[SPOILERS: You may not know everything about the Harry Potter universe or the last book in the series. If not, don’t read this review just yet. Well, you can read the first paragraph. And the second. But don’t go further unless you want the movie ruined. And trust me, you don’t.]
Harry Potter is done. The movies have come and gone in a series one longer than the books. The direction of each slightly different, yet staring a common thread that can only be described as magical.
I’ll preface this review by saying that each time a Harry Potter movie comes around, I get obsessed with watching the past few flicks, The Goblet of Fire being my favourite (despite popular opinion, apparently), special features, YouTube videos, and almost get tempted enough to buy over-priced wand replicas on eBay. With that said, I’m right back in the thick of things this time around, and does it ever make sense for a movie like this epic finale.
When I first saw Deathly Hallows Part 2 (I’ve since seen it an additional three times), I realized around the halfway mark that the movie itself is played out like a single orchestral piece of music. Throughout the event, there are scenes that absolutely take my breath away, and others that serve only to back that up in the less-intense yet still equally important moments. If you’ve ever read a Halo review on here, you know how important the music is to me, and the music in this movie is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, I’ll go beyond the word music and say that the use of all audio in this movie is incredible. The silence right before Lord Voldemort kills Harry is more powerful than any massive orchestral piece could ever achieve and it ties everything in so beautifully to the clashing the occurs immediately following it.
The storyline, as one would expect, is woven intricately and delicately, yet somehow still shines with the boyish charm of the original Harry Potter. He is very proactive in this one, as opposed to the first three movies or so where he was much more reactive, and it shows his growth. You know, before he dies and all.
There were some corny moments in the film – things like Voldemort’s head as he flew around not looking quite normal, the kiss between Ron and Hermione being very odd, as was the one between Harry and Ginny. And please don’t get me started on the epilogue. Seriously. Ouch.
The highlight of the movie is the movie itself, which is probably the best compliment I could pay it. The idea that the epicness of the movie makes me want to see it again and again even though it isn’t my favourite in the series speaks volumes for how great it is. The conclusion to a ten-year long saga, and the final amalgamation to what has been teased for the last seven movies: the death of Lord Voldemort.
There have been many deaths along the way. Major characters: Professor Snape, Fred Weasley, Professor Lupin, and of course, Professor Dumbledore. But knowing how and why these deaths occurred really are so integral to the storyline and the plots weave that it couldn’t have been told any other way. To be realistic, there needed to be sacrifice.
Speaking of sacrifice: in the first few movies, I was not a fan of Professor Snape. Not because of his evil over-tones; in fact, it bothered me to know that he was a misunderstood “good guy” who does in fact follow the rules. As his character grew, and I grew older to realize it, it became so blatantly clear to me that Alan Rickman’s portrayal of the iconic Hogwarts teacher is the best character in the entire series, both because of JK Rowling’s doing and Rickman’s himself. Bloody brilliant, I’d have to say.
So – how does Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 stack up to the rest of the series? There are actually a couple of ways to look at it. After the first four movies, the themes began to get really dark, and you can actually separate them into “young Harry” movies and “old Harry” movies and have them be two separate beings. However, the way I like to look at it is how much the movies made me feel. Not necessarily how good they made me feel, but how much I emoted through them. Of any feeling whatsoever.
So, the list goes:
The Goblet of Fire
Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Sorcerer’s Stone
The Chamber of Secrets
The Prisoner of Azkaban
The Deathly Hallows Part 1
The Half-Blood Prince
The Order of the Phoenix
I know, I know – how can I split up Part 1 and Part 2 by such a wide margin? Well, The first three movies were a part of my childhood. Or, rather, my teenagehood. Either way – I couldn’t imagine Harry Potter without any of those three as they begun the adventure for me and really are the building blocks of the rest of the series. From there, I just realized how much I hated Order of the Phoenix, even though I saw it in theatres twice. Yuck.
Go see all the Harry Potter movies. You owe it to yourself, even if you’re not a huge fan. These aren’t Twilight saga-style movies. These are the original adult children’s book movies, if that makes any sense. Either way, go and see this movie at least. You don’t really need to see the others to somewhat understand that there is a boy facing an evil villain. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a marvel of filmmaking, of acting, of special effects, and of music.
The boy who lived. Really did come to die. What a brave, brave man you are, Harry Potter.