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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » July 29, 2011
Film review
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
July 29, 2011   
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The longest movie franchise of the last decade has reached its end. Part two of the adaptation of the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling series may prove a pleasant surprise for those who felt disappointed by several previous Harry Potter movies. To begin with, the new installment is fast-paced from beginning to end, which could not be said of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The characters do not deliver long speeches except for a handful of scenes which are justified by the plot. Most dialogues are short and scenes are dynamic.

The visuals eclipse all the earlier Harry Potter flicks and some scenes, most notably the epic battle of Hogwarts, showcase 3D technology at its absolute best. Those who are partial to the protracted duels which the main adversaries fight in movie finales are treated to much more than the book ever offered, as the ultimate clash between Harry and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes—The English Patient, The Constant Gardener) is much longer and far more spectacular than the original novel suggested. Ever since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fiennes has made brief appearances in consecutive parts and this time he gets enough screen time to let his character shine.

What comes as a surprise is that many subplots from the novel are completely missing from the movie or just hinted at. The final episode in the saga of the young wizard is over a quarter of an hour shorter than the one before it and could use several extra scenes to make the story more comprehensible, especially to viewers who are not entirely familiar with the book.

Subplots which beg for more elaboration include the story of Severus Snape (Alan Rickman—Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) and scenes featuring Harry’s parents. A little more light could also be shed on the relations between Prof. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon—The Insider, Sleepy Hollow) and his brother Aberforth (Ciaran Hinds—Munich, There Will Be Blood). Finally, the story of Wormtail (Timothy Spall—The Last Samurai, Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), who is completely absent from the movie, deserves a closure.

Admittedly, Rowling’s very long novels necessitate cuts in the story, but as a result many other excellent actors like Emma Thompson and Jim Broadbent end up in cameo appearances as if they were ordinary extras.

As in several previous parts, a problem that even superb makeup artists seem completely unable to tackle is the look of the main character. There seems to be no way of making Daniel Radcliffe appear older than he really is. For most of the movie, he seems several years younger than his peers, most notably the overgrown Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom. In the epilogue, set 19 years after the main plot, Radcliffe looks like the younger brother of Bonnie Wright, who plays Ginny Weasley, or Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. He comes across totally unconvincing as a father of three who is pushing 40.
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