Cinema Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Colin D Miller July 29, 2011 Movie Reviews 599 I was 19 when the first Harry Potter film came out and if I am being honest, it wasn’t on my radar at all. I had never read JK Rowling’s books and at the time, rather naively, I was more excited about the cinematic return of Star Wars. I remember seeing Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone on DVD and enjoying it. My initial judgement was that it was a perfectly harmless and entertaining kids film. I then saw the Chamber of Secrets in the cinema and aside from the fact that the kid sitting next to me threw up, I enjoyed that film too. And then when Alfonso Cuaron delivered the seminal The Prisoner of Azkaban, I finally fell for the Harry Potter series, hook, line and sinker. Seriously, what was not to like. In no other film series do you have the likes of Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fienes, Jim Broadbent – I could go on all day. The series has gone from strength to strength over the years, with each film delivering an increasingly darker wizarding world and a more mature story. Effectively, as Harry Potter’s audience has grown, so have the stories and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a good testament to that fact. Picking up immediately after the events of Part 1, The Deathly Hallows easily is the darkest, most emotional and certainly most epic of all 8 films. As I sat there, watching The Hogwarts School of Wizardry taking a serious beating from Voldermort and his minion of Death Eaters, I found myself thinking “wow, Harry Potter has gone all The Return of the King”. The battle scenes are huge and the special effects are a visual treat. As a part time fan of the series, it was thrilling to see so many of the supporting characters to take centre stage and do their part. Seeing Dame Maggie Smith’s Professor McGonagall facing off against Snape was a particular highlight for me. Speaking of Snape, Alan Rickman’s performance in this is to be commended too. Having spent the last 7 films sneering in the background, seeing him reveal Snape’s emotional side is a rewarding performance that pays off and never feels forced. Neville Longbottom is another character that finally has a moment to shine. Seeing him grow over the series from the bumbling classroom geek to the noble magical bad ass reminded me of a certain Samwise Gamgee. Of course, special mention should go to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who have made the roles their own. At this point, imagining anyone else playing those characters is pretty much impossible (I still can’t believe that when Spielberg was rumoured to be directing the first film, he reportedly wanted Haley Joel Osmont to play Harry Potter). I realise that this review is one big love fest, but I really enjoyed Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Too often, major film franchises fall apart as they go on, but Harry Potter has definitely been the exception to that. Not once has it been condescending to it’s audience and that is probably the secret behind it’s success. Quintessentially English and a cinematic tour-de-force, the final Harry Potter film is quite simply an excellent pay off for fans of the series. For those that haven’t seen it, you’ve got some serious catching up to do. You’re missing out.