Harry Potter took the entire world by storm and this generation will forever remember the “Boy who lived”. The books were all bestsellers and the movies adaptations that followed also did very well in the box office. Everything came to an end though last July 14 with the final movie of the franchise: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Here in Manila the opening night was nothing short of amazing. Lines were all over malls as Harry Potter fans trooped over to the cinemas to watch Harry take on Voldemort.
I was able to get IMAX seats at SM North Edsa for the July 14 11:59PM screening. Yes, you read that right – 11:59PM. The sheer demand for the tickets forced SM to add more screenings than usual. People were tweeting and posting on Facebook that they were excited to watch the last movie. You can’t really blame them. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 wasn’t just a regular movie. It’s a final farewell love letter to the fans from the makers and even from Harry himself.
So how did the movie fare? It was a satisfying end to a long-running series. It’s the proper closure for Harry Potter and after the movie one can’t help but reminisce all the past movies and experiences that you had with this franchise. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 is where everything comes to fruition. You know those big wizard battles that you wish could have happened? You have them here. Dragons? Present! Giants? Affirmative!
The film picks up where it last left us with Dobby’s death and Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermoine (Emma Watson) and the gang’s narrow escape from Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham-Carter). They got rid of one of the horcruxes, random objects inanimate or otherwise that Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) shared a part of his soul with. This time, Harry has to complete the task by finding the other horcruxes one in Gringots bank and the other in Hogwarts. But of course, if you’ve read the books we know there are 2 more that Harry needs to destroy to truly defeat Voldemort.
The opening sequence of the film establishes the gravity of what we’re about to see and sets the mood and tone of the whole film. The haunting and chilling new theme created by Alexander Desplat entitled “Lily’s theme” reminds me a lot of Howard Shore’s Return of the Kings. There’s an ethereal, sort of ominous calm-before-the-storm feel to it and the first 30 minutes of the film is exactly that.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermoine later return to Hogwarts (finally!) we see a very different place. Of course the Death Eaters now rule the place with Severus Snape (the amazing Alan Rickman) as the new Headmaster. The students are subjected to gruesome classes, some teaching them the effectiveness of the Cruciatus Curse and using first graders as lab rats to test. Platoon of students walk in what looks like a death march.
Everything that was once so green and lush now seems so bleak and dreary. So when the trio found themselves again with fellow student and Griffindor Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) and a handful of what can be described as an underground resistance, hope sparks with their dying embers. And in a united front they were able to take back Hogwarts for themselves… but only for so long.
This is the climax of the movie and this is where we spend a great deal of screen time with. The huge battle at Hogwarts ground is monumental in special effects and in scope and size. But what really made me fall in love with this film is its great homage to all other Harry Potter films that came before it.
We’ll get to see Cornish pixies, you know those weird blue flying faeries that Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) released in Chamber of Secrets; we’ll get to see Gringots bank again and yes the Chamber of Secrets itself. I like how the film revisited these past monuments and really just wrapped the whole film in a magical bow once again.
If you’ve read the books you know what happens to Harry and Voldermort, but if not, then I won’t spoil the fun for you.
All in all Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 brought back the magic that was missing from the past Harry Potter films. The awesomeness of the final battle with Hogwarts itself fighting against the Dark Forces coupled with musical themes that we haven’t heard for quite a while (yes Hedwig’s Theme is back) closes the boy-wizard’s story wonderfully. Thank you J.K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and Harry Potter. It truly was a magical ride~!
Unbox rating: 4/5