It's finally over! The series Harry Potter
started in 2001, and is finally ending in 2011. As far as music for the series went, it was fairly complex. The first three films were scored by John Williams
who gave the series all of the memorable themes it still (barely) uses today. For the fourth outing came Patrick Doyle
who managed a very good effort, on the same page as Williams despite barely using the famous Hedwig's theme. Nicholas Hooper
's two following scores were ok, to be fair, but were not as creative or memorable as the previous scores. Finally, along came Alexandre Desplat
who provided a noble effort for Deathly Hallows Part 1 and is stepping up to end the series off with Part 2. Is it as good as score for part 1? Let's find out.
First off, let me mention the use of Hedwig's theme. The film hasn't been released yet so I can't properly compare the result, but the theme does get a small amount of leverage during the score. Moreso, probably, then on the previous album. When it is used, it is fully stated. Unfortunately, fans of William's work will be disappointed by the lack of it still. Fortunately, Alexandre Desplat
is not afraid at using good themes in his scores to define places and characters. The opening of the album introduces a new theme for Lily Potter, Harry's mom. The theme is softly presented by a choir, rendering it creepy. Gringott's itself gets a dark motif as well. For Neville, a small returning motif from the previous score is used. Some other melodies also are reprised from the previous score, including the Obliviation theme.
Despite leaving Hedwig's Theme primarily out of the mix, alot of Desplat's style here reflects John William's work. Loud, brassy moments and quiet moments sound surprisingly alot like Williams. That being said, the music here may very well be the darkest in the series. Cues like 'A New Headmaster' and 'Snape's Demise' are incredibly threatening, and seem more in the style of noise than anything else. The music is really intense, to say the least. The second half of the score really picks up as well, becoming gradually more complex by interweaving themes. One of the biggest highlights about Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the orchestral theme that appears in 'Statues' and 'Courtyard Apocalypse
'. It is heroic and somewhat sad at the same time. Worth mentioning as well is the final cue on the album; 'A New Beginning'. While it doesn't use the Leaving Hogwarts melody as everyone expects, it does flow in the style of John Williams
and is heartfelt.
So, what do I say about Deathly Hallows Part 2? As far as the score goes, it's a fine album on the part of Alexandre Desplat
. Much like the previous effort, this one tries to stay as original as possible while staying within the tone of the film. The newer themes and motifs are a nice touch but, outside of the melody in 'Courtyard Apocalypse
', there aren't truly memorable or exciting. Those who loved Desplat's work on the previous score will love this effort even more. Others may appreciate the amount of incorporation Hedwig's Theme gets throughout the soundtrack. All in all, it's a highly developed score that is perfect when coupled with the first Deathly Hallows, but in context doesn't go beyond the boundaries.
Read other recent reviews by Jason FLZ: Man of Steel
, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
, The Thing