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    July 14, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2

    HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 (PG13)

    Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
    Release Date: 14 July 2011
    Running Time: 130 minutes
    Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
    Director: David Yate
    Screenplay: Steve Kloves; based on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" novel by J K Rowling
    Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes

    Plot: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts. In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.

    Review: [Minimal Plot Spoilers] Warner Bros marketing campaign has been emphasizing greatly on the tagline "It All Ends 7.15" for this final movie in the popular saga. In case you did not know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the second half adaptation taken from the seventh book in the Harry Potter series. Now, it has been a full decade of its existence on the silver screen. It spawns a total of 8 movies, generating billions of dollar on box office, DVD, television rights, merchandise and of course to the author J.K. Rowling herself. It is time to bid farewell to the popular series but do dramatic plot and emotional goodbye to the characters overwhelm the need for great quality of the movie itself? More details after the jump.


    The second part of the finale follows the event from the first part. Following the destruction of Salazar Slytherin's Locket in the first part, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) now sets out to find the remaining Horcruxes in the final push to defeat their evil nemesis. The Horcruxes are the key items that need to be destroyed in order to defy Lord Voldermort's (Ralph Fiennes) immortality. The movie opens when the three trying to invade Bellatrix Lestrange's (Helena Bonham Carter) safe vault to steal one of the Horcruxes hidden in it - the Helga Hufflepuff's Cup. The mission goes awry but they manage to escape and steal it out despite a stand-off with the goblins at the bank. Then, the three learn that the one last Horcruxes may be hidden inside their school at Hogwart, deep within the walls of a secret chamber.

    With Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) has assumed Professor Dumbledore's post as the principal following his death in Half-Blood Prince, the three knows the danger of returning to the wizardry school. Upon learning that Harry Potter and his friends are at Hogwarts, Lord Voldermort begins his final attack and assault on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Lord Voldermort has learnt about the three items of the Deathly Hallows and possessed one of them - the Elderly Wand that gives him complete advantages due to the supremacy the wand holds. Now it becomes clear that the final epic battle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort will be soon happening but the question remains, who will survive!


    You see the problem I have before I even start typing this review is that I am not a fan of Harry Potter series after all. Thanks to the effort of myself to read through all the seven books have gave me a lot of idea and mythological understanding about the franchise, albeit not deep enough to consider myself a geek. The movie has no beginning and it certainly does not start right at the middle of something. My point is, it opens gracefully from where we were left behind; and thus a bit of memory refresh is certainly essential. Watching Harry Potter movies for me, as well as for certain movie-goers (non fans I mean) can be either falling into the category of boredom or been amazing. This last Harry Potter movie is fortunately, falls under the latter. It is charming how director David Yates able to reconnect the audience instantly into the story without much flashbacks, yet it feels warm and wonderful. The opening sequence where the company narrowly escapes the stand off at the Gringotts Bank is simply mesmerizing in terms of action execution, delivering yet another great opening ala the previous instalment.


    Unfortunately, what follows in the middle act gives me a déjà vu of believing that I might be sucked into the vortex of boredom again. The same problem of the distaste is nothing new; in fact I encountered back in "The Chamber of Secrets" and "The Order of Phoenix" gives me a little goose bumps. Luckily, it ends quickly after a few questions and answers session, with some exposition been delivered handily. By the time the movie clocks at about one hour, the whole excitement from the opening scene have dwindled a bit but the moment after that, the tempo is back on rising again. The final battle at the Hogwarts, as well as the epic struggle between the weakened Lord Voldermort and still-doubtful Harry Potter bring back my attention to life. If the first part of this finale movie deals a lot about the isolation of the three friends in the wilderness to find themselves the true value, the second part are more about the struggle and the doubts to defeat the darkness. David Yates is once again, doing a fine job been a great story-teller, as well as been empathy for sharing a great deal of visionary aspect to the characters and to the plot tone.

    Another thing that I find it quite impressed is the way how Yates moves the table around on the back story of Severus Snape. While I have already know what kind of spoiler details I am expecting, the revelation of how Severus Snape offers his undying sacrifice and love to protect Harry Potter over the last seven movies is the most dramatically touching scene that caught me by surprise. For once, I think that the best actor for the entire franchise has to be Alan Rickman with his unpredictable and powerful performance. Alan Rickman is one of the fine examples of strong casting performance that we have seen in this movie.


    While Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 serve a notation of farewell for the loyal fans that have enjoyed the franchise for the last 10 years or so, it is a great movie to be viewed from a stand alone movie itself. I never really enjoy Harry Potter series as much as I have since "The Prisoner of Azkaban" and "The Goblet of Fire". Harry Potter series is always been a up-down franchise for me, especially the bitter-taste of boredom during the second half of the previous installment did gave me a lot to think about my perception for this one. Of course, I was completely wrong and it is a "hand-down" been the best way to end the franchise in the most satisfying way. For me, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is not a perfect movie but it serves a lot of purpose by giving the franchise a justification in the end while delivering the notes on high and greatness.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.5
    Effects: 4.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 15.3/20.0

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