Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

My personal feeling on the series is that if you read the books you enjoyed the films, and if you didn't read the books you would enjoy the films even more. The reason for this is that as a non-reader of the series each film was a surprise to me and I didn't pick the film apart for what was included or excluded. That is both a positive and negative for a series that reached the level of fan appreciation as the Harry Potter series has; the expectations are so hard to reach. One point of clarrification that I didn't fully understand in the previous film is that Voldemort's horcruxes (Salazar Slytherin's locket, Helga Hufflepuff's cup, the Diadem of Ravenclaw) are completely different from the deathly hallows (resurection stone, elder wand, and invisibility cloak). This was clarrified early in part 2, and I think for the non-readers was necessary.

Writing a review for this film is difficult to do without giving away any spoilers, so I apologize in advance if I do so. The final chapter of the Harry Potter series picks up where the previous film ended as Dobby the elf has died and the trio of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) have buried him. They are at the shell cottage with Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy) and the others that have joined the fight against Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). With the help of Griphook (Warwick Davis) the goblin they identify the location of the next horcrux and the journey continues.

There are several lines and characters throughout the film that provide a wink of the eye to the fans of the series. The kiss that everyone has been waiting for happens between two of the main characters and some pretty nice battles take place. Some highlighted scenes for me have to be the battle between Mrs. Weasley (Julie Walters) and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) is awesome; the conversation between Harry Potter and Helena Ravenclaw (Kelly Macdonald); and the maturity of Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) is refreshing. The character of Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) has always seemed to be a waste for me. Other than being the school bully he never quite developed for me in the series.

In the end, every fan of the series probably has a favorite character and for me it has to be Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) as he is the most misunderstood. His character is also the most classically written drawing from Shakespeare's Othello. However, it is the compassion, love and loyalty that he shows that make him such a tragic hero. He cares for Harry more than any other professor, including Dumbledore who would sacrifice him for the greater good. This film finally shows why Severus Snape has made the decisions from previous films and for that I greatly appreciated his character from the beginning of the series to the end.

If it wasn't for the final scene at Kings Cross Station (platform 9 3/4), I might have given a better rating. I have been told by friends that this was the epilogue of the book, but using it in the film just seemed flat and ultimately hurts the film. Additionally, the 3D wasn't necessary as it was only the studio efforts to capitalize on such a popular film. So save your money and watch it in regular 2D. So to all my Harry Potter friends I apologize for the 4 Quack rating I feel I must now bestow upon the film. It easily would have received another Quack without the extra scene.

(screening date 7/12/11, release date 7/15/11, location AMC Mazza Gallerie)

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