Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

17 07 2011

Fourteen years after the first book was published, and ten years after the first movie debuted, we’ve finally reached the conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise.

If Harry Potter hasn’t been a significant part of your childhood, then you obviously were not born within the last 25 years. For the rest of us, we’ve learned just as much from Harry Potter as we have from our parents. For example, we’ve learned how to confront our fears, how to make lifelong friends, and even how to hook up with our best friend’s sister.

Ginny Weasley

As movies came and went, we grew up alongside young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint as they played out their respective roles of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. At times, the wizardry world felt so real to us that we could hardly wait for the next book, or the next movie, to come out.

And, this weekend, we watched the grand finale. Just like the seventh book, the second half of Deathly Hallows is not your typical Harry Potter story: there’s no potions class, no O.W.L.’s, and certainly no Dobby. For that reason, it’s difficult to say if it is the best Harry Potter movie, but it is certainly the most powerful.

Everything about Deathly Hallows Part 2 screams epic. The much anticipated “Battle of Hogwarts” scene – which actually takes up most of the movie – is nothing short of spectacular. For once, we actually get to see the awe-inspiring power of a war between thousands of wizards. In fact, there were probably more spells cast in that scene than all the other movies combined.

As Harry runs around Hogwarts trying to find the final Horcrux, young wizards and witches are desperately fighting over the crumbled ruins of their beloved school. It’s as dramatic of a last stand as one would expect at the conclusion of such an incredible franchise.

All of this action is brought to life with some of the best special effects we’ve ever seen in a Harry Potter movie. One of the most dazzling scenes occurs when the ancient defense shield of Hogwarts goes up to repel the barrage of spells from the surrounding hills. As hundreds of colorful spells arc towards the shimmering dome that surrounds the school, they explode in a glittery display of pyrotechnics.

Surprisingly, this action doesn’t overpower the movie. Moments of deep and profound silence frequently punctuate the movie’s frantic pace.  As demonstrated in the book, this is where Harry discovers what he is truly made of, and I was surprised at the depth of emotion that the movie inspired.

Sure, there are some awkward moments in the movie. The final scene, in which an older Harry, Ron, and Hermione are sending their children off to Hogwarts sure felt strange. I mean, would it have been that much trouble to put wrinkles on their faces to make them look older? Instead, it looks like the actors were told to wear their parents’ clothes to the set for that day.

The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the kind of movie that, by the time it ends, makes you want to re-watch every movie and re-read every book. Not to figure out what’s going on, but just to recapture the magic you felt when you were first introduced to the series. For that reason, I’m giving this movie, and the entire franchise, the highest possible rating.

As the capstone of an eight-part movie franchise, you simply can’t ask for more a more satisfying conclusion than the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

After finishing the seventh book, I remember thinking to myself, “Well, at least there are a few more Harry Potter movies left.” Now that the movies are over, I guess it’s finally time to say goodbye to the world of Harry Potter.

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