Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

It has all ended! Seven Harry Potter movies later, we have come to the last movie of the series. Seven books and eight movies is quite a story and it falls on the last movie to give a fitting end to the series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, shortest in terms of runtime as well as in the number of chapters it covers, provides a spectacular ending to the series that spanned a decade.

The movie is darker than any of the earlier ones. Each of the movies in the series has got steadily darker that the previous one and in this last one, we hardly see a bright cheerful scene. The movie begins with gloom and proceeds slowly to action. Once the action starts, however, there is hardly a scene when it gets calm again. The visuals are stunning and the 3D is quite well done. In short, this does not feel like any of the previous Harry Potter movies but a full-fledged action movie.

The performance of the cast was in line of the previous movie. Dumbledore and Voldemort are still unconvincing. Dumbledore has a very limited screen time in this movie and that scene is okay as it is just conversation anyway. Voldemort still does not feel like the ultimate dark lord but just an average over-excited death eater.

The action is well done and the spells and curses make for great visuals. Like mentioned in many places, the action sequences in the movie give an epic feeling, which is particularly absent in the book. There are some which seem just stupid or silly. We’ll talk about them later (after the spoiler warning).

The dark tone of the movie more than does justice to the story. It sets the tone right in the beginning for a tough ride for the trio. The movie mentions horcruxes, hallows, etc… and what they are for first time viewers, but I don’t think that helps much. In fact, I wish they would have stuck to the plot rather than changing certain key aspects to provide a recap. Given that the movie is part 2 of the seventh book in Harry Potter series, it is really not needed. New-comers to the Potter world will still enjoy the action fest anyway.

Warning: This review contains a fair amount of spoilers both from the story from book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the final part of its movie adaptation. In fact, the review also discusses changes from the book.

The movie starts where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 left off with Voldemort retrieving the elder wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. It shows the trio planning to break into the Lestrange’s vault. The plot for this part is highly simplified version of the one in the book but there are no major changes. Right after the Gringott’s scene, however, there is a major flaw in the plot.

According to the story in the book, Voldemort comes to know of the Gringott’s break-in and then begins to check on his other horcruxes. However, in the movie, he seems to immediately come to know that all the other horcruxes are already destroyed (except the one at Hogwarts). This would have been fine (just a change from the book) but we know from the first part that Voldemort cannot feel a horcrux being destroyed. He certainly didn’t feel it when Ron destroyed the locket in the first movie nor when Dumbledore destroyed the ring. If he had, he would have known much earlier that Dumbledore (and Harry) was hunting horcruxes. It wouldn’t have been such a surprise to him.

If we forgive this flaw, the changes from the book are mostly acceptable and in a few cases, for the better. There are some irritating ones like the fly-by of Harry and Voldemort around the castle and some okay ones like Harry talking to Ron and Hermione before going into the forbidden forest. Some of them were somewhat more serious blunders, such as Voldemort letting the snake wander off when he knows that they particularly wanted to kill it.

Some of the scenes portrayed in the movie are somewhat silly too. The scene where Bellatrix is killed is at least acceptable (though it looked like more serious dark magic than Avada Kedavara) but my biggest peeve is the death and disintegration of Voldemort. The movie has somewhat glorified his death. The version in the book where he just falls down dead is better than the one in the movie where shreds of Voldemort are scattered in air with soft, glorious music playing in the background. It seemed a hero’es death rather than a death of a tyrant.

After the epic nature of the movie and action sequences, the end was boring. The end of the battle of Hogwarts scene was very non-epic. As for the epilogue, I would have preferred they removed it from the movie. I loved the epilogue in the book but in the movie, it made an already weary ending even more lame. In fact, in the movie, the epilogue didn’t have much point at all except to say that everyone is still alive after nineteen years.

The movie is a great watch and very entertaining given its action. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I have removed a half-star rating for the major flaw I mentioned above and another half-star for performance. It is quite close to the fitting finale I wanted this movie to be.