Sunday, August 7, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: A Fitting “End?”

In our society today, we are bombarded with seemingly endless hype and monumental build-up about everything from the release of a new iPhone to the release of a sports celebrity from prison. In this climate of intense anticipation and high expectations, we seem to be set up for disappointment and it is a wonder how anything can ever live up to our expectations. Considering  this, we have to ask ourselves, “Is it even possible for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the eighth movie in a series based on a hugely popular series of books, to really ever live up to the hype?” The answer is simple, “Yes it is.”
The Harry Potter saga is unique in that it encompasses a brilliant series of imaginative and enthralling books and a film adaptation that is so well crafted, that it not only honors the author’s written word, it provides a captivating visual canvass that enhances it and forges the two into an inseparable blend of great entertainment.   
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 does not disappoint and more than lives up to the hype. More amazingly, it actually surpasses many of the previous films in the series on many levels. True, it is the culmination of a decade of Harry Potter movies and you would expect that it would all have to end with a bang. Fans of the books and previous movies knew that the storyline would culminate in a final showdown between Harry and Voldemort and that it would take place in the final film, so obviously, expectations were high.
Contributing to the anticipatory build-up, the last two movies also introduced fans to the plotline of Harry, Ron, and Hermione hunting horcruxes (trinkets in which Voldemort had hidden pieces of his soul). This only heightened the drama and caused the fans' salivary glands to kick into high gear, wondering what the horcruxes were and where Voldemort had hidden them.
Another mystery waiting to be unwrapped like a Chocolate Frog from the Hogwarts Express Sweets Trolley or a Puking Pastille from the Weasley Twins' shop, was the true allegiance of Severus Snape. Is it me or was Snape the best double agent in the history of fiction? He changed sides so many times that he didn’t even know who he should be pointing his wand at anymore. The multiple changes of allegiance didn’t seem impact his wardrobe however, since he continued to go with the dark cloak throughout the entire saga. My guess is that neither Hogwarts nor Voldemort pay too well, which may have limited his wardrobe options. Maybe if the Deatheaters had a union, there would be a uniform allowance…
Suffice it to say that the stage was set for what many, many people hoped would be a phenomenal movie. Those people got what they hoped for. This movie grips you right from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the epic conclusion; the showdown between "The Boy Who Lived" and "The Dark Lord."
The story picks up immediately following the conclusion of Deathly Hallows Part I as Harry buries the body of Dobby, the faithful house elf who seems to never stop repaying “the boy who lived” for tricking Lucius Malfoy in to granting him his freedom, way back in the the Chamber of Secrets, six movies ago. It was Dobby who rescued Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Ollivander, and the Goblin Griphook from Malfoy Manor at the end of Deathly Hallows Part I.
The action seems to never stop in this final Potter film. First, our heroes must break into Gringott’s the Wizard’s Bank to retrieve another horcrux from the vault of Bellatrix LeStrange. To accomplish this, the gang uses the old appearance deceiving standby of Polyjuice Potion to transform Hermione into the evil and twisted Bellatrix. The contradiction of sweet and righteous Hermione walking around in the skin and ratty old dress (do the Death Eaters need to unionize or what?) of Bellatrix is truly creepy. Director David Yates creates palpable edge of your seat tension as Hermione attempts to fool the Goblins of Gringotts into believing that she is the Mistress of Morbid we love to hate. Yates brilliantly chooses to score the scene with a barely detectable streak of ominous music, which only serves to dial the tension up a few additional notches. In the end, our heroes are able to infiltrate the vaults with the assistance of the Imperius curse. Yes, that’s right, they use one of the “unforgivable curses.” Hey, a Chosen One’s gotta do what a Chosen One’s gotta do to save the magical and muggle worlds!
More on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in the next post…………………………………

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