Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2 and 3D, IMAX

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2 and 3D, IMAX
Rating: 4.5/5

With this exceptional offering, the Harry Potter series comes to an end.  And because the quality and complexity of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it’s kind of tragic.  Not only is this a great film, the best in the franchise, it is also a superlative film. Will there be a Best Picture nomination come awards season?  If there is a cinema god there will be. This is cinema at its best, emotional, artful, rich, human and at one with its technical nature.  And no longer can it be considered a youth audience film; this is for all of us.
Harry, Ron and Hermione have earned the gravity and emotional weight they carry now. They are mature, worldly wise, and hard bitten because they’ve been through hell so many times, but their spirits still soar with youth and hope.  It is the most important and optimistic of the films, and it’s the last, so that’s nice.
Nearly every character of note throughout the franchise appears in one shape or another, literally, tugging at our heartstrings and doing their bit to move Harry’s journey forward to his fate. Such faces.
It’s a film about secrets and revelations.  As the final chapter, it should answer all our questions and when they start spilling – look out! They never stop.  Secrets about Snape, Voldemort and Harry pull our emotional connection into focus and suddenly it’s all blindingly clear.  We know what drove this epic fantasy from the beginning.
Harry makes a decisive move near the conclusion (but before the train station scene set 19 years later) that is utterly shocking.  It kind of pulled the floor out from under this critic, who hasn’t read the books but has seen every movie.  That J.K. Rowling!  Through what fever’d dream did this series take shape?  After all the other installments her work still glows with originality and wonder.
I love it for the words and names she invents, which all somehow sound medieval, timeless, British, specific and rich - Dumbledore, Severus, Horcrux, Voldemort, Gringotts.  A secret language for kids that the adults discovered.  I love that countless British actors running the gamut of classic theatre to film and TV, have motored this thing along with consistency and dedication.  I love that Warners committed to the series and supported it over the past decade. Okay so they made money but they had to spend it first. And I love that the young leads grew with it and with us. 

Briefly, and most of you reading this already know, Harry and his pals must destroy Lord Voldemort’s three Horcruxes. They have to find them first.  That’s the journey.  The end is confrontation and completion.  The entire Harry Potter oeuvre is symbolised in the battle of life vs. death, good vs. evil, light vs. dark between Harry and Voldemort.  And then another earth shattering discovery.   Can you stand it?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a brilliant achievement, the perfect cap to a series that started off wobbly, found its legs, and now runs to the finish line.  The final scene is a head scratcher but necessary, a bittersweet, realistic reminder of what it is to be human.   And that’s all I’ll say about that.

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