Hackney Citizen

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – review

Until 28 July 2011, Rio Cinema

Since the release of the final instalment of the infamous young wizard’s captivating saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, J.K.Rowling’s international phenomenon has surpassed the Star Wars series as the world’s highest-grossing film franchise.

As both loyal fans and cast members shed tears in the wake of the closing of the curtain on Harry’s 10-year cinematic journey, praise has flooded in for this dramatic finale, in which Harry comes face-to-face with his nemesis and great tormentor Lord Voldemort. All the stops have been pulled outin terms of action and visual entertainment, as the Dark Lord and his faction of Death Eaters deliver a relentless onslaught on Hogwarts School.

With Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) in tow, Harry leads the search for the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes in order to destroy them and eliminate him for good, but his treacherous mission inevitably leads to Hogwarts being brought to its knees, despite protection spells and spirited resistance from the school’s remaining noble stalwarts, including Minerva McGonagall.

Harry and his faithful band of young wizards encounter many perilous obstacles, including the security at Gringotts, a feisty dragon, riddling spirits and the most testing obstacle of all for Harry: Voldemort’s presence inside him. In a similar way that the inescapable Eye of Sauron possesses the driven but tormented mind of Frodo in Lord of the Rings, the evil voice of Voldemort speaks to Harry and is an incessant spectre within the courageous boy. They prove to have an inexorable link, which aligns the two symbols of good and evil on the same fateful path.

As injured bodies lay in heaps and with the great school crumbling, Harry realises he must seek Voldemort out himself and this is brought to a head when the chilling Dark Lord calls Harry out directly, offering to spare the lives of the many if he accepts a Highlander-type showdown to determine who shall prevail.

Voldemort sees this as a chance for Harry to give himself up to him to save the others, but the brave Potter boy believes that the only way to defeat this evil is by sacrificing himself, while taking Voldemort down with him. The future of Harry and Hogwarts is hanging by a thread and confronting fear, by gazing directly in its gruesome face, is the only way the good have a chance to survive.

Director David Yates – who took control of the franchise for the previous three Harry Potter films – has created the required amount of tension, action, twists and humour to make this a rollercoaster ride finale that would satisfy the most expectant fan.

I risk the wrath of devout Harry Potter worshippers by saying that the bespectacled magical boy and his adventures have never previously managed to spellbind me. I have always struggled to take Daniel Radcliffe and his annoying school-play-style theatrical voice and his loveable geek character, with his “should-have-gone-to-Specsavers” glasses, seriously.

This may essentially be a children’s book sensation that enchanted the nostalgic adult world, but when Harry and his buffoon-esque followers are battling the truly awesome evil of Ralph’s Fiennes’ Voldemort, I can’t help but cringe a little, wishing for a bit more plausibility. Putting that aside, this is an epic end to a franchise that has charmed and entertained the masses and the fantastic acting of the majority of a truly enviable cast and some emotive encounters – most notably involving the mysterious and effortlessly-watchable Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) – gives Harry Potter 7 viewers the satisfying sendoff they were desperate, as much as reluctant, to have.

The iconic films from the unparalleled literary success is over and with my unbiased non-Harry-Potter fancap on, it is a must-see piece of entertainment (especially in 3D) for a compelling climax and also for a truly laughable “19 years later” ending.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [3D] (12A)
Directed by David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, John Hurt, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Kelly Macdonald and Warwick Davis
Running time: 130 minutes

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is showing at the Rio Cinema until 28 July 2011

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