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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Part 2.

Venue: Cine 4, Ster-Kinekor Maerua Mall

Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Part 2

Director: David Yates

Screenplay: Players: Daniel Radcliffe; Emma Watson; Rupet Grint; Michael Gambon; Ralph Fiennes; Helena Bonham-Carter; Emma Thompson; Julie Walters

Genre: fantasy;adventure

Rating *** 1/2

Despite the fact that office records and the this film has broken box series of eight films has grossed more than U$6.3 billion, I attribute the success more to the spending power of the young rather than the cinematic excellence of the production. This may sound like 'sour grapes' so I am willing to concede that the final instalment of the Potter series on film certainly surpasses many of the previous films in the series, albeit the fact that there is a definite darkening of theme.

The dark nature of the production and of the ideas almost render the film worthy of censorship for younger viewers. The nature of evil, as conceived by J.K. Rowling is the kind of thing to keep most adults awake at nights as well. The unnerving concept is the notion that Harry himself becomes a 'horscrux' for the evil Valdemort: and since Harry's quest involves identifying, locating and destroying the remaining horscrux (or repositories for parts of the evil soul of Valdemort) this necessarily involves the idea of our luckless lad being forced to entertain the notion of his own destruction for him to achieve his goals.

That is all a critic should be permitted to disclose about the plotline. As with the other films in the series, minor characters fall about the cinematic canvas with the rumbustious energy of a Dickensian novel. One might venture to say that this crowded canvas of cameo characters lends considerably more interest to the proceedings than the squeaky-clean band of heroes - Ron and Hermione and Harry included. One such character who stands out is Neville Longbottom, a student at the Wizards' Academy who zealously defends Hogwarts and is one of Harry's early converts. The ancient teachers make a re-appearance but have little opportunity to do more than reprise their roles. Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, and Emma Thompson act their hearts out as if they were treading the boards with the Royal Shakespeare Company. On the other hand, Ron and Hermione, supposedly in the throes of adolescent romance, exhibit as much passion as a wet kipper.

Alas, any final dramatic climax to a fantasy about the confrontation between good and evil invariably involves all-out war. Harry's school--which is suddenly positioned in a far more grandiose setting than in the early films--becomes the battleground. This brings me to a definite 'plus' for the film: the special effects, which are truly outstanding. Hogwarts is memorably Gothic and the scenes of large-scale destruction are very impressive. The subterranean vaults of Gringott's Bank are cavernous and ominously gloomy, providing a stark contrast to the luxurious banking chamber, in which marble Ionic colonnades hold up a gilded interior in which two lines of dwarfish gnomes beaver away assiduously counting money and administering accounts. Nothing diverts them from the task at hand--not even Bellatrix Lestrange (Bonham Carter) who imperiously demands to see her vault. Harry and his happy band of super-heroes travel below on a fragile monorail contraption which tenuously winds its way underground.

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Not only are the settings spectacular but the computer-generated fantastical creatures are among the best that have yet been brought to the big screen. The white fleshy dragon which guards the subterranean vaults of Gringotts is lifelike, and even assumes an appealing personality of sorts. The gnomes, or goblins, are all delightful mini-people, perfectly conceived in minutiae. The gnome who prophesies the difficulties which lie head for Harry is so lifelike he can afford close-ups and still maintain the same level of reality. Valdemort, the villain is unforgettably frightening, achieved simply by depriving the character of a nose.

What is the fascination with Harry Potter which has entranced a whole generation of young people? There is no doubt that the level of creativity in this last film has not waned: despite long battle sequences reminiscent of 'Lord of the Rings' these are invigorated by cameo characters like Neville. The plot introduces enough ironic reversals and surprises to keep one entertained and intrigued; the whole concept of the possibilities of magic is entertaining, even though most of the wands seem little more than glorified sparklers.

Harry has a lot to do with it. JK Rowling does not disappoint in the final chapter. When Harry breaks the Elder Wand in the final moments of the film this is the ultimate statement about his character and the message for the reader is perfectly clear. This redeems the whole concept of magic and the dark arts, so reviled by those who see the sinister influence of 'New Age' thinking upon young, impressionable minds.

There is little doubt that this final film is dark in concept and execution: there are far more scenes in claustrophobic gloom than in sunlight or cheerful surroundings. Good ultimately triumphs, though, and the final message from Harry is undoubtedly a recommendation to 'see the light' about how to live one's life--normally.

PREVIEW

HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION

Release Date: Fri 02 Sept 2011

Running Time: N/A

Director(s): Charlie Vundla

Producer(s): DV8

Starring: Hlubi Mboya, John Kani, Menzi Ngubane, Rapulana Selpherno, Terry Pheto,.

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

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The film, curiously called How to Steal 2 Million, stars wellknown actors Rapulana Seiphemo, Terry Pheto, Menzi Ngubane, Hlubi Mboya and John Kani.

The producers are not saying anything about the film ahead of the exclusive screening today other than: "How to Steal 2 Million is a debut feature by bright young director Charlie Vundla.

"The film follows an ex-con desperately trying to go straight though the cards stacked against him."

If the selection of the cast is anything to go by, local movie fans are in for a good time.

In addition he has also starred in a number of acclaimed movies such as Tsotsi, White Wedding and Jerusalema.

Ngubane is currently making waves in Generations as Sibusiso Dlomo. Mboya does not need any introduction as she has made Nandipha, a leading character in the daily soapie Isidingo, an iconic figure on the South African small screen.

How to Steal 2 Million is set for release on July 29.

RELATED ARTICLE: Fast drinker.

THEY SAY IT'S TRUE

A man goes into a bar and seats himself on a stool. The bartender looks at him and says, "What'll it be buddy?" The man says, "Set me up with seven whiskey shots and make them doubles."

The bartender does this and watches the man slug one down, then the next, then the next, and so on until all seven are gone almost as quickly as they were served. Staring in disbelief, the bartender asks why he's doing all this drinking. "You'd drink them this fast too if you had what I have." The bartender hastily asks, "What do you have pal?" The man quickly replies, "I have a dollar."

By Gerry Hill

tucsinedu@mweb.com.na
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Author:Hill, Gerry
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Aug 5, 2011
Words:1181
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