Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

OUT NOW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

The epic finale of what has become a cultural touchstone is now upon us. While some have thought that breaking the seventh book in two was a cash-grab, it has been a wise move — giving the series the send off it deserves.The film wastes no time in getting right back into the story.The final scene of part one begins part two with Voldemort exhuming from Dumbledore’s grave one of the three symbols of the Deathly Hallows — the elderwand, the most powerful wand available to wizard-kind —to begin his reign of terror.

Meanwhile Harry, Ron and Hermione are racing to destroy the Horcruxes that contain Voldemort’s soul and are the secret to his power.

The last third of the film then involves the battle over Hogwarts and Voldemort’s final battle with Harry.

Loyalty, love and sacrifice have been the cornerstones of the series and this finale completes Harry’s ultimate sacrifice for those he loves.

Much has been written about the Christian allegory to be found in The Deathly Hallowsand J.K. Rowling did reveal her hand finally with this book.

Rowling has openly stated, “To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious. But I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people … where we were going.”

This final tale can almost be boiled down to a resurrection story, revealing much about Rowling’s own views about Christianity.

In part one (and chapter 16 of the book) when Harry visits Godric’s Hollow, Harry discovers his parents’ tombstone and the inscription reads, The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (Corinthians 15:26), while on the tombstone of Dumbledore’s mother and sister is the inscription: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also(Matthew 6:19).

As Rowling goes on to explain, “I think those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric’s Hollow, they sum up — they almost epitomise the whole series.” It also seems that Rowling has used the books to explore life after death using Harry as her literary guide.

“The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is … something I struggle with a lot,” she revealed. “On any given moment if you asked me [if] I believe in life after death, I think I would come down on the side of yes — that I do believe in life after death. [But] it’s something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that’s very obvious within the books.”

All the series regulars have their moments to shine in the battle to protect Hogwarts from Voldemort’s army, but Daniel Radcliffe is prominent. And like the previous film, his talent as an actor is evident. Over the last decade all three principle actors have matured into their respective roles.

Scenes where Harry gazes over the devastation and people who have been sacrificed for the cause are genuinely moving, while revelations about Harry’s past and his resolve at the task ahead are poignant.

Director David Yates has hit all the emotional beats of the book, which will delight fans of the series; even Severus Snape’s (Alan Rickman) revelations about Harry’s mother Lily are well handled and cleverly recount the series history while giving Rickman his most moving scenes in the series.

To reveal much more about this thrilling exit to the beloved series would be to spoil too much of the enjoyment, but the lessons learnt are well summed up by Dumbledore: “Pity the living and, above all, those who live without love.”

Adrian Drayton

Quotes from J.K Rowling used in this review can be found athttp://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572107/jk-rowling-talks-about-christian-imagery.jhtml

First published in Insights Magazine

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