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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 28
The Harry Potter saga ends here
Arts & Entertainment
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The Harry Potter saga ends here

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two
Opening July 15


At long last, the end is here. The final Harry Potter film has been written, filmed, edited, and released. The magical tale of The Boy Who Lived comes to its much-touted and long-awaited conclusion. For the last 10 years, the cinematic world has grown up with the orphan boy who becomes a hero and now, after the last filmed installment, we are ready to see what happens when the trio of misfits battle the greatest evil wizard who ever lived. One does not have to be the seer Professor Trelawney to detect the huge amount of audience anticipation.

Picking up where the first half left off (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One), the three adolescent wizards (Ron, Hermione, and Harry) are still trying to hunt down and destroy Lord Voldemort's seven horcruxes - everyday items that are enchanted with parts of the dark wizard's soul to ensure his immortality. At this point, a ring, a diary, and a locket have been destroyed, leaving four more to be discovered. But time is running out as Voldemort gathers the Dark Armies. As the prophecy that binds Harry and Voldemort says, 'Either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives.' And the final battle between Voldemort and Harry, The Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix, good and evil, will have its last showdown at Hogwarts.

Most of this film revolves around Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) - as it should - and leaves the others to be well-supported side characters. Author J.K. Rowling has spent the last 14 years carefully building to this moment in her monumental series, and one of the wisest decisions of the cinematic translations was to make this tome a two-part film. Daniel Radcliffe has grown up with, and into, his role. He's matured as the character has, creating complete believability with each action he takes. Every main character that fans have grown to love (or love to hate) is present in this final epic. All of them live up to their expectations. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson (Ron and Hermione) remain the ever-devoted and supportive friends. Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) continues her wonderful portrayal of the mad Death Eater; her wide eyes and wild laugh are creepy enough to intimidate without going too far over the top. Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) is a major part of this final portion. His character reveals twists and loyalties and even, in some part, redemption.

As for the storyline, you will most likely be lost if you've never seen any of the films, never read any of the books, or never followed any of this pop-trend phenomenon. (It's OK - crawl out from under that rock, and welcome to our planet.) The special effects in this film are as good as any of its predecessors (if not better), and if you are seeing a 3-D presentation, it can be taken to the next level. (Note on 3-D: While I'm not usually a fan of 3-D effects in movies, it works really well here. This film would be highly enjoyable either way, though.) The magical world comes alive for us. It's complete with dragons, goblins, giants, and trolls among other fantastical creations, and the special effects go even further. Taking the roller-coaster ride through Gringotts bank is like experiencing the twisted rails with every turn. The dragon's flight and the Demonic Fire are among the effect highlights in the film, and fans will not be disappointed.

Strict devotees of the books will find some changes have been made, but for the most part it remains accurate. In translating the final volume's 749 pages into over 4.5 hours of film, naturally there were things that needed to be edited or condensed for time's sake. All of the major parts are included and discrepancies are easily explained with a carefully placed sentence in character dialogue. Fans of the books will note that the epilogue is included. It's done well, and is conclusive without being cheesy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two is what it is meant to be, the dramatic conclusion of an epic series. It'll keep the audience entertained from beginning to end. The action doesn't stop, and the special effects are wonderful. The story line is satisfying and above all, it's conclusive. The bottom line is that people will break into two camps: You are either a fan, or you're not. If you are a fan, you'll enjoy the films as much as any of the other adaptations in this series. If you are not a fan, well, enjoy Captain America.

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