The journey that began nearly a decade ago has finally come to an end with the release of the eighth and the final installment of the multibillion movie franchise.
Kicking right off from where Part 1 ended, Voldy Moldy now possesses the all-powerful ‘Elder Wand’ and continues with his reign of terror. With Snape replacing Dumbledore as Headmaster of Hogwarts, all looks grim within the magical community. Our beloved protagonists have little time to waste as they must destroy the remaining Horcruxes and face He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to end the battle that started 7 books/movies ago.
It is evident from the beginning that those who haven’t followed the books or the movies from the start would have a very difficult time following the plot. While part 1 of the Deathly Hallows was all about the impending dangers that followed Harry, the second movie makes us see a whole new side to Lord Voldemort. His misery and anguish is clearly seen as a determined Hogwarts fights back with all its forces combined. The movie has an almost-melancholic slow pace at the start as the trio plans move after move but around 45 minutes into the movie, there is no end to the action.
Visual effects supervisor, Tim Burke has finally got his shot to convert the movie to 3D after the idea was scrapped for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (Part 1). Although they weren’t necessary, the 3D effects just add to the amazing visual experience. The trolley ride into Gringotts’ Bank shows some amazing albeit clichéd visual effects. Burke is the man responsible for the massive jump in terms of CGI animation and visual effects from Sorcerer’s Stone to Chamber of Secrets. However, the CGI animation has a few hiccups; the aging dragon at Gringotts is created to perfection while the trolls that appeared during the final battle are not. All in all, one cannot deny the visual excellence – especially the final battle and the scene in the Room of Requirement with Goyle, Malfoy and Zabini. (Whatever happened to Crabbe?)
Deathly Hallows is definitely the most action-packed of the series, with whizz-banging elaborate fight scenes and at the same time, we can see how the characters have clearly grown through the movies. This one seems to stalk the trio wherever they go, with a few cutaways to Lord Voldemort.
Despite their short screen time, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall and Alan Rickman as Professor Snape leave a long-lasting impression, showing the audience a different facet of their personality. Ralph Fiennes (minus his nasal appendage) is a terrific combination of Sauron from LOTR and Stewie Griffin from Family Guy (Okay, maybe not, but he is EVIL). Oozing death from his evil pores, Voldemort looks more dangerous than ever. Daniel, Emma and Rupert do justice to their characters as they have for the past 10 years (Though it’s still shameful that Daniel never managed to lose his cockney accent). Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as Bellatrix Lestrange is par excellence and it is fun to watch her act as Hermione as the trio tries to break into Gringotts.
The movie however, lacks the comedy and slapstick humor that is shown in the previous films. Anyway, this isn’t a surprise since there isn’t much to laugh about especially in their given situation. The little humor that is shown is half-hearted.
As with most books-to-movie adaptations, director David Yates has managed to omit massive chunks of the original story. This makes one wonder why 1/4th of the book is still missing when two movies had to be shot to complete this one. Screenwriter Steve Kloves has managed to render Rowling’s story from paper to the big screen beautifully and should be given due credit for it. The art direction and set design gets even better in this movie and composer Alexandre Desplat pays homage to the original John Williams’ score including the original ‘Hedwig’s Theme’.
Overall, the movie is good with a few shortcomings here and there. Die-hard Harry Potter fans will be disappointed with certain gross misinterpretations and deviations from the original story. Even so, for the larger part, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) is an exhilarating experience and a spectacular end to a monumental saga.