Director : David Yates
Starring : Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Running Time : 130 minutes
Release Date : 13th July 2011
It is finally here! After fighting giant snakes, dementors, trolls, spiders, dragons and every Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, Harry Potter has reached his final battle with Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
This is literally a Part 2 movie as it opens, not with a beginning, but more of a jump from where Part 1 left off. Despite this, the movie is mostly centred on the final face-off between Harry and his friends and Voldemort and his death-eaters at Hogwarts.
Looking back on Harry Potter, the first film The Philosopher’s Stone was an eye-opening epic with ground-breaking special effects, fresh young actors, British humour and a small boy hero coming-of-age story. As each film brought more magic and originality, we’ve watched the kids grow older, more flawed, more emotional, wiser and facing new and deadly challenges at Hogwarts.
When Voldemort returned to life in Goblet of Fire, the films started to feel more plot-heavy, serving up to this overarching finale. If you have seen all of the other Potter films (like me), this conclusion will be a magical, exciting, dark and very emotional ride.
In the tradition of series finales, we recap to early moments in the saga combined with flashbacks provided by long-supporting characters that unfolds big secrets that have been kept from Harry and the audience during the series. I think Alan Rickman who plays Snape has come to his definitive moment in the series.
What I also liked about Part 2 is that rival characters don’t exactly leave each other behind as we might expect. Some running themes, like whether Ron and Hermione will get together or not, reaches a conclusion. There are, however, too many characters to establish and I wished some of the old favourites had a better farewell.
I am not a huge fan of the new 3D because everything on screen looks darker and slightly blurred. However, do see Part 2 in 3D. The special effects are more dazzling than before and the action sequences are extravagant to watch.
While the humour and laughs are still there, the movie contains a lot of sadness as friends are killed and Harry reaches a horrific realisation that could end Lord Voldemort forever. There are long, powerful moments of silence buried between fight sequences that are heart wrenching.
My only minor problem with the Part 2 is that I’ve read the books, but the writers need to take a step back and consider their scripts from the viewpoint of someone who has never read them. They need to ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” or “Can we introduce this character or subplot more coherently?”
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have been entertaining billions of fans all over the world for 10 years and they’re not even 24 yet. They deserve all the applause for leading the highest-grossing film franchise in history. They will always be remembered as Harry, Ron and Hermione, but they’re still so young. It’s a matter of time before we begin to see them in non teenage, British or wizard roles.
This is truly the end of an era that will stay with children the way Star Wars or The Godfather stays with their parents, but no doubt it will stay cemented in movie magic and cinema history.