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' "It all ends here" '. (From the back of DVD case) (Also, Warning: SPOILER ALERT)
on 18 September 2016
The second and final installment in the series, "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" Part 2 makes a great ending to such a popular series of books on the big screen. It first starts with Voldemort as a sort of prologue to show how Part 1 ended, before shifting back to the sandy beaches of Tinworth in Cornwall to where Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Griphook and Mr. Ollivander are taken by Dobby. Harry takes more and yet more drastic action to visit Gringotts along with a disguised Ron and Hermione and the positively suspicious and calculating goblin Griphook who senses that there is much more to the deal that Harry strikes and that it is not a friendly one, in order to make an extremely dangerous journey under the very bowels of the famous wizarding bank.
In the meantime, Voldemort begins to experience feelings of excruciating pain and mounting anger as he realizes how his life force is being unbound by the three heroes. The scene in which he unleashes all of his foul and truly horrible temper on almost everyone in Malfoy Manor really is horrible, therefore showing what a violence loving maniac he is. You've got to love to hate him though; he's got to be one of the best crafted villains within the world of literature.
I love the characters of Neville Longbottom played by Matthew Lewis and Aberforth Dumbledore played by newcomer to the "Harry Potter" franchise Ciaran Hinds. The new, maturer, bolder and more rebellious Neville makes a fantastic difference from the sweet bumbling Neville that you see in the very first film, "Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone" and Lewis can definitely act. Aberforth is not by any means the most forgiving of people, however, he evokes much sympathy and as soon as battle is imminent, he steps up to the challenge and Ciaran Hinds plays him with aplomb. The scene in the Great Hall at Hogwarts is both epic and thrilling when Professor Snape makes a speech to all of the students, to be faced with contempt and hostility in spite of a totally disguised past that is revealed later on in the film, and Alan Rickman has gone through all of the films up to this last one spectacularly. It is a great shame he is no longer around since he has given so much to all of the films he's starred in.
Pretty much everything is here; the battle itself is sheer magical genius with all of those flashing wands, fire, falling masonry and some cool slow motion shots, particularly when one Death Eater halts just after entering the castle through a window, only to be blasted back a couple of seconds after. The same applies to the two main duels that take place in the film; the one between Snape and McGonagall and the other between Voldemort and Harry. I have to say, though, that the close ups of Voldemort's face are some of the nastiest I've ever seen as he begins to look less and less human than he's already made himself in the past throughout that duel, and I don't personally find it easy to watch. I know this is just a film, but it sure ain't pretty!
(SPOILER): Now this might just be me, but in the end before the epilogue nineteen years later, it falls a little flat. This is down to the fact that I was hoping that over on the Special Features disc there would be a deleted scene showing Harry fixing his broken wand as he does in the book with the Elder Wand since he does no such thing on screen, and there isn't one. He just breaks the Elder Wand in the film, cool as you please and I assume continues to use the wand that he took from Draco Malfoy. Not what I was expecting! I really love the way he decides to restore his own wand in the book since he immediately wants it back after it's been broken, but here in the film he just doesn't feel any lasting loss for it at all which I find really disappointing. I know they were pushed for time so the film wouldn't be overlong, but as Mr. Ollivander tells Harry earlier in the film ' "the wand chooses the wizard" ' it would have been a lovely moment if they'd included that reunion between Harry and the wand that made him its master.
Aside from that gripe, though, the rest of the film is true to the book, even with the way things end for Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort. They're just both so enamoured of their own skills with the dark arts that for me it is fitting how they come to nothing, never mind that it's not pretty to watch. After all, they're not exactly pretty people on the inside. Both Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter just bring that truth about their characters straightaway.
The Special Features disc, even without that scene that I would have liked to see is still really good. There's a full length feature on how the "Battle Of Hogwarts" was filmed, which is very interesting to watch since it explores a lot of in depth detail in eight chapters that flow into each other very nicely. "The Goblins Of Gringotts" focus point is also really excellent where you can get a behind the scenes look at how all of the actors to play the goblins were fitted out for their roles, and how many of them there were. It's brilliant! I do think though that while "The Women Of Harry Potter" featurette is interesting to watch, it does seem to be directed towards incredibly strong feminists, and there are a only a few female characters that I find riveting. Hermione is just not one of them for me; there seems to be a lot more fuss made about her than any of the other female characters for my liking, and there are plenty more than her alone throughout the book series (and many more young actresses throughout the "Harry Potter" films besides Emma Watson). It's the characters of Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasley who sell it for me because they're adults and are played by three incredibly talented actresses and, more to the point, they're not trying to be noticed or to take up the viewer's time with unnecessary details. So it's great that there are also some strong focus points on some of the male characters, like Neville and Aberforth; it makes for easy viewing and I do think that it's something of a shame that the men in the "Harry Potter" series, with the exception of Voldemort and Albus Dumbledore, always seem to be a step behind the ladies. However, considering that this is simply a matter of personal taste the film itself is well acted and well directed, ending on a happy note for the heroic trio, and even for one of the antagonists of previous films in the series too.