD are great for the die-hard fan. The DVD is filled with behind the scenes looks at the film – how the goblins are cast and filmed, how the stunts are done and a wonderful documentary that takes the audience through the filming process of the final film, and talks to the cast about their feelings now it is all coming to an end. It is hard not to be moved when watching the cast break down during their last day on set. As well as this, J.K. Rowling talks about the women in her film and Emma Watson discusses the perils of fame. These are grown up special features for a grown up movie and they are moments that true fans of the series will love.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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One comment

  1. I should get the DVD…

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