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Movie Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

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Reviewed by Luke Walkley

Released: 15th July 2011

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Certificate: 12

Harry, Ron and Hermione return for the last time in JK Rowlings finale to her magical series. With books and films spanning almost 15 years and valued at around £35billion worldwide- Harry Potter has become one of the most successful ventures ever. Therefore it was critical that the eighth film in the saga gave it the send off it deserved.

Continuing from Part One, The film rejoins the trio as they seek to destroy the remaining Horcruxes that contain the separated parts of Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul.  Meanwhile Voldemort has acquired his deadliest weapon yet-

The Elder Wand.  With one crucial part of the legendary Deathly Hallows at his disposal, Voldemort has become more powerful than ever. Harry(Daniel Radcliife) Ron(Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) must go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his downfall. Breaking into the wizard bank, Gringotts as well as defending Hogwarts from Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters. The final question is posed, can Harry and his accomplices’ finally rid the world of Voldemort’s shadow that looms over the whole wizarding world? Or will Evil ultimately prevail in the final battle?

The first part of the final chapter was delivered brilliantly, incorporating fantastic special effects with the solid storyline and great acting. As well as a beautiful animation that described the story of the Deathly Hallows. Part Two left itself with a lot to live up to., but it certainly goes about it directly, jumping almost instantly into the attempted break in at Gringotts.  For this it must be applauded, no wasting time with a long recap of the previous films events, just a 30 second ‘montage’ showing Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) as the new headmaster of Hogwarts and Voldemort removing the Elder Wand from Albus Dumbledore’s tomb.

The acting is at its usual high standard, Alan Rickman as Snape is alluring as always and his voice is music to the ears. Characters such as Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) really step up and prove that they are more than background characters with some great scenes.

The special effects are displayed in all their glory from the offset, the Dragon responsible for guarding the vaults in Gringotts is beautifully created and along with the make-up work on the Goblins and other magical creatures, the scenes are always perfectly set to create the atmosphere that fans of the books and films have come to expect.

However, there are areas where I felt the film suffered-the reason behind splitting the final book into two films was to ensure that as much of the information was kept in the film as possible. However omissions of information and moments deemed not to be important or necessary enough to feature are missed and without giving away any spoilers for those who are yet to see it, a massive change in location/events for the final scene is sure to annoy any true fans of the book. Secondly, is the way in which the key moments such as deaths (not a spoiler! everyone is aware there were going to be some…) were handled. While the emotion is perfectly captured in some moments, it feels like they have merely skimmed the surface of what could have been possible. Whether this was to ensure the film could be enjoyed by everyone and not to change the films overall tone is a matter of opinion.

Despite some short-comings, the film is still a fantastic watch.  The creators have managed to capture some scenes exactly as one could imagine and that is where all adaptations of popular books face a problem. There is absolutely no way of capturing everyone’s different take on the characters and crucial scenes, everybody has a different imagination. Therefore the final product has done brilliantly to cover all the bases and appeal to the large audiences it brings in.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a fitting ending to the series, one or two omissions aren’t enough to derail the movie and it is with great respect that we wave goodbye to the Hogwarts Express as it pulls out of Platform 9¾ for the last time.

25 year old film fanatic who loves rock music, Xbox and cat videos on Youtube. I also tweet @lewisvstheworld

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