By Punitha Yogaratnam
Rating(out of 5): * * * * *
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Bonnie Wright, Michael Gambon, Jason Isaacs, Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Robbie Coltrane, Bill Nighy, Tom Felton, David Thewlis
After 10 years, eight movies and seven books, the franchise that is Harry Potter comes to an explosive and definite end with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2. This finale has been the most anticipated movie this year and the two hour plus extravaganza doesn't disappoint at all.
The franchise might have been sagging a bit in terms of box office receipts with a couple of titles, but the magic of the first movie has returned and with a flick and swish of the wand, Deathly Hallows Part 2 might just surpass Philosopher's Stone's bounty of US$90 million in its opening weekend.
If the first part to this seventh book was slow, this second part makes up for it. The movie picks up from where it left off. Harry, Ron and Hermione are still chasing down the remaining Horcruxes, and the Dark Lord has his hands on the Elder Wand, but he gets steadily weaker as each Horcrux is destroyed.
As the forces of good gather at Hogwarts for the final showdown against Voldemort and his followers, Harry learns that another Horcrux lies hidden somewhere in the school. And as he nears the cursed object he realizes that the final and most important Horcrux is close at hand.
As Hogwarts goes into lockdown, Harry finally learns the truth of what Dumbledore has been keeping from him and he realizes what and where his true destiny lies.
The Deathly Hallows Pt 2 has some of the best set designs of all the Potter movies. Of course Hogwarts is impressive but one of the newer and more complicated set scenes has to be the catacombs of Gringotts Bank and the subsequent roller-coaster ride. Might we expect a similar ride in some theme park in the future? I honestly wouldn't put it pass the powers that be to come up with a death-defying Harry Potter ride.
Other worth-mentioning scenes to look out for would be the near destruction of Hogwarts. It's almost symbolic -- as the movie nears the end we see some of Harry's favorite places destroyed, a possible prelude to our wizard's fate?
The explosions, the destruction, the death scenes or the quiet touching moments when Ron and Hermione kiss or when Ginny kisses Harry for maybe the last time, is nothing compared to the most powerful scene in the movie when amidst the rubble of Hogwarts a young man comes face to face with the evil that has plagued him all his life, an evil that has robbed a child of his parents. After 10 years it comes down to this one confrontation of good over evil.
|The Mighty Trio|
The movie is only as good as the actors behind it and this is one of, if not, the best Harry Potter movie. Much of it is in part because of the main cast -- Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. We have literally seen these three grow up on screen. And it just goes to show how fast time flies - one moment they are a wide-eyed, cute bunch of kids one of whom has the cheekiest smile that has captivated the world and in a blink of an eye, they are one of the most popular young actors in the most popular franchise in the world.
Of course the three aren't the only actors worth mentioning. Alan Rickman does a super job with Severus Snape. For seven movies he has kept that straight, sullen look. He was the one we loathe. But now we get a glimpse of his true self.
|'ow's about a kiss, 'arry?|
And how can I not mention Ralph Fiennes, who in my books IS Lord Voldemort. I was totally creeped out when he played Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon. And when I saw him as Voldemort I just knew this was the part for him. It was perfect and he played it perfect. I honestly can't think of anyone else who could bring that character to life. In fact, I'm almost sad that he's gone.
The final chapter in this installment also brings back a few favourites for their curtain call. Neville Longbottom, played by Matthew Lewis, might not have had a big role in the previous films, but in this one he stands as one of the unforgettable characters. We also see the return of Dumbledore, Sirius Black, Lily and James Potter and Sybil Trelawney.
But the glue that holds the entire ensemble together is director David Yates who has done his best to bring the book to life, interweaving the storylines and finally tying it up and ending it where it all began, with a little boy about to begin the journey of his lifetime on Platform 9 3/4.