Good and Evil Collide in Deathly Hallows 2
- Christa Banister Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2011 7 Jul
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: July 15, 2011
Rating: PG-13 (for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images)
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Action-Adventure, Sequel, Adaptation
Run Time: 130 min.
Director: David Yates
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Evanna Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Ciarán Hinds, Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent
As far as entertainment is concerned, no series has probably conjured up as much controversy in the church as Harry Potter has for the better part of a decade now.
An uneasy mix of redemptive themes and the battle between good and evil in a story that involves wizards, witches and a whole host of spells, it’s certainly sparked some intriguing debate on whether or not Christians should be watching.
Now that we’ve officially arrived at the end of the story, however, what goes down in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 won’t likely sway anyone who’s ever been on the fence. While those who’ve loved J.K. Rowling’s story all along will likely leave feeling satisfied and a little sad that it’s all over, anyone joining the party for the first time will have missed too much to really make sense of what’s happening.
See, many of the treasures found in Harry’s Potter’s universe often reside in the smallest of details that Rowling herself has dreamed up. And because the movies have remained remarkably faithful to the books, a cursory knowledge of what’s led up to the battle between Harry and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is helpful.
Unlike most sequels where the screenwriters are more than happy to help bring a new audience up to speed, Deathly Hallows Part 2 picks up precisely where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 left off. After burying his dear friend Dobby, the brave elf who was wounded by Bellatrix’s (Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech) knife in the last movie, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his loyal, longsuffering companions Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) immediately resume their mission, namely to collect the three remaining Horcruxes that contain pieces of Lord Voldemort’s soul.
Tracking down these missing keys to Voldemort’s immortality is essential because they not only weaken their enemy when they’re destroyed, but that act paves the way for defeating the forces of darkness that have clouded everyone’s everyday existence. Naturally, this process isn’t nearly as neat and tidy as it sounds, however, but it inevitably sets the stage for a seriously dangerous quest that eventually ends where it all began—Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Given the rather volatile nature of the film’s underlying story arc, one might expect that Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a solemn and completely joyless affair. Visually speaking, the movie’s color palette is practically nothing but shades of charcoal gray, but the filmmakers still manage to have a little fun, particularly when Harry and his pals return to the vault at Gringrotts bank. Forced to escape from a room where everything they touch—coins, chairs and the list goes on—literally multiplies, it’s one of the movie’s few moments where a light, comedic touch is completely appropriate.
Those quirky cinematic touches, not to mention a meaningful battle that involves bravery, self-sacrifice and the continued exploration of what’s worth dying for, are what ultimately make Harry and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 a memorable and thrilling conclusion to Harry’s journey. By focusing more on the magicians instead of the magic itself, the story’s rich symbolism has an opportunity to shine bright—even if it’s still not as overtly “Christian” as something C.S. Lewis would’ve written. If anything, Rowling’s work is more on par with Tolkien, who wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy, another world where magic and spiritual meaning also co-exist, leaving plenty of room for debate for anyone up for the challenge.
- Drugs/Alcohol: It wouldn’t be a Harry Potter film without butterbeer, now would it? No actual alcohol is consumed by anyone, however.
- Language/Profanity: One use of bit-- and he--, plus the occasional British profanity like bloody he--.
- Sex/Nudity: Ron and Hermione kiss. Harry and Ginny (Bonnie Wright) kiss.
Violence: There’s plenty of non-stop action and perilous situations that lead up to Harry’s final showdown with evil Lord Voldemort. After some of the intense battle scenes, a few of the characters we’ve known from other Potter films—good and bad—are dead (we see their corpses lying on the ground). A man’s throat is slit by magic, and then he’s also attacked by a snake. A man dies when an axe is thrown his way. Another man’s body magically turns to ash when he dies. A boy falls into a pit of fire, other people are engulfed by flames. Another boy is violently beaten. A woman dies and her body is shattered into pieces after a spell is cast. A tsunami nearly takes out Ron and Hermoine is the chamber of secrets. A disturbing image of a bloody fetus.
Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.
For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.