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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 August 24, 2011

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema, Fantasy , add a comment

avada kedavra!

It’s a fitting conclusion to the series of films.The whole cast did a great job. Radcliffe and Watson hold up well against a mature supporting cast of characters. Grint has less to do and little time to tie up things between Ron and Hermione. This last movie is fully Harry’s story and his alone. I think the only character that stands close in terms of the story is Severus Snape played with finess by Alan Rickman. Ralph Fiennes is clearly having fun been Voldemort and I was delighted to see Michael Gambon as Dumbledore onscreen again to mentor harry one last time. I really missed the character’s presence in the previous movie

The Battle of Hogwarts was visually very impressive and well done.It’s a modern day storming of a castle with Wizards and witches firing bolts from wands instead of shooting arrows. However the 3D adds nothing to the movie and what 3D I did notice was very little.

A lot is squeezed into Deathly Hallows Part 2 that could’ve been put into Deathly Hallows Part 1. I find parts 1 and 2 to be very different. Part 1 is edgy and full of drama between characters.  Relationships are explored in greater detail. These take a back seat in part 2 with big action scenes throughout. With part 1 there’s a greater emotional investment because time is spent with these characters when they aren’t running about fighting other wizards and witches. In this regard it seems essential to split the movies to give the characters some screen time to grow but there is an imbalance between both parts. Whereas part 1 shifted into newer territory and seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione become adults, part 2 seemed to reverse and followed more closely with the tone of the previous 6 movies, action and fast plot delivery. Important characters do die in this movie but their deaths are glossed over and they lose much of the impact. If they had taken place in part 1 we’d have got an expanded scene from it, (just look at how they did Dobby in part 1) but here there’s no time to do that with everything that’s happening. It’s tough to wrap up the story spread over 10 years of movies.

Now that I have answers to all my speculation about how this story would end it’s not too far off where I saw it going. I had thought Snape was a good guy from early on. He’s too obviously evil looking to be actually evil if that makes any sense. By the time I watched “Half blood prince” I was sure he was a double agent due to his secret conversation with Dumbledore been seen onscreen. By movie 7 I also thought Harry was one of the Horcruxs and it looked like Dumbledore implied that in movie 6. Although it was also possible that the last Horcruxwas another person, Ron or Herminoe. Which would have been a pretty devastating challenge for Harry to face. In retrospect, his own death would be a smaller price to pay since he is the hero of the story.  I had thought either Ron, Herminoe or Harry would be killed off in this final story after hearing rumors during the books release that a major character would be killed off. When I finally saw this film it seems that they survived and although they each paid a price it maybe wasn’t enough. In the most recent movies important characters were being killed off, Sirrus, Dumbledore. At this final stage I thought the only way to outdo the dramatic impact of those deaths would be to kill off one of the main 3 characters. The only death that has any real impact is Snapes death and when his character’s true nature is revealed it’s an even sadder ending for him, he had not only lost the woman he loved, he had the contempt of other characters including Harry, a boy he did everything to protect. Due to Snape been unable to reveal his true motives it makes him one of the most tragic characters in the series. So one of my favorite scenes was the redemption of the character through his memories. The other was Harry meeting his family members before his confrontation with Voldemort and them telling him they had never left him and they’ll be with him till the end…

Voldemorts death was a little confusing as he seemed to start dying when the wand was taken off him. It lessoned the impact of his death as it came out of the blue. If a wand blast had gone through his chest then it’s a definite killing blow, but what was it that killed him? Upon further investigation after the movie it seems the killing spell he cast rebounded back onto him since he was not the true owner of the wand which protects it’s master, in this case Harry. Interesting to note that this is what happened to Voldemort when he tried to kill Harry as a baby too with the spell rebounding on him.

Harry not dying also was a bit confusing. But thinking about it, Voldemort was reborn from Harry’s Blood in “The Goblet of Fire”, so Voldemort couldn’t kill himself (his own blood). Or either because Harry was the rightful owner of all 3 deathly hallows (although not in his possession) he was the master of death. Or either when he passed over to to the limbo between life and death part of Voldemorts soul inside harry had passed over also causing an imbalance which necessitated Harry’s return.

I find that at this stage I need to read the books because I am definitely missing out on plot points that are presented but unexplained in the movie. Whether this is the fault of the film makers or that the books are so long I’m not sure, but to me the important thing is for the audience not to be in confusion. Even if this sacrifices some story elements from the book.The books shouldn’t need to be read to understand the movies.

With all that said, I enjoyed this movie. I have enjoyed most of the series. As someone who wasn’t a fan to start with, who wasn’t blown away with the first movie my opinion has changed a lot and I’m glad but also a bit sad that the series has ended. In fantasy film I have the Hobbit Parts 1 and 2 to look forward to over the next 3 years but after that what fantasy film is there that can eclipse either of these franchises? None so far I’m afraid.  As for the Cast, Daniel Radcliffe will be in a new Hammer Horror film “The Woman in Black” which I’m really excited to see revived in this century.

Favorite Quote: “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.” - Professor Albus Dumbledore

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