Once upon a time…Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

There we have it, Le Grande Finale de Harry Potter. After 10 years, 7 Books, 7 prior films and millions of dollar, the eight and final Harry Potter movie launches in cinemas. Written by Steve Kloves (The script, not the book) and directed by David Yates(… I don’t know what he did besides Harry Potter 5 – 7.2), it continues where Deathly Hallows Part I left off: The friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione are staying at Ron’s brother Bill’s house (together with lovely Clemency Poésy, I mean, Fleur Delacour), while He Who Shall Not Be Named (Ralph Fiennes) has gained possession over the Elder Wand, the strongest wand ever made.

The friends must continue their mission to destroy all Horcruxes in order to end the reign of Voldemort. They team up with Goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis) to break into Wizard Bank Gringotts and steal one of the Horcruxes. Then they escape with a dragon and sneak into Hogwarts, under management of Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). Here the final battle for the freedom of the world will take place. Death Eaters vs the Order, teachers vs students, Students vs students, Good vs Evil. Lots of People die before Harry learns the whole truth and realises what has to be done in order to defeat Voldemort. The greatest sacrifice of all has to be made…which doesn’t affect change anything somehow.

After a brief intersection with Dumbledore in a heavenly trainstation (Matrix-alert!) the second final battle begins, but the odds are against the villains this time, and the good people eventually win. The war is over, and everyone lives happily ever after. Though we don’t know what they are else doing…

Review:

There is the question whether to count Deathly Hallows 7.1 and 7.2 as one film or as two seperate films. I will look at it as a seperate film.

The movie ist close to the book, omitting only little. The Dumbledore-subplot is teased, but never gone into detail, but it is reasoned in the movie: Aberforth is about to tell what his brother Albus has done, but Harry just acknowledges that he is not interested in the man’s he trusted past. Subplot over.

The characters are great, especially veterans like Davis, Rickman and Maggie Smith. But also the young actors do a very good job.

There are some scenes that are new and are not from the book, like Snape’s speech to the students in the Great Hall, and the subsequent mobilisation for the siege, and there is also a short scene where Harry says farewell to his friends. The speech scene is great because it has a great character-moment for Alan Rickman, whose role was partly abandoned in previous installments (Harry Potter IV and V). Although you know the book, you can’t tell what is going to happen. Also, the two new teachers, the Carrow-siblings (or what’s their name? ) which stand behind Snape, are easily finished off – like they were so important in the books.

If the speech-scene is “Rickman’s scene”, then the mobilisation scene is “Maggie Smith’s scene”. She is absolutely wonderfull here, giving an emotional performance when she orders Hogwards to help them. Yes, Hogwarts literally comes to life, while her fellow teachers and Order-members (Davis again, this time as Prof. Flitwick, Julie Walters, David Thewlis and Jim Broadbent) install a shield around the school. Smith’s McGonnagal was also abandonned in the last movies, only there for comic relief (i.g. the dance-lesson in “Goblet of Fire”), but here she is back in full persona. The music also helps this scene a lot.

The new scenes are easily the best in the entire movie. But as much as these scenes are great, the scenes close to the books aren’t. They just seem forced, and therefore don’t appear that good. Here, the filmmakers should have taken more freedom in creativity to the book in my opinion. For example, the epiloque is told 1:1 like in the book. Also Lupin’s, Tonk’s and Fred’s (or is it George’s?) deaths happen off-screen, like in the book. Here the filmmakers could also have been more daring to show the murderers or change from the original.

The Return of the Potter

The beginning of the big battle (actually the whole big battle) reminds a lot of The Lord of The Rings (or can you tell me why seemingly every fantasy movie needs to have a big battle scene with all the peoples in each fantasy-world? ) But I’m afraid if I would go too much nickpicking, I would realise that the whole plot is stolen from The Lord of the Rings…

A Film for the Fans

I consider this movie to be a film for the fans, due to the fact that they added new stuff (the new scenes) and also slightly altered stuff from the book, giving it a new perspective. For example, Snape’s Death scene is great, and very intense. He also says the same lines he does in the book, but adds a line after his last line “Look at me“, which is “You have your mother’s eyes“.

Also his memories about Lilly are a little different (not as emotional as in the book, for the filmmakers omitted the scenes where they talk about whether it matters which house you belong or not, and also some serious stuff between Lilly and Snape, but it’s still moving), and there is a little add that no one knew bout: Snape has visited the house after Voldemort has killed Harry’s parents! (which means presumingly HE blew up the house afterwards -imagine that, folksk)

Also, Nagini’s Decapitation is postponed and made more epicly than in the book.

The nit-picky part: halfway Kick-Ass

Now we come to the very very bad part of the movie. Not many people seem to notice this but me, so I’ll try to explain: It’s the “Kick-Ass-character-actions”. Kick-Ass is one of my favourite movies, wonderfull comic-movilisation and a funny satire. The problem many people have with it, is that the characters are unreasonly cruel and act unreflectingly/ unreflected: The protagonist, an ordinary guy, kills a lot of people at the end, and he is happy about it, ’cause this is “awesome”. Now, this is part of the satire, that’s why it is great here.

In Harry Potter 7.2, the filmmakers are trying to do the same: When Harry, Ron and Hermione break into Gringotts, Harry and Ron use the Imperius-Curse on one of the Goblins. Well, you may say, that they also did so in the book, that’s right. But in the book, Harry was under pressure, and was deliberating about using one of the Unforgiven Curses, and despite having no regrets about using it (Thank you, Mrs. Rowling), you can understand this action. Now, he is just using it. you never see him deliberating and waging pro and con, but just doing it. Hermione and Ron don’t even bawl him for that.

Furthermore, as they are escaping from Gringotts, the trio shoots spells at the approaching guards, resulting in them falling off the cliffs to the ground (= killing them!). Hermione even climbs up a fireshooting dragon, which attacks the hard working goblins in the upper floor, also killing some of them. Our 3 Heroes don’t even talk about what they just did, they don’t mind.

Keep in mind that up to this point, the three of them have never killed someone nor did something that resulted in people getting killed. Now they do it, but never reconsider their deeds.

But because Harry is our hero, he mustn’t be portrayed as a bad guy, so they throw in a scene where he saves Draco Malfoy’s life (ok, that’s neccessary for later events). But in the final showdown between him and Voldemort, as well as between Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix, the good guys are portrayed too good to kill people.

First: Mrs Weasley vs Bellatrix: After Bellatrix has attacked Ginny, Mrs Weasley interveins (“Not my daughter you bitch!“), duelling with her. In the book, Molly Weasley surly uses the Aveda Kedavra-Curse (green beam) on her. In the film, a spell of Bellatrix backfires and petrifies her. A “Stupefy-spell” of Mrs Weasley (red beam) hits her and she explodes into a thousands pieces.

Harry vs Voldemort: It’s a bit more complicated here: In the book, Voldemort’s and Harry’s beams clash, the Elder Wand (in possession on Voldemort) flies in the air and shoots the Aveda Kedavra back to Voldemort, killing him. In the film, the green and the red beam clash, the wand flies into the air but doesn’t shoot back. Voldemort is dysintegrated by the clash-energy, and not by Harry’s red beam. So, it’s not Harry at all, who kills Voldemort, but Voldemort himself (ok, that’s also in the book, BUT they could at least let his corpse remain)

War! And everybody is happy

One thing I also disliked about the movie: There is a war going on, people are dying. When the war is over, everyone is happy (sure) and makes jokes (!) in the Great Hall(!) where their dead friends’ bodies l. They make jokes in front of their dead friends. Think about this.

War is not awesome, never was, never will be. Telling someone how great he has fought and how funny it was to use this and that trick on a Dark Wizard, while near you someone has just deceased IS NOT FUNNY OR ENCOURAGING!

Conclusion

So, these are my thoughts about Harry Potter 7.2 . I think it’s a good movie, though 7.1 was much better (Nothing can top the Obliviate-scene in my opinion), but it is on the same level as “…and the Halfblood-Prince“.

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