Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a fitting swan song for a film and book series that has enchanted us for over a decade. Some of the spells cast during the spectacle fizzle at points but are followed up brilliantly by truly magic moments. There is no denying that the universe of Harry Potter is pictured with an extreme attention to detail – too much detail at times! In fact as much as my inner Harry Potter fan loves to get lost in the world of witchcraft and wizardry, I still could do with a few less CGI sequences of magical duels and eye searing pyrotechnics. This is both the film’s strength and its weakness – more on this later. For now allow me to bandy about my opinions on what I believe is still a stellar treatment of Harry’s finest hour.
[youtube width=”550″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NYt1qirBWg[/youtube]
The glue that holds all the Harry Potter movies together are the scrappy trio themselves. Their names are so near and dear that one could not picture a Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) without a Ron (Rupert Grint) or a Hermione (Emma Watson) tagging along and aiding the boy wizard in his adventures. The moments that they do get to interact with each other and provide support are touching as always. What disappoints me regarding this is how those moments were significantly less present in this film as well as the last set of films. Silent acting can be an art but the witty banter or wise observations that are knit within the story of Harry Potter are what make the books so satisfying. It was aggravating seeing Ron and Hermione become almost wall flowers at times – the writers should have granted them much more dialogue.
Ironically it is the supporting cast that I believe shines a bit brighter in this last installment. Ralph Fiennes’ Voldemort is portrayed with effortless ease. While the technique of silent acting is misplaced among the rag tag trio – in Fiennes’ case it is genius. Throughout the film as each horcrux is annihilated, there is both a fear and danger in Voldemort’s eyes of a tyrant who knows his kingdom is crumbling around him. Honorable mentions also go out to Maggie Smith whose Prof. Minerva McGonagall was razor sharp with her quips and Julie Walters who delivered Molly Weasly’s infamous line with the lionhearted passion of a true mother…trust me, you are absolutely going to love that scene.
“I never wanted any of you to die for me.” Truer words were never uttered. Death in this film is treated almost like a chorus line. One could argue that Rowling was no different in the books but there was a certain dignity she granted each of the departed in their final moments. Instead in David Yates’ Potter we see bodies strewn on the ground with perhaps a few lingering shots of their tragic faces and crumpled hands. Somehow I did not see the gravitas present in those solemn moments that were present in the book itself.
There would be no life to Harry Potter without Hogwarts itself. Hogwarts stately presence is pictured beautifully in this film. I was not fond of how it was swathed over with so many shadows and barely lit. I understand the theme of gloom in this film but I just cannot bring myself to imagine Rowling’s world without any punch of color. Thankfully, some of the darkness is cut by one of the nicer CGI sequences showing the carefree childhood days of Lilly Potter and Severus Snape. An example of this are the leaves of a huge oak turning into fluttering butterflies floating lazily on the wind. Oh that reminds me the CGI…
The technical wizards behind the film certainly outdid themselves. It is quite clear the level of special effects are world class and done with artful precision. Seeing the castle of Hogwarts slowly engulfed in a mega magical aura that repelled attacks was a sight of awe and wonder. It is arguable that the heavy emphasis on CGI weighed down the film to the point of sinking. I personally am getting tired of countless epics nowadays shoving gulp after gulp of special effects down our throats. The amount present causes me to choke and thirst for a return to the beauty of the story itself.
Perhaps this is the problem with most movie adaptations of fantasy novels or books in general. We the readers direct what we believe are the best versions to act out certain scenes. The way we envision the world is almost impossible to top on the silver screen. It angers us that those not glued to the books are not receiving what we believe is the most immaculate portrayal of the author’s words. This is a sound argument but does it account for hallowed epics like [easyazon-link asin=”B002M2Z3BA”]Gone with the Wind[/easyazon-link] or the more recent [easyazon-link asin=”B000654ZK0″]The Lord of the Rings[/easyazon-link] trilogy which swept the 2003 Oscars? I digress…
With both its faults and its flourishes – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is still a gem in the Goliath sized movie series. It is a bittersweet moment in the history of Harry Potter due to the fact that it means goodbye to looking forward to watching the charming boy wizard during summer or the holidays. While it may be Warner Bros. last act it is not the end of Potter as we know it. The story lives on thanks to Rowling’s nonstop love affair with her fans and efforts like the intriguing Pottermore in the works.
[xrr label=”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is rated” rating=4/5]
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