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Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (SPOILER ALERT!)

When the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended last year, I began waiting for the last movie in this series.  I was already conjuring images of how the final battle would look like, with witches and their wands, as well as goblins, house elves, and centaurs included in the mix.  It would be a grand end for this epic.

I decided to watch the movie on its first day of showing, and in IMAX 3D no less to get the full experience.  Did I enjoy it?

Yes.  The movie was well made.  It tried as much as possible to be true to its original source. It has all the ingredients of a highly entertaining movie.   It has lots of  excitement as our hero and his friends went to get one of the horcruxes in the dungeons of Gringots Bank.  I particularly love the effects on their ride going down and their escape on the back of a half-blind dragon.

It also has drama.  In fact lots of it as many of the characters we came to love, admire and hate die one by one in this movie.  And of course there's also the usual light moments, laughter and romance courtesy of the young wizards.

The effects are also great from beginning to end.  Aside from the above mentioned dragon, there are other parts in the movie which took advantage of the latest technology.  The music also added to the mood of the movie.

So what is there to not like in this last of the Harry Potter movies?

Well, if you are a Harry Potter fan and you read the book over and over to prepare for this last installment, you're in for a big surprise and somewhat disappointment.  Why?  Because David Yates and his team took a lot of liberties to change many of the elements in the book, especially in the final battle between the forces of Voldemort and the defenders of Hogwarts.

Don't expect Kretcher and his legions of house elves to come out to defend Hogwarts in the name of his master.  Also, the Centaurs will not make any appearance at all.  The townsfolk of Hogsmeade will also not come to help the embattled wizards and witches.  

But my greatest gripe was how the final battle was treated.  Those of us who read the book all know that Harry Potter and Voldemort had their final encounter in front of what remained of the battling crowd.  That Harry, after coming back from the dead,  courageously confronted Lord Voldemort one last time and succeeded in finally defeating him.  Instead, we see Harry running away from Voldemort and Nagini the snake (which if they followed the book should have been dead at this point) in most of their battle scenes. When he was cornered, Harry pulled the Dark Lord off a balcony of Hogwarts.  Yes, that's the scene in the trailer which many of us wondered where it came from in the book.  

I am disappointed at this because I think it somehow diminished the importance of Harry's death, his talk with Dumbledore at King's Cross Station and then his return to win this battle.  The final blow is, it wasn't Harry who ultimately killed Voldemort but Neville Longbottom!  You'd wish that Harry will stand tall in front of his school mates with the evil dark lord dead at his feet.  Instead, they decided to make He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named disintegrate to pieces, perhaps to take advantage of the 3D technology.

What stopped me from going home thoroughly disappointed with the ending of the film was they decided to include the epilogue of the book. Yes, the one where we see our heroes 19 years later as they bring their kids to Hogwarts Express at the start of a new school year.  It's a fond farewell for the boy wizard we followed for the past years.


  1. Exactly...that's what I was missing. There was even a scene aftr V's death where he walks through the makeshift infirmary and he's hardly noticed...I mean...why isolate the grand finally scene? How does everyone even know he's dead? I was looking for a loud bang or howl that got everyone's attention like the end of LOTR. The shortcuts and lack of punch in the end just seemed lacking to me. I enjoyed the movie but feel a little disappointed.

  2. I would have liked some vindication for Snape as well, other than the naming of Harry's son. As fans we know he is de-villafied, but would have liked to have seen it on the screen....maybe Harry hanging the headmasters painting.

  3. There was a point during the battle sequence where I wanted to stand up and tell the audience, "This isn't how it's supposed to end!"