Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

It all comes to an end: the second half of the last installment.

July 18, 2011
After ten years, and a staggering one thousand one hundred and seventy eight minutes worth of film, it all ends. Harry Potter climaxes with the exciting, scary, emotional, and ultimately very satisfying final instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The long winded title is the only thing that drags.

We pick up immediately where we left off in the last film, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione searching for horcruxes (the vessels in which Lord Voldemort has placed bits of his soul in order to evade death). If you haven’t seen the other films, this is absolutely not the place to start. I have read the books, and seen all the previous films, and I still felt slightly lost at the beginning.

After the first ten or so minutes of calm there is barely time to catch breath, let alone to try and remember what happened in the last film. Details are perhaps unimportant, (is it possible to say that after over 19 hours of film?!) as everything so far has been leading up to the final battle between Harry and Voldemort; between good and evil.

The battle scenes at the end are on a par with any you would find in a war film, as our three heroes run across the rubble of Hogwarts, passing both enemies and comrades falling, great balls of flame, and the odd club-wielding giant and enormous spider just to remind us that it’s the smell of magic, not napalm, that we love in the morning.

Director David Yates has made a beautiful film, cinematographically. He may have made a children’s action film, but that does not mean that he didn’t bother artistically. At the very beginning there is a shot of Professor Snape (played by the mesmerisingly wonderful Alan Rickman) in silhouette in a doorway; it only lasts a few seconds, but I found it remarkably moving. It is simple things like this, as well as the jaw-dropping action sequences, that have made the Harry Potter films since Yates took over such a pleasure to watch.

All things pass. Questionable child actors become pretty decent (though still completely overshadowed by the likes of Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes) grown up actors. Chubby Neville the loser from the early films becomes a Henry V style speech-delivering, sword-wielding champion. Ron becomes a romantic hero (though he is still the only one allowed to swear, it’s OK, he hasn’t changed that much). Everything ends. Even highly successful film franchises. I’m quite sad to see this one go though.
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