Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 (2010, 2011)

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
Part 1 RT Critics Rating: 7.9/10
Part 2 RT Critics Rating: 9.6/10

Part 1 Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 9/10
Part 2 Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 10/10 (Full Score)

BOOK SEVEN:
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 & 2 (2010, 2011) - David Yates

"These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has faced no greater threat than it does today. But I say this to our citizenry: We, ever your servants, will continue to defend your liberty and repel the forces that seek to take it from you! Your Ministry remains, strong."

Cast out into the vastness of the open world, Harry and his friends are left on their own, on a mission to finish what Dumbledore started -- find and destroy all seven Horcruxes. If one destroys all the Horcruxes, one destroys Voldemort. In parallel to their quest, the unsettling approach of Voldemort and his Death Eaters draws near. Deathly Hallows Part 1 revolves around the trio, as they learn about three highly powerful magical objects called the Deathly Hallows, and that Voldemort is after one of them, the Elder Wand -- the most powerful wand in the world.

By now, the Harry Potter series is coming down to the climactic conclusion, and if you are approaching the franchise for the first time, you will be lost beyond all comprehension. But yes, this is the ultimate conclusion to the spellbinding series that sparked generations.

Not a single scene in Part 1 takes place in Hogwarts. Harry and his friends are really out on their own this time, with Death Eaters stalking their every move. This is where the film undergoes a brilliant and carefully executed chemistry among the three. We have all seen Harry, Ron, and Hermione together ever since they became suspicious of Professor Snape going after the Sorcerer's Stone. We know that these three are the best of friends, inseparable, as we grow up with them as each installment comes and goes. Now, in the penultimate film, director David Yates really takes his time proving to us that this trio really represent one body, bonded together by love. We see Hermione out to take care of Harry and Ron, being the most intelligent and resourceful one of the three. We see Harry going through his visions and dreams, influencing every step that the group takes. They go through obstacles and challenges together, as the film tells a dangerous but exquisitely crafted story about these three young wizards.

With a much stronger and more mature chemistry among the three actors, their performances are still solid and fresh to watch. Arguably, the pacing of this film feels a little slow, mostly due to the film having a plethora of nature shots. Though it can bore a few audiences, possibly even die-hard Potter fans, at least the visual aids are made to serve the single purpose of showing our favorite characters being truly isolated in the outside world.

Part 1's storytelling is good enough to tell, but probably the film's greatest flaw is that it really feels like a part one that got stretched a little too much, biting its time. It definitely feels like the middle of a journey. Then again, we all know how astounding The Two Towers was. Even when Part 1 stretches time, it inevitably takes this time to flesh out the art direction and production design, assisted with precise filmmaking, and winds up giving us one of the more beautiful Harry Potter films. In this critic's opinion, the best moment in Deathly Hallows Part 1 is definitely the Tale of the Three Brothers. Look out for that.

Without a doubt, if you are looking forward to seeing the conclusion to the franchise, you have to see Part 1, because it climactically builds up the evil that lurks in the magical world while following the protagonists on their journey to defeat this evil. For me, Deathly Hallows Part 1 as a whole is a great Harry Potter film, and definitely ranks in the top half of the franchise. And once you see Part 1, you will be prepped to see Part 2, because it really sets up the final conclusion.

As Part 1 comes to an end, Lord Voldemort successfully retrieves the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave, and casts a spell into the air. This is exactly how Part 2 begins. Before I begin to review Deathly Hallows Part 2, the conclusion, let me first take a sidetrack.

Can you believe that exactly ten years ago from this finale, we all went into the theaters to see Harry's first year at Hogwarts? We have all come a long way since Harry living under the staircase of the Dursley's.

Deathly Hallows Part 2 is, yes, the epic conclusion to the Harry Potter series, the one that ends it all. This is the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. Plot-wise, the film revolves around Harry and his friends once again, continuing their journey off of Part 1, as they look for and destroy the last of the Horcruxes, while the Battle of Hogwarts begins.

Let me be clear on one thing: This is the first and only Harry Potter film that I have cried in, and I cried in three scenes. Unfortunately for this review, I cannot reveal what they are, but I will try to hint them. But for sure, this is definitely the most emotional film of them all.

Part 2, to start things off, has a much better and self-aware pacing than its predecessor, and this is because it knows that it needs to continue the Horcrux-plotline while at the same time play the Hogwarts Battle to us. Instead of wasting (well, not really) a full hour on just the battle, it shows us certain fight scenes once in a while and then jumps back into the main story, to simply just remind us that this climactic battle is going on in the background. As a plot device, the battle really raises the stakes of the Horcrux-plotline and enhances the importance of Harry succeeding. This is probably the most impressive and redeeming factor of this film, because it is aware that it needs to finish the story while at the same time providing a satisfying final battle for the visual-effect-hungry audience.

As mentioned before, the buildup to the final battle is excellent and has been building ever since Order of the Phoenix or Half-Blood Prince. We have been through the corridors of Hogwarts for ten years now. Things get quite emotional and beautiful when all the staff we have known for years group together to fight for one single belief/entity, when Professor McGonagall summons the statues, and when the giant shield descends over the school.

As an adaptation, Deathly Hallows Part 2 satisfied all of my worries. You know those moments when you read an amazing book and after finishing an astounding scene, you wonder "How is that going to be made in a movie?" Believe me, David Yates nailed it this time, from emotional scene to emotional scene.

Another clever move from David Yates: If you pay attention to the music in this film, you will notice that Yates used not only the music of Alexandre Desplat, the main composer of Part 2, but he also used Nicholas Hooper's music (Half-Blood Prince's main composer) as well as John William's music (The first three's main composer).

With a rolecall reunion in the cast that includes Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, and Jim Broadbent, the acting in Part 2 is spot-on and almost perfect. It may not be Oscar-worthy, but it truly feels Oscar-worthy because so much has built up to this -- from Ralph Fiennes' impressive performance as Voldemort to Alan Rickman's breathtaking performance as Severus Snape. By the way, Severus Snape is one of the greatest characters ever written in fictional literature. Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or a filmmaking fan, you would agree with me that everything has really come to this.

There is honestly not much to say about Deathly Hallows Part 2, and this is mostly because it sweeps everything that it has promised to us. To put it straight, when the film ended, and the Harry Potter series came to an end, I was blown away. It feels like a conclusion, wraps everything in a box, and ties a pretty bow on the top.

One thing though, Deathly Hallows Part 2's full potential can only be fully achieved if you watch it immediately after watching Part 1. This is the same the other way around. Part 1's full potential can only be fully achieved if you finish it with Part 2. Watch the two together. Truly a magical experience.

In conclusion, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is *the* finale that ends the story of Harry Potter. Blending impressive visual effects with great storytelling and acting, the film successfully puts every crucial scene onto the big screen with much filmmaking skill, proving that these films are no longer just for Harry Potter fans. Part 1 handles the beginning and middle of the story, sort of ending on a note of evil winning, and Part 2 is simply two hours of a grand thundering and emotional ending.

Again, we have come a long way in following Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and the Harry Potter films are definitely here to stay. Finally, if you have ever shed a tear for any of the Harry Potter films, I request you to do one thing: Rewatch the entire series, one film a day, from Sorcerer's Stone to Deathly Hallows Part 2. You will shed a very special tear, one that only came from the series as a whole and how much it has given you in your life. That tear, my friend, is true magic.


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