Seven months we had to wait for the conclusion of the last Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A greedy move on part of the studio, that only worked for us who had followed the series since it very beginning so the story will include as much as possible from the pages that J.K. Rowling wrote... an to extend that sad feeling that the journey is over.
Were this seven months worth the wait? It does conclude the Harry Potter story in a fulfilling way?
The short answer is yes. It is incredible how such a long running series in terms of the quantity of films has managed, despite changing behind the scenes crew and a tight schedule each film has progressed the growing darkness and character arcs and relationships in a way that has turned Harry Potter into probably the best film franchise of all time.
The film begins, or more properly continues, with the final scene of Part 1, without the need of a useless recap introduction, instead taking us quickly back away into the story.
Still mourning the loss of yet another friend, Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to break into Gringotts with the hope of finding another Horcrux. After a dangerous escape from the wizard bank they decide to return to Hogwarts.
With a little help from Dumbledore's mysterious brother Aberforth the trio is once again inside the castle. But Hogwarts has become a dark place for students under new Headmaster Severus Snape, who upon hearing rumors of Harry's return quickly threatens every student with punishment should they help him in any form.
Much to his surprise Harry reveals himself, along with the surviving members of the Order and take back Hogwarts in no time.
But the castle is not safe anymore and Voldemort who now knows Harry and his friends are after the Horcruxes decides to start a war and kill any living thing that stands in his way to kill Harry.
With constant attacks from not only Death Eaters, but giants, dementors, spiders and more creatures, and fatal losses at every turn Harry, Ron and Hermione must find the last pieces of Voldemort's soul before everyone who fights for Hogwarts dies.
Almost every frame of Part 2 is filled with a sense of danger, loss or closure. There is a big, long epic battle taking place at Hogwarts for most of the film, and within the battle many characters that we came to know and love either dies or gets a chance to shine, for there is no small role in this finale.
Aside from the spectacular visuals and special effects, it is the actors who make everything valuable, and this has been one of the biggest strengths of the series, specially the films directed by David Yates. Daniel Radcliffe has come full circle in his interpretation of our central character. Now a young man, he is brave, strong and willing to sacrifice himself for a greater good.
True, all of those virtues where there since the beginning, but the way Daniel plays it makes it even more valuable now than ever.
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are not left behind in this. They too have grown a lot, to define their characters maturity and their own personal bonds. It is because of this that the long awaited kiss they share feels so powerful and so deep.
As for the rest of the cast, like I said before, many of them get to shine if only for a quick scene, like saying goodbye to the audiences. And the way the film handles the growing amount of losses, without being overly sentimental is an ingenious touch, because it makes it meaningful where otherwise the whole thing would be too unbearable to witness.
Ralph Fiennes has define the very essence of evil by playing the Dark Lord, but here see a side of him that we didn't knew before. He is afraid, because he knows he can die. Each horcrux destroyed causes him more pain, to which he reacts with more cruelty and violence.
But the surprise here is Alan Rickman. We all knew very well he is a great actor and his character is so complicated to understand, from where his allegiances go to the nature of his apparent hate of Harry, but it is now that we have the whole picture that we can know the real Severus Snape, and Alan Rickman is simply astounding with the material at hand.
And finally Matthew Lewis gets his own share of the glory playing Neville Longbottom with a decisive moment that just shows that greatness is not only for those destined to it, but also for those who at the right moment are determined to fight for it.
Another high point is Alexandre Desplat's strong score. Beginning with what has to be one of the most beautiful cues of the year referred to as Lily's Theme - which in my opinion should have been labeled Snape's Theme - the music goes from eerie, to touching and quickly transforms into epic action without ever losing its heart.
If I have one, and only one complain it is about how the story ends. Now I'm not here to give spoilers, but considering the way the series has grown from the innocence of Chris Columbus first film into this mature serious epic the last scene, John Williams cues and all, seems rather misplaced. I understand that after all that has happened to our heroes a sense of a bright future for them is needed, but the way it has been handled is too forced and doesn't feel natural.
But even with that huge misfire, that lasts only a couple of minutes, nothing can take away the fact that this is the near perfect finale this series deserved so much. David Yates has put the final chapter on one of the greatest series ever graced the theaters and delivered a true masterpiece.
Moviefy Grade: Masterpiece!