Posted July 17, 2011 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV

FILM REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I solemnly swear that I am up to…well, some good in this review. I wasn’t really excited about the new Harry Potter movie, the last in the franchise. I did read some of the Potter novels years ago, but quickly lost interest after Book 4. Truth be told, I was indifferent about the new film, and I would have been okay going through the year without having seen it at all. I went ahead and saw it mainly because I saw Part 1; the obsessive-compulsive nut in me won’t be able to accept it if I didn’t go see the other half of Deathly Hallows.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe as The Boy Who Lived and directed by David Yates, Deathly Hallows 2 provides closure to the series of literary adaptations and, for many fans, marks the end of an era. Reprising their roles as Hermione and Ron are Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, respectively. Many of the old actors have returned to play their roles once again for the last time. Among the most noteworthy are Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, Ralph Fiennes as the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

The first thing that strikes you about Deathly Hallows 2 is that it wastes no time; it picks up right where the first part left off, and soon goes from one action scene to another. There is considerably less talking and more spellcasting and fighting done here, and with good reason. This is Hogwarts’s last stand, and even if you stripped away all the dialogue and entered the cinema without knowing what to expect, you can feel it. The dull colors, the low lighting, and the grim and deathly atmosphere all contribute to the appropriately dark and bleak tone of the film.

The visuals are powerful enough to enable suspension of disbelief, but not spectacular. For some reason I found myself somewhat disappointed, especially with some of the spell effects; I even thought there was a decline in special effects quality from the previous films. The music is moody and appropriate, chilling at times even. The most powerful scenes, however, are the considerably quieter ones – the serious moments and flashbacks that really emphasize how grave the situation is throughout the movie.

In as far as acting is concerned, pretty much everyone did a good job, especially Helena Bonham Carter, who played the role of both Bellatrix Lestrange and Hermione-as-Bellatrix. As for the plot, it felt disjointed at some points, which I assume was due to the possible necessity to cut details from the source material. This is coming from someone who has not yet read Book 7 and who has relied mainly on spoilers from eager friends, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

And hey – it was cool to see Neville Longbottom do something concretely heroic for a change. Twice, even.

The true success of Deathly Hallows 2 , however, lies in its ability to persuade the audience that, indeed, it was necessary to split Book 7 into two movies. Skeptics may argue that this was nothing but a scheme to double the earnings from a final Potter adaptation, but believe me when I say that it would not have done the series justice if Deathly Hallows had not been made into two films.

I recommend watching this film, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the franchise. After all, this IS where it all ends, and
even if it’s not your cup of tea, it at least makes for a good conversation topic.

You had a decent run, Harry. Mischief managed.

Mikael Angelo Francisco