Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.2

When we left the story, Lord Voldemort was moving openly.  The head of the Ministry of Magic is an obvious puppet, as are all of the important ministers.  Incidents of muggles being hurt or even killed are on the rise and the dark lord is quickly eliminating his enemies in the magic world.  His most wanted, of course is Harry Potter.  Ron and Hermione are probably in the top five.  They have been roaming the English countryside, trying to evade Voldemort’s Deatheaters, find the last few remaining Horcruxes, and figure out the secret of the Deathly Hallows.

The trail now leads them to the depths of Gringott’s and finally back to Hogwart’s where Snape and Voldemort await the final confrontation.  There is no more waiting, no more moves to be made. Everything is on the table.  Now Harry must fight for the world that he discovered only a few short years ago and has grown to love.  He has help, but when it comes to the final showdown with the dark lord, he must face it alone.

There are three ways to approach this film.  One is as a stand-alone movie.  This is not recommended.  In fact if you haven’t seen any of the other films, especially part one, stay away.  I mean it; you will be hopelessly lost.  You could also view it as half of the Deathly Hallows story, which is slightly better but you will still be missing out on some important characterization and back story.  The best way to approach The Deathly Hallows part 2 is as one eighth of the Harry Potter saga.  From the moment J.K. Rowling thought it up on a stalled train in England, Harry Potter was intended to be one long saga broken into seven novels.  The movie producers broke up the seventh novel into two parts and I bet they’re kicking themselves they didn’t think of that earlier in the series.

So viewed in this manner, what an incredible achievement!  To be sure some of the installments are better than others.  The Prisoner of Azkaban is the high point with The Order of the Phoenix a close second.  The first one is probably the weakest, but it’s still a darn good movie.  And that’s the secret.  These films never got worse than darn good.  Much of the credit goes to Rowling, who fought for the integrity of her saga.  But you also have to salute Warner Brothers, who invested a lot of money to do these things right, and the production team.  They came together and made something truly unprecedented.  The sets, the art direction and most of the other technical aspects have remained consistent.  The only changes have been in the cinematography and the overall tone of the films, both of which have grown darker as the story gets more serious.

And, of course, they have kept the wonderful cast together.

David Yates, who directed the last four films in the series, puts it down on the runway with only a few dents.  As I said, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is more properly viewed as an installment rather than a movie.  So after a five minute idyll at a very nice looking beach house, they get right to it, with the raid on Gringott’s, the return to Hogwart’s and the epic battle and showdown with the forces of the dark lord.  They barely take a breath.  Consequently some things get hurried and some things get short shrift.  The much celebrated first kiss between Ron and Hermione just sort of happens suddenly without much build up.  I would have liked the battle between Mrs. Weasley, played by Julie Walters, and Bellatrix Lestrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter to have been longer.  And there were other things sacrificed to the breakneck pace, including one that I really can’t go into because it would spoil the story.

But the good moments outnumber the bad.  Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, has an utterly devastated look on his face when he discovers what he has to do to beat Voldemort.  Neville Longbottom, played by Matthew Lewis, has a few really great moments including a well delivered speech near the end.  Narcissa Malfoy, played by Helen McCrory, has a terrific moment near the end where she plays a part in the outcome.

I look forward someday to watching all of these on DVD in succession, perhaps over Christmas vacation or something.  Recently I did that with The Lord of the Rings.  Harry Potter is an achievement on that level.  And even though they made a ton of money, we’ll probably never see anything like it again.


1 Response to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.2”

  1. 1 harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book November 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    that involves humour. Advantage: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.
    It cannot be contested that Harry Potter has enthralled
    and enchanted millions all over the globe.

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