Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – Review

It all ends. It all ended. And so did my heart.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 also known as the movie that tore my heart and soul into oblivion. Never, ever have I been inside a movie theatre and brought this close to tears. The hell with it, I CRIED. And it happened so many times. If you thought goosebumps was the criteria for a good scene, then mix those goosebumps with emotional upheaval, coupled with your hands almost shaking and this is Deathly Hallows part 2 in its entirety.

Harry, Ron and Hermione are still on the pursuit to collect and destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes. They believe the next one is hidden away in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault in Gringotts, the wizarding bank. But going into the bank is near impossible – unless you know a goblin who worked there, which they do. And so a deal is stricken. At Gringotts, they are discovered to be impostors. Hearts will race as they try to escape with the horcrux and as Harry soon finds out the next one is hidden inside Hogwarts and it’s something that belongs to another founder of the school.
And it is to Hogwarts that he goes. But Hogwarts has changed. Snape is the new headmaster. The Carrow brothers are forcing students to practice the cruciatus curse (torture) on first year students.
But there are many things that Harry doesn’t know, the ultimate secret being one that revolves around his every being. Things are never as it seems. People will show their true colors and they will come out as triumphant even after years and years of hatred.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is such a beautiful movie that you cannot move your eye off the screen. Checking the time? Dream on, my friend. Dream on. The moment the movie starts, picking up exactly where Part 1 left off, you are mesmerized. It starts abruptly and takes you right into the story. And it doesn’t let you go. It grabs at you with all the force in the world and drags you everywhere the movie goes and you hopelessly go with it like a rag doll.

Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have done the impossible here. They are possibly the only set of actors that you have seen grow up on the big screen and as the actors grew up on a personal level, they added their maturity to their characters. It’s very fascinating to watch them interact. And in Part 2, they bring out the big guns. Their acting is relentless, captivating and charming as it should be now that they have mastered the characters they’re playing. You cannot imagine other actors portraying Harry and Ron or another actress to portray Hermione. It simply doesn’t make sense. And this trio simply proves this beyond doubt.

Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith as Snape and Professor McGonagall respectively gave their all in this movie. You cannot help but be on the edge of your seat whenever any of these two actors are doing their thing. Rickman has a part of the movie entirely dedicated to his character’s personal story. It is also one of my favorite parts of the book. The Prince’s Tale is transferred so magnificently on screen that it WILL bring you to tears. Many times at that, in the space of about five minutes. If you don’t feel absolutely overwhelmed at one point in that sequent of memories, then you are not human. There, I said it.
Professor McGonagall takes a stand – several, actually – in Deathly Hallows as well. She stands up for Harry and when she does, the whole theatre will explode in applause. Maggie Smith fortifying Hogwarts and then cracking a joke to lighten up the mood… Just the way I like it. You cannot but share the pain in Smith’s eyes as she sees her beloved school crumbling around her, as she sees all the work that they’ve done go to waste… absolutely stunning.

So Hogwarts is now fortified. They have one hour before Voldemort’s powers attack. And what better actor to portray this generation’s most bad-ass villain than Ralph Fiennes. People, just give him the Oscar for best supporting actor already. There will be no one more worthy. Him or Alan Rickman.
Ralph Fiennes gives his character an extra dimension in this movie now that he has the room to spread his wings so to speak, seeing as he’s one of the movie’s main pillars. Lord Voldemort is all evil. But in this movie, another side of him shows up: anguish and misery. And yet, there’s this subtlety to the nuances of the portrayal that make up the overall result to be very epic, indeed.

Michael Gambon has one scene in the movie as Albus Dumbledore and to say that his part sticks to the book would be an understatement. They uttered my favorite line. I was on cloud nine. “Of course it’s happening inside your head… but why should it mean it’s not real?” It’s also my twitter bio! And this is truly the world that this movie and the books have created. It is imaginary but it feels so real that you just don’t care that it’s all in your head. Shattering the lines between reality and imaginary is not just for eccentric, high or mentally disturbed people. For two hours, this movie will get you to strut those boundaries as well.

Steve Kloves is the movie’s screenwriter. And what can one say about Steve Kloves and give him enough credit. He captured the movie’s essence perfectly. He presented J.K. Rowling’s work in such a brilliant way that even the slight deviations from the book (and they are very few) do not even matter anymore. He portrays the gravity of the situation to the letter: the deaths, the destruction, the revelations, the build-up…. His version of the story is so well done that it would be incredible not to see an Oscar nod (and a win!) for him in the Screenplay category. He added his touch while keeping Rowling’s magic. Some of the lines from the book are transferred to the movie as they are and for someone who has read the book over and over again, I was ecstatic to hear them on screen. “Look… at…me.” Enough said.

Director David Yates has helmed the last four Potter movies and while I had my doubts about him at first (Order of the Phoenix was not exactly great), he more than surpassed my wildest expectations in this. The pace he sets for the movie never dies down. It keeps on building up and up like a beautiful orchestral crescendo. He guides his actors and actresses with confidence. He’s working with a marvelous script based on a terrific book. And he has the green light to give it all out. What do you expect from a very talented director with those options? Something not less than magical.

And throughout the movie, you listen to this satisfyingly rich and haunting score by French composer Alexandre Desplat, who also composed the score for the first part. As the score opens with the epic “Lily’s Theme,” you are captivated by the music on top of the visuals. The score doesn’t let down as well. It fuses itself into the movie perfectly and grows as the characters advance with the plot. It incorporates elements from all previous Harry Potter scores, giving homage to all previous composers. And what better way to end this than to salute those who worked on the series before you?

On top of all that, the movie is such a nice sight to see that it’s ridiculous at times how perfect the cinematography, the make-up and all other technical aspects are. They are so well-done that they are simply the cherry on top of this marvelous cake. Summer blockbusters usually rely on these elements as their forte. Not with this movie. While any other movie would dream to have this quality on it, Deathly Hallows Part 2 has these coming with the territory of being the movie that it is.

Critics and fans alike are raving about this. I had posted earlier about the early reviews the movie was getting and they set my expectations so high that I was afraid the movie would not meet them. It not only met them, it shattered them and rendered them useless dust. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is magical, magnificent, elegant, pure, heart-breaking, eye-popping, insanely brilliant, enchantingly captivating and sensationally grandiose. It is one of the best – if not THE best – cinematic experience you could hope for. It’s a perfect movie, if there ever was such a thing.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 provides you with a sense of catharsis as it ends. It lets your senses go. It lowers your inhibitions more than alcohol. You cannot help but see your hands automatically clap at some points in the movie. You shout in desperation without even controlling your voice and you root for your characters like they’re really in front of you. Tears flow down your face without any power of you to stop them. There isn’t any better way to end the epic series that was Harry Potter. If only it weren’t ending…

I was going to start putting a grade to movies that I review, based on requests. So let me attempt this now:

13/10

Advertisements

13 Reasons To Love Harry Potter

With less than six days to the release of the last Harry Potter movie, I figured it’d be nice to write a list of reasons of why millions and millions around the globe love the books that made J.K. Rowling a billionaire and the Harry Potter movies the most successful movie series in history, as well as the fastest selling books ever.

1 – We all grew up with Harry. Most readers of the book jumped on the bandwagon long before the last book was released. We all waited impatiently for each installment to be released and we’ve all let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities that Harry Potter presented.

2 – Harry Potter is not your typical hero. Unlike action movies where the hero would be inundated with gunfire and never get shot, Harry is vulnerable. He is weak. He is flawed. He is human. You can relate to him. And if Harry Potter rubs you the wrong way, you have the ginger Ron Weasley or the bookworm Hermione Granger to keep you company. Or the everwise Albus Dumbledore. The books present you with a plethora of characters with whom you can relate – at least a part of you does.

3 – They might be fiction and fantasy but the books are gut-wrenchingly real. How many of us were teased because we got high grades in school? *raises hand* How many of us were ridiculed for not going with the flow? How many of us had our voices muted but refused to remain quiet? The basis of the Harry Potter books might be a fantasy. But the crux of them is a story about love, compassion, humility, family and courage.

4 – Once you start reading the books, you cannot put them down. There’s something about J.K. Rowling’s style that just captivates you. It’s eloquent, verbose and at the same time succinct. It captures the moment perfectly and immerses you in the lines on the page you’re reading.

5 – Harry Potter is a world by itself. How many times have you craved butterbeer or Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, as long as that flavor is not anything wax-related? How many times have you wondered if there’s really something as platform 9 and 3/4 in Kings Cross Station? How many times did you even wonder if there’s something named Diagon Alley? No, I’m not being delusional. When you read the books, the world in which the story is set captivates you. For the time you’re reading, you’re taken away from dismal realities to a place where, even when it’s at war, is a better alternative.

6 – Harry Potter makes you appreciate your mom. Harry’s mom died for him. Ron’s mother would do anything to keep her family together. And even to some extent, Narcissa Malfoy can be added to that list. And in a world where the value of family is dying down, such mothers serve as a role model to everyone and they let you know the value of the person you call mom. It could be the pain that J.K. Rowling felt when her mother passed away but every mother figure in the books is made perfect.

7 – The books are genius. How many times did you wonder while reading them how J.K. Rowling came up with the idea behind them? It all started with a train running late. At least that’s how the story of the books’ creation goes. But really, the sheer amount of creativity behind the books is almost unmatched.

8 – When you immerse yourself in the Harry Potter books, you become part of a kick ass fanbase known as Potterheads. They are relentless. They defend the books they love and can take hits without flinching. Some of them are border maniacs but the norm is an awesome crowd. They also make lots of fun of the Twilight books and let’s admit it, compared to this, those books are useless.

9 – Reading (as in the act itself) the Harry Potter books instilled the joy of doing so in millions. Who would have thought buying an 800 pages book would be the only thing a teenager would think about day and night until they set hands on the book? The books instilled in everyone the pleasure of reading by offering complexity, relateability and mystery.

10 – The books do not shy away from showing the hard faces of life. Racism is present. Hate is also widely expressed. Some parts are violent and other parts are just chilling. The world of Harry Potter is not just some world where everything is happy. It’s a place where things can go wrong and when they do, it’s on a massive scale. The conflicts are not easily solved. Sure, it’s fiction but at least not everything works out for the best all the time. You lose some of the people you love. You get betrayed. But you can always recover.

11 – J.K. Rowling maintained the folklore aspect of the fantasy elements in the novels. She did not change how a werewolf transforms (or when it does so), how a unicorn looks like or what a centaur is. Which gives the Harry Potter series a sense of authenticity in the genre it belongs to.

12 – Some people think loving Harry is a vice. Well, we tell them it’s a virtue. If there’s anything redeeming about a person, it would be them reading this series. You cannot read such books and be a bad person in life. And when one day they stand at the Pearly Gates and St. Peter calls their names, it would be because reading Harry Potter was one of the most redeeming quality of their lives. Yes, I’m exaggerating but there you go.

13 – A seventh of the dedication of the last book was made to you. How could you not love that?

For the sake of continuity (although I do not agree with his loathing of The Order of the Phoenix), check out this post by my friend Gino Raidy: As The Harry Potter Era Ends, So Does My Childhood.