Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [2011] ★★★½

Fans can relax. The epic crowd-pleaser everyone has been lusting for is finally here, and after 10 years, seven movies (well eight if you split the last film), four directors, two dumbledores (Richard Harris passed away after “The Chamber Of Secrets” and was replaced by Michael Gambon), several dead characters (and they said it was strictly for kids!), a huge amount of magic, and a friendship that lasted for a decade, it’s time to bid adieu to one of the most successful franchises in cinema history. “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallow: Part 2” is even bigger, better and more exciting than any other film in the series. It’s a magnificent finale that pays maximum justice to Harry’s long awaited showdown with Lord Voldemort (a truly wonderful Ralph Fiennes). It’s a climax of epic proportions, in which life and death, past and future, all hang in the balance. Yet before this showdown can take place, the movie must first deal with Harry’s attempt alongside his best friends Hermione and Ron to locate the missing Horcruxes, which hold pieces of Voldmerort’s soul, and whose destruction will finally make the dark Lord mortal. Along the way, secrets are revealed, sacrifices are made, as Harry must race against time before it’s too late. We learn more about Dumbledore and his murderer, professor Snape. Characters we dismissed as bad guys before turn heroic. Old friends return, ancient enemies too. The final hour will leave you breathless, as Voldemort and his army take full control over Hogwarts. Rowling’s readers will know exactly what to expect, but perhaps have no idea of how wonderfully it all plays on-screen. As a long time fan of the series, I never expected to be impressed this greatly, or that the tear jerking finale would make me wish it weren’t ending.

Few would have imagined that Harry’s maturation from boy wizard to the mannish hero would be this fantastic. I admit: I had my doubts, especially after “Half Blood Prince”, as the story darkened, and characters kept on appearing then disappearing without a logical explanation (I’m way past that now). “Deathly Hallows” brilliantly pulls together all the missing pieces, making things much more interesting, and adding countless of emotional moments that made my heart stop for a moment. Part 2 is the perfect example of why I avoid reading books before they are turned into movies. I watched the film with no clue whatsoever, so it was up to David Yates and his crew to convince me that the past ten years mattered. And they did, because I got exactly what I was asking for and so much more.

But perhaps best of all, is a scene where Harry stumbles into a glowing white room and gets advice from his mentor Dumbledore. He asks if the conversation is real or just happening inside his head. “Of course it’s all happening inside your head, Harry,” Dumbledore says. “Why should that mean it’s not real?”. Dumbledore’s lines speak to the very real world that our imagination can sometimes create. And Rowling has made the world of Harry Potter a living presence in front of our eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16, 30 or 50. “Deathly Hallows” creates a world that will enchant young viewers and old ones alike. It’s a surreal world for sure, but it’s alive and dazzling in its own way, as if seen through a glowing, magic mirror. In Hollywood these days, that’s a rare occurrence.

Rating: 3.5/4

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