I normally don’t cry in the cinema. On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the tears came about 10 minutes after the film began. And they didn’t stop until after the credits had been shown.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the amazing finale to an amazing story.
The film starts quite abrubtly, and the audience is immediately in the middle of the events of Harry, Ron and Hermione learning about wandlore and planning a trip to Gringotts. The events leading up to the Battle of Hogwarts are narrated in a fast, yet understandable way, and most of the film is spent on the acutal Battle, and the little moments (Harry’s visions, moments between the characters, Snape’s memory…) interrupting it. The story is very close to the book, and the biggest changes are the newly-invented scene in the Chamber of Secrets, and the absence of the background story of Dumbledore’s past.
It is hard to pick highlights as there are simply too many, but Helena Bonham-Carter impersonating Hermione is definitely one, as she even does typical Hermione’ish eye-movements; and in other scenes you once again see her as the amazingly nasty Bellatrix. Snape’s story is told in a very poetic and sad way, and Alan Rickman gives – as Dan correctly said – the performance of his career. Ralph Fiennes was amazing, as you can see throughout the battle that his power is crumbling with each Horcrux that is being destroyed, and he is getting more and more desperate. Maggie Smith is back as a fierce and powerful McGonagall who takes charge after Snape’s escape and has also adorably funny moments.
Of the younger actors, a big credit goes to Matt Lewis, who had several amazing scenes to prove what kind of SuperNeville he had become.
Now on to Rupert. Rupert continues the amazing performance of, well, all the previous films. Looking dashing with long hair and a beard at Gringotts, he remains the voice of reason, telling Hermione that “you’re the brilliant one” when they need to find a way out. A major teasing moment for the fans is the scene when they un- and dress after dropping of the dragon – especially Rupert’s little hip-wriggle when he is pulling on his sweater.
Ron and Hermione do act quite coupley thoughout the film, reacting to each other and giving each other ideas and helping each other during the battle. The kiss is sweet, and very fitting, and followed by more coupley-scenes (“That’s my girlfriend!!!” after Goyle attacks Hermione).
The most emotional-laden scene for Ron is obviously the one for Fred. While you do not get to see him die as in the book, the moment when Ron enters the Great Hall to see his family weeping is absolutely heart-wrenching, and Ron sobbing over Fred’s body is so different to everything we have seen from Rupert until now.
For someone who knows the previous films very well, Deathly Hallows 2 has many moments that will have shivers running down your back because they remind you of all the previous adventures: Olivander reminding Harry that “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter”, McGongall telling Neville to use Seamus’ “affinition to pyrotechnics” in the battle, Cornish Pixies appearing in the Room of Requirement, Neville almost channeling Sirius’ “the ones who love us never really leave us”, the well-know music that is playing when Harry, Ron and Hermione re-appear at Hogwarts to the cheering of Dumbledore’s Army, Harry moving the Pensieve from it’s place where it was kept in Goblet of Fire to how it appeared in Half-Blood Prince, the Order of the Phoenix arriving at Hogwarts, the flashbacks Harry has and the scenes in Snape’s memory… and of course the return of so many characters from the previous films. Hardcore fans will also be able to notice tiny details, such as the stone statues set loose by Professor McGonagall who carry shields showing all four house animals, united against Voldemort’s followers.
With the missing information about Dumbledore’s past and the somewhat quick explanation about the Elder Wand’s switches of allegiance, some things may be hard to understand for people who have not read the books, but for every Harry Potter fan, the film holds so many awesome details and big scenes with absolutely amazing performances from everyone that make it an amazing finale.
As for the Epilogue… a lovely and great send-off, with the perfect shot and the perfect music to end the series.