For what was essentially the last battle scene from Deathly Hallows Part 1, this film held together very well. It managed to move from drama to fighting to all out battles whilst maintaining the human core, and handled potentially tricky parts of the story very well.
Part 2 picks up directly where Part 1 finishes, and doesn’t hang about bringing audiences up to speed – which I fully agreed with – if you don’t know what’s going on by now a trip to the video shop might be in order before heading out to see this finale. Harry is very much brought to the fore – although obviously he is the main character in all the films, here even Ron and Hermione take a back seat – this is Harry’s story of Harry’s end – or not. In my opinion Part 2 showcases Daniel Radcliffe’s best performance, his acting showing both subtlety and depth, giving Harry a naturalism which was missing from previous films.
This film was always going to be about the Battle of Hogwarts, and it is beautifully done. The fighting is brutal, whilst never pushing the 12A rating or becomming unbelievable given that its a group of school teachers and their pupils forming one side of the fighters. Alexandre Desplat’s amazing score provides so much more that just background music, telling the unspoken, internal story woven around the stunning visuals, both during the battle – where poignant choral themes counter and illuminate the violence taking place – and particularly in Harry’s walk to meet Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. Even by the 3rd viewing, the music ratchets up the tension so high that I was still on the edge of my seat, gripping the arm rests with my heart in my mouth, waiting for and dreading Voldemort’s curse.
Part 2 provides a fitting finale to the Harry Potter series and, as most of the films have done along the way, provides a faithful rendition of the story that captures and complements the essence of the book.