Movie Review: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Pt1)
When I rocked up at my local cinema last week to watch the penultimate instalment of the Harry Potter saga, I was ridiculously, ‘five year old at Christmas,’ over-excited (as you’ll see in the video below.) Some may argue that it’s a bit sad a forty-year old woman can get like that over ‘just’ a film.
Firstly, they’re wrong and secondly, this isn’t ‘just’ any old film. It is history in the making, and I’m glad I’ve been along for the ride from the very beginning.
As you can tell – I’m a fan. I would have loved to have taken my children with me but these films have been getting darker every time and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Part 1), is Rowling’s darkest instalment yet. Voldemort is one scary nemesis – hell, even I have nightmares about that nose-less weirdo! So no, my six year old won’t be watching this film for some time to come.
This film marks a departure for Ron, Harry and Hermione … and not just in the physical sense as they finally get to leave Hogwarts, but because they are maturing and developing personal relationships between each other. They are now emotional young adults and this burgeoning maturity adds another dimension to the storyline.
“These are dark times,” explains Bill Nighy in the opening scenes and he’s not wrong. The wizarding world is now a dark place to be with He Who Must Not Be Named in real danger of taking control. Part 1 sees our courageous trio begin the quest to finally end the life of Voldemort … oops, I mean HWMNBN.
For fans of the Potter novels, the film will make sense. We already know what a Horcrux is and why Harry needs to search the country for them (each contains a part of Voldemort’s soul.) If you haven’t read the book, however, and don’t have someone annoying like me with you that will tell you what’s happening through the entire film, you’ll easily pick up what’s going on. After all, fundamentally, this is a film about Good vs. Evil – so you’ll at least know who to root for.
Hermione (Emma Watson), finally shows some real acting talent and delivers the scene where she leaves her parents and wipes their memory of her with honest, heartfelt poignancy. Ron (Rupert Grint), continues to be as Ron-like as ever, except in Part 1 he is also allowed to show more emotion – particularly the jealousy he feels of the friendship between Harry and Hermione (the dancing scene between Hermione and Harry in the tent is a real treat.) Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), does what he does best. He just is Harry Potter. His earlier tendency to come across as slightly wooden has now developed into a more stoic performance – he know what needs to be done and is determined to bring this battle to its ultimate conclusion.
Some may argue that the scenes set in the wilderness go on a little too long, but I totally disagree. For one, the cinematography is breathtaking, and also, these scenes are juxtaposed between lighter hearted moments such as Fleur and Bill’s wedding (complete with self-re-filling champagne glasses,) travel to the Ministry of Magic by toilet flushing and the creation of seven other Harry Potters to ward off the Death Eaters.
I don’t want to spoil the film for those who haven’t yet watched it and go into too much detail but for me, knowing that Part 1 wasn’t rushing towards a climatic finale, I was able to enjoy each sub-plot as it arose – knowing that I had Part 2 to look forward to.
Can Part 2 top Part 1? We’ll find out in July. Either way, I’ll be sad that this magical adventure has finally come to an end.