Friday, 2 December 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, 2011
Directed by David Yates
Possible Oscar Nominations Include: Art Direction, Visual Effects, Makeup, Original Score, and Best Picture<!- google_ad_section_end ->

Synopsis: Leaving off part I with a just-barely escape from the Malfoy's house, Dobby dead, only 1 Horcrux down, and Voldemort acquiring the Elder Wand, we know there's a way to go. With their next location to search being Gringotts and Hogwarts, the movie escalates into a high-action and powerful film that doesn't stop until it ends. Will Harry find all the Horcruxes in time? Will he defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Who will die? Who will survive? And what secrets will he unfold next?

Surprisingly, thus far of reviewing movies, I haven't mentioned that I'm a huge Potter fan. And I mean huuuuge. So anticipation levels were high when this movie was released in theaters in July. Sadly, I wasn't able to see it at midnight like I did for Part I (I was working at camp and didn't have access to a car, or permission to stay out all night), so I saw the film the day after it's release in 2D. The second time, in 3D, though I'll comment on that later.

Being a massive fan, I know this review will appear slightly biased with my undying love for the series, but I'll try to do my best.

The film opens up on Harry at Shell Cottage. We see him at Dobby's grave, and then see him question the Goblin, Griphook, about potentially breaking into Gringotts, the Wizarding Bank, and to Mr Ollivander, the wand-maker  about the Elder Wand. While we know Voldemort just recently acquired the wand, we realize what Harry's choice is... He's going to break into Bellatrix LeStrange's vault at Gringotts to search for a Horcrux. This involves stolen wands, polyjuice potion, more disguises of the non-polyjuice variety, and invisibility cloaks. To say this heist goes successfully is only half true. But you can watch the movie.

Next we land at Hogwarts, where the finale truly begins, 35 minutes into the film. It's ending.

Several things I must comment on now. Firstly, the visual effects were stunning in this film. I mean, seriously. And combined with the use of the 3D the film was a masterpiece for the eyes. I'm not, by any means, a fan of 3D (unless it were animated movies only, and were cheaper), but it's not really my thing. But I had the change to see the movie a 2nd time, and they chose to see it 3D, and I got in for free with my Scene Card. But seriously, I was a big fan of the 3D for this film. No, there wasn't anything jumping out at you, etc, but I felt like this film had infinite layers to it. I felt like I could stare really far into the distance and see so many different things. It felt very real, and like you're actually looking out a window onto all these scenes, not looking at a screen watching a movie. And the use of things flying away from you, in 3D, is also very cool, and has a much better effect. But enough about 3D. Overall, visually, this film was fantastic, and my favourite beside Part I and Prisoner of Azkaban.

Also, the music in this film was perfectly used. 4-time Oscar Nominee, and my favourite composer by far, Alexandre Desplat, combines new themes, themes from Part I, and themes from past films, predominantly using Hedwig's Theme and Harry's Wondrous World for particularly nostalgic scenes. But Desplat's original work is just as emotionally moving and fantastical as William's work. This film switches between 2 different themes. We have the 'Lily's Theme' Theme, which is shown in the emotional moments, or all things concerning Snape and Harry. And we have the 'Statutes' theme, which is the battle theme used throughout the film. Both of which are beautiful themes. And just let me say, the final Harry vs Voldemort battle tracks are just so triumphant and stunning. I could never choose a favourite track from this score. I would be surprised if this doesn't get Oscar nominated, as it's already been Grammy Nominated.

In the end, this film was well-balanced, having Part I been all talk, and Part II, most definitely, being all action. Some complained that the film was non-stop and the story got lost, but I disagree. As Harry put's it in an early scene, "we plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose" and that's precisely what happens. There's not a solid plot (hence the vague synopsis earlier), but that's okay. Battle and war isn't solid, it's crazy and unplanned and chaotic. So many different things happen to Harry this day (if you were really paying attention you'll notice pretty much the whole of Part II, minus a few scenes, takes course over 24 years. Yep) that it just can't be mapped out of planned. It's a very strong film, with a very strong story. Love is the guiding light, and something we cannot live without.

Overall, I loved this film (maybe not as much as Part I, but I adore Part I). It was visually beautiful, well-acted (specifically from Alan Rickman, duh, and Helena Bonham Carter.. her imitation of Hermione is brilliant and spot-on), and was overall a fantastic film. I foresee many nominations for this film, and if we're lucky (fingers-crossed) a Best Picture Nomination could be on the way. Though we'll see about that one, it's for sure, and would be nothing less than robbery, should HP still not achieve winning the Little Gold Man, in any category.
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Will Harry Potter finally receive a Best Picture Nod at this years Academy Awards? It could go either way, honestly. With the new voting system the academy instituted for this years nominations, this could either be a good thing for Harry, or a bad thing. Had it been last year, and 10 nominees were for certain, it would've definitely been nominated. This year, we'll have to see, and cross our fingers.<!- google_ad_section_end ->

Rating: 9/10

1 comment:

  1. I'm really hoping for a Best Picture nomination as well. They've nominated just about every other major critically acclaimed franchise at some point, and since this will be their last chance to reward Harry Potter, I hope they do it! Great review