”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” opens with a calmness that is not comforting. This is it. There is nothing left but the final showdown, and everyone knows it. It does not take long for events to accelarate, and what remains is a tense, spectacular, emotional and satisfying fight all the way to the end.
The end of course takes place at Hogwarts, as all the characters unite when Harry, Hermione and Ron finally finish their journey and come full circle.
It’s sad to see this place, the last remaining safe house for the children, no longer children, be destroyed so completely. The confusion and quickness of the fight is enthralling, the deaths horrifying. By now all the actors know their characters so well, there is not a single weakness in the performances, and Daniel Radcliffe in particular steps up to the plate. If you do not believe his journey, his hard choices, and what he is going through, the film will not work for you, and he really delivers when it matters the most.
The theme of choice, a powerful one from the novel, really shines through. Harry’s choice between saving his friends and death, between the Hallows and the Horcruxes, between Gryffindor and Slytherin, between Voldemort’s path and his own. Their foundation is the same, and the message that we are defined by our actions in the face of adversity is a great one that is rarely tackled in cinema today by anyone other than a superhero. And we’re not all superheroes. Voldemort had an army, but Harry had allies. The trust and strength Harry placed in his friends has always been his greatest asset.
David Yates and his team have created an absolutely stunning film. A sadness came over me as the credits rolled. The ”Harry Potter” series hasn’t earned Academy Awards, and has been packaged as a franchise, but it has created a genuine excitement in all age groups, identifiable characters in an imaginative world, and a showcase for all of Britain’s finest talents.
”Harry Potter” may not be the best film trilogy, but it could just be the best film trilogy in eight parts.