Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)

It’s the end of an era, and a sad one at that. For the millions of Harry Potter fans around the world, it has all finally come to a close. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, directed by David Yates, is the latest and final instalment to the Harry Potter franchise, based on the novels by J. K. Rowling.

After a decade of filming, the magical trio of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) finish their time at Hogwarts with a fight-to-the-death war. One can’t live whilst the other survives, and the long-awaited finale is here. But will Harry succeed?

Finding out that he must die for any hope of defeating the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), we can only hope. Of course, if you’ve read the books there will be no surprises there. However, this is undoubtedly a film that you will want to see more than once, and not just to keep the fantasy of Harry Potter alive. The film has crushed The Dark Night with the biggest opening weekend of all time, and that’s only three days in. This has got to be the biggest Potter film yet.

Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows picks up nicely from where the first left us, with Voldemort stealing the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) tomb, casting a powerful blue light into the sky, as the Harry Potter trio mourn the death of house elf Dobby after escaping the Malfoy Manor. With a break-in to Gringotts, some too-close-for-comfort disguises and a secret passage into Hogwarts itself, the trio carry on their mission to find the seven Horcruxes (parts of Voldemort’s soul) and the three deathly hallows (the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility and the unbeatable Elder Wand which together create a master of death) in order to defeat Voldemort for good.

Full of excitement and a huge amount of anticipation from the audience, this final instalment is the funniest but saddest film yet. With jokes flying around from a number of characters, the typical cheesiness from the Potter trio, and Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) calling Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) a bitch, this film has your emotions going all over the place.

A personal favourite scene was the revelation of Professor Snape’s (Alan Rickman) memories. Always portrayed as one of the baddies, especially after killing Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we see the more humane side to Snape as we find out the truth behind his actions. Yates really did this scene justice, making it a dominant part of the film that included a number of flashbacks from most of the previous films, opening up our own memories as well.

Snape’s memories also gave some much-needed explanation to the previous films. Alongside the inclusion of various other details that were missed out in the fist part of the Deathly Hallows, this is why the second part worked so well. However, both parts completely missed out the pregnancy of Tonks with Lupin’s half-werewolf child, only mentioning Lupin having a son near the end of the film. For anybody who hadn’t read the book beforehand, this would have been slightly confused them.

In addition, The Deathly Hallows as a whole also has the darkest storyline out of the seven novels; the second part even more so with a mass war between the good and evil sides of witches, wizards and other mystical creatures (sometimes making the film look like a scene out of Lord of the Rings), and also with the death of a number of favourable characters. However, the film deals with these deaths very respectfully for the younger audience, not focusing on any of the death scenes in detail, apart from some of the slightly brutal killings by Voldemort’s snake Nagani, but by only showing the still bodies at the end of the battle. These scenes more than successfully tug on your heart-strings throughout.

It’s hard to criticise the film in any way, except for the use of the unneeded 3D enhancement. Statistics show that only 43% of the audience opted to don the 3D goggles in the opening weekend, and rightly so. There was only about ten seconds worth of 3D effects that were worth noting, that and the headache that the glasses gave you. I watched the film in both 2D and 3D, so for some final advice, don’t pay extra for 3D, and make sure you have a tissue in your pocket in preparation for this tear jerker.

The end of the film then gives the Harry Potter franchise the farewell that the series deserved. As we watch the trio send off their own children to Hogwarts, we see the Hogwarts Express leave Platform 9 and 3/4 for one last time as the Harry Potter theme blasts out in the background.

Goodbye Hazza P, you will be dearly missed.

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