HARRY POTTER SAGA ENDS WITH A BANG
ALMOST 10 years after the cinema release of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, the most financially successful film franchise in history reaches its tragic and spectacular conclusion. Millions of readers, who nervously turned the pages of JK Rowling’s final tome in summer 2007, already know the narrative twists that lie ahead for Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson). There may be no dramatic tension but that’s of little consequence to ardent fans because David Yates’s hugely entertaining adaptation of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 bids fond farewell to characters we have grown to love, and who have literally grown up before our eyes. Certainly, the eighth film has its niggles. The final chapter rests heavily on the shoulders of Radcliffe and while he has improved as an actor, he still doesn’t possess the emotional range or vulnerability to provide a strong emotional connection to Harry’s grief. Watson and Grint shine in their few scenes including that longawaited kiss, and both sob convincingly as their teenage wizards come to terms with the enormity of their loss. The ticket levy for 3D coupled with our nostalgia will ensure that Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 becomes the most successful film of the long-running saga. And it brings down the curtain in style. The film opens with Voldemort (Fiennes) stealing the powerful Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s grave, which he will use to slay Harry. Dastardly acolytes Bellatrix Lestrange (Bonham Carter) and Lucius Malfoy (Isaacs) press forward with their diabolical plans, while Severus Snape (Rickman) fills the vacant post of headmaster at Hogwarts, which is encircled by Dementors. Elsewhere, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue their mission to track down the final Horcruxes, which contain fragments of Voldemort’s blackened soul.
“Long-awaited kissing scene”
leads to Hogwarts where fellow students Neville Longbottom (Lewis), Luna Lovegood (Lynch) and Ginny Weasley (Wright) are ready to lay down their lives to protect Harry from Death Eaters including Draco Malfoy (Felton) and his Slytherin sidekicks. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 builds relentlessly to the final battle at Hogwarts, which is brilliantly realised with a seamless conflation of live action and dazzling digital trickery. There are echoes of The Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers as the forces of darkness breach the school’s walls with horrific intent. An attempted break-in at Gringotts Wizarding Bank introduces the blind dragon which guards the Lestrange
Vault and the search for Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost diadem in the Room of Requirement is similarly thrilling. Aside from the central trio, the third film belongs to Lewis as heroic Neville and to Rickman’s treacherous teacher, whose tragic history is revealed in a
heartbreaking Pensieve flashback. The coda, taken directly from Rowling’s book, is an unintentionally hilarious misstep courtesy of unconvincing ageing make-up. Giggles aside, there will be few dry eyes when the end credits roll.
MAGICAL: Harry (Radcliffe) and Hermione (Emma Watson). SPELLBINDING: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter.