It all ends here, says the official Warner Brother posters. Yes, it does. The Dark Lord is dead and no one else deserves victory more than our hero, Harry Potter. However, expect nothing else but accolades from an unabashed fan. The Pottermania that struck the world 14 years ago with the release of JK Rowlings’s first Harry Potter book The Philosopher’s Stone comes to an end with the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.
From the first part, when he gets to know the history about the famous lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, Harry’s whole life (and also that of his friends) has been solely dedicated to see the end of Voldemort — for neither can live while the other survives, as the prophecy said. And in the grand finale, you truly see Harry Potter coming into his being — he is not the child prodigy anymore and is actually the “chosen one”.
The story begins where we left off in Part I, when the three friends give an emotional burial to their friend Dobby the elf. Then they go on their voyage for destroying the remaining horcruxes shielding Voldemort. The trio — Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) — place their heads together as they go on finding and destroying one horcrux after the other. But isn’t that all futile? We have a knot in our stomach as we know from Part I that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has gained possession of the Elder Wand. So how does Harry fight the fabled Deathstick? Wait till the climax for that one!
Voldemort becomes desperate as he finds himself inching towards the end despite deploying all his resources to get Harry to the dust. His last hope is Nagini (the serpent) which he knows is the seventh and the last horcrux.
And then come the twists (well, not for those who have read the story already), and what a twist it is! I would not play a spoilsport but just a hint that even after Nagini, there was another horcrux. Also, in this last part, we have a hero who rises from the ashes of his devilish demeanor in the previous parts and proves his mettle as one of the bravest man Harry has ever seen.
You might have guessed who!
The action scenes in the film are brilliant. The sequence where our trio breaks into the magic bank with the aid of an unscrupulous goblin is superbly shot and keeps you on the edge of your seat for good 15 minutes. This is where director David Yates, who took over the series from Order of the Phoenix, adds 3D to great effect. So is the shot of the burning Hogwarts castle.
Most of the movie has been shot inside the Hogwarts School. And where else could it be if not the place where it all started? As all the students (obviously excuse the Slytherins) rallied by Prof McGonagall take up arms for Harry, the final battle lasting better part of the last hour, sees the eternal fight between good and evil — the good magic folks fighting against Voldemort’s army of death eaters, dementors, and his so-called “pure-blood” followers.
But didn’t more people take part in the final fight? It was the same feeling I got while watching the Half Blood Prince when the death eaters attacked Hogwarts and killed Dumbledore. A movie of this magnitude could have done with more crowd in the background.
Then, for a change, the movie sticks close to the original book, which may not be said about most of the others in the series, including my personal favouriteGoblet of Fire. But given the turns and twists in the plot, and the fact that this was the final one in the series and therefore had answer all leftover questions, this was perhaps the most logical way to go about it. That said, I personally wish they had not cut out on the World War II imageries running through the book – Grindelwald and his symbol, Nurmengard and its torture chambers (ring a bell? Hitler, Swastika, Nuremberg and the concentration camps…). This was the same mistake as giving a total miss to elf and goblin rights, a folly of the earlier movies. So when Dobby sacrifices his life, we are not left with as heavy a heart as when, say, Fred Weasley dies.
At just over two hours, the movie is shortest in the eight-film series, but it is simply grand and Rowlings’s great adventure series couldn’t get a better ending. So, do not just go for the sublime visuals, smart camera work and superbly crafted action scenes; look for some excellent character portrayals by the actors.
Go with your entire family and enjoy Harry and his team move their magic wands for the last time. Or was it the last time? The last scene definitely leaves much to our imagination.