Soundtrack Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Reviewer: JØrn Tillnes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Soundtrack Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 soundtrack review: This is a review of the film score Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by Alexandre Desplat.

"It is a joy to listen to just like part 1 and using the Hedwig theme by John Williams, which is the ultimate Harry Potter theme after all, is a brilliant touch."

The worldwide phenomenon Harry Potter has been captivating audiences since 2001, but it all ends now. The final battle between Harry and Voldemort is finally here, and as good as the films has been, the music is why you are all here. The first three Harry Potter films were scored by none other than John Williams before Patrick Doyle took over the scoring duties for the fourth film. Five and six were handled by Nicholas Hooper, but the final chapter that has been divided into two parts are scored by Alexandre Desplat. A lot of people hoped that John Williams would return to the series to end it all, but in all fairness, Desplat did a great job with part 1. Will Part 2 improve on that or will it all end in tears?

Track List

1. Lily's Theme*****
2. The Tunnel*****
3. Underworld****
4. Gringotts***
5. Dragon Fight****
6. Neville*****
7. A New Headmaster****
8. Panic Inside Hogwarts****
9. Statues*****
10. The Grey Lady****
11. In The Chamber of Secrets*****
12. Battlefield*****
13. The Diadem****
14. Broomsticks and Fire*****
15. Courtyard Apocalypse*****
16. Snape's Demise*****
17. Severus and Lily***
18. Harry's Sacrifice****
19. The Resurrection Stone*****
20. Harry Surrenders****
21. Procession****
22. Neville the Hero*****
23. Showdown****
24. Voldemort's End****
25. A New Beginning****

So like Harry Potter, Alexandre Desplat is the chosen on. He will end it all with around 1 hour of music, mostly consisting of music not previously heard.

however, to appease the fans of great film music, John Williams and Harry Potter, Hedwig's theme get a surprising return. We can hear it sprinkled in quite a few cues like 'Dragon Flight' and 'Procession' As great as that is, it won't make or break this score. What is the ultimate task that lies ahead of Desplat is feeding the hungry film score fans with some enjoyable, exciting and music you can actually remember and hum along to in the distant future.

Themes Gone Missing

Like part 1 however, Desplat doesn't find a way to make Harry Potter his own, nor could he. Harry Potter will always be John Williams baby. He was the one who created the most memorable and magical music. Apart from the haunting theme featured in 'Lily's Theme' there isn't anything of interest. The music however feels very exciting all the way, and has been upgraded quite a bit in the action department as can be heard in cues like 'Dragon Flight' and 'The Tunnel'.

'Courtyard Apocalypse' and 'Statues' are two cues I like very much because of the buildup. It might feel a bit like Doyle's Harry Potter and a bit of Remote Control Productions, but the buildup makes me actually feel something, perhaps heroism.

I didn't expect anything close to what John Williams created, but I did expect Desplat to follow up to the very good part 1. He did that, but not much else. Part 1 had great cues which could have turned into great themes like 'The Oblivation', 'The Will' and 'Harry and Ginny', but Part 2 has 'Hedwig's Theme' and if it wasn't for that, I think my final score would go down a point. It is not relying on that theme however, and I did enjoy the action cues, but it feels slightly worse than Part 1.

Conclusion

Part 2 ends in anything but tears. It is a joy to listen to just like part 1 and using the Hedwig theme by John Williams, which is the ultimate Harry Potter theme after all, is a brilliant touch. It's not the best Harry Potter score ever, but it almost ends as good as it started. Like I mentioned in my review, if it hadn't been for the inclusion of 'Hedwig's Theme', I would give it a point less than the final score. I really wish that Desplat could have developed some of the themes he created for Part 1 for an even better overall experience.

CUE RATING: 87.2

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Listen to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat below:

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