HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Pt 2 - A Fitting Finale
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Pt 2 (fantasy adventure in 3D)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton and Alan Rickman
Director: David Yates
Screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Time: 131 mins
Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: I must confess that I had not done my homework properly for this movie - and I regret it. As a Muggle, I should have watched Part One again before attending the media preview for this film. That way, the story flow would have been more continuous and I need not have to rummage through my notes to do this review.
Indeed, director David Yates plunges right into the story from the opening frame without the customary flashback to remind us of what happened in Part One. And as the spectacular conclusion to the Harry Potter franchise unravelled, it dawned on me rather emotionally that this is indeed the end of a magical adventure that spanned 10 years and eight movies.
SYNOPSIS: Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, below) now has the most powerful wand and he's finally able to accomplish what he had wanted to do for over 15 years: kill Harry Potter. However, before the epic showdown between Voldemort and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) takes place, Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) need to seek out and destroy Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, those powerful objects in which a dark wizard has hidden a part of his soul for the purpose of attaining immortality.
And when the final battle begins, Harry may have to make the ultimate sacrifice - and life at Hogwarts will never be the same again...
HITS & MISSES: Somehow, when we have to say goodbye to friends, we tend to forgive and forget their flaws and concentrate on the stuff we will miss of them. And that's how it is with the HP cast. After losing their baby-face cuteness, Radcliffe, Watson and Grint had been awkward in some of their scenes. In this final episode, however, they seem more 'natural' in their roles as the 'chosen' trio - and there's even time for a wonderful romance developing, culminating in a kiss.
And of course, it is nice to revisit the Gringotts Bank and take a roller-coaster ride of sorts into Dungeons and Dragons territory; to be overwhelmed by golden treasures that magically multiply themselves, and to team up with the other students and staff for the defence and protection of Hogwarts.
The HP franchise celebrates the best of the British film industry and English director Yates assembles the lot of them here for the final 'take-a-bow' session. 'Led' by the imperious Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, we see Robbie Coltrane (as the adorable Hagrid); Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix Lestrange (who also does an impersonation of Hermoine); Alan Rickman (Severus Snape); Gary Oldman (Sirius Black); and even Katie Leung as Harry's old flame Cho Chang. Like many others, I had criticised the film-makers' decision to split the final episode of the HP franchise into two parts, but after watching Deathly Hallows Pt 2, I am glad they did it, especially in 3D. Over the years, the HP series has collected US$6.3 billion (RM19 billion) in ticket sales.
THE LOWDOWN: A fitting and celebratory close to one of the most successful series in cinema history.