Rummanah Aasi
  I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 this weekend with a friend of mine. I know I'm a bit late, but I wanted to see the movie when the crowds died down a bit. After reading positive reviews from both critics and die hard Harry Potter fans, I was excited to see this latest installment in the blockbuster franchise. I was not a fan of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the book). I thought the first half was a bit too slow and the second half was too anticlimactic for me. I was left with the feeling of: “That’s it? I’ve waited and read 6 books for this ending?” So I was curious as to what my viewing experience would be like since I haven’t reread the books at all. I remember the books quite well, but I would not be able to tell you if any specific details were wrong or taken out from the movie. 


  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is not movie just slapped together. It has been intricately planned for from the very beginning and it shows. While the last few films build the level of suspense into a crescendo and each film gets darker, things are much worst as the latest installment opens. The Deathly Hallows begins with a grim reminder from the Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour (who is excellently played by Bill Nighly): “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today”. In the Potter world, there is a takeover of ministries and the installation of past villains who are mere puppets of Voldemort’s regime, Discrimination and probable extermination of the ordinary, non magical Muggles, and even the half-breeds continues.
   
The Deathly Hallows is submersed in doom and gloom, everything from clothing (with the exception of one of Hermonie’s beautiful red dress) to the background music. The background score from Alexandre Desplat is fantastic and probably the best musical score from all of the movies thus far. Our trio is confused, lost, and without any guidance from their headmaster and mentor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), whose absence is tangible and felt. They are left to their own skills and devices to discover and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. With frustration, jealously, and darkness surrounding them, they must find a way to work together to attain their common goal.
  The acting in the Deathly Hallows is quite good. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all share a perfect camaraderie that has been built over the years. These actors grew into their roles and I can’t imagine anyone doing these characters justice. There ensemble cast of fantastic British actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, and many more are a treat to watch. My only complaint is that they come and go too quickly in this movie, but I hope they get their own share of screen presence in the second installment.
  There are two main complaints I have heard frequently about this latest Harry Potter movie: one, there is no plot and two, whether or not The Deathly Hallows should have been made into films. To answer the first question, there is definitely a plot. I think the movie did an excellent job in getting to the center of the first half of the book. In the book, the first half is dedicated to the long search of the Horcruxes and how to destroy them. The movie retains all of the major events that happened in the book, including an excellent explanation of the Deathly Hallows (a short animation story that was by far my favorite part of the movie); however, I was disappointed in not seeing Harry use the cloak of invisibility at all in the movie. He uses it quite frequently in the book. Overall, I’m glad that the screenplay writer took liberties with the book to give us what is most important to the story: the long, arduous task and the impending rise to Voldemort’s reign.
  To answer the second question, I definitely think this book should be divided into two movies. Simply for the fact that there is so much going on in the story, the numerous relationships and friendships forged over the years, and the bittersweet fate of the myriad of characters in the Potter world. We have to remember that the Harry Potter series is an epic journey that takes time. Danger lurks at every corner and the narrative which at times goes slowly but also spins at breakneck speed that toss our favorite characters around and against their enemies who are growing more powerful by the minute.
  The special effects in the movie are great, but they are definitely subdued and nothing that we really haven’t seen before in the previous movies. The strength of the movie is that the story never lags, but builds anticipation as we root for our heroes to become successful in their quest. The story isn’t all doom and gloom as the narrative does infuse humor in appropriate places to try to lift the characters and essentially our spirits through these dark times. I won’t giveaway the cliffhanger, but I will say that it was a great stopping point. I can't wait for the second part of the movie. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is worth watching. Be sure to check it out before it goes to DVD.


Words of Caution: This movie is rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.

Rating: 4 stars (Really enjoyed it, highly recommended)
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I agree, I think this one definitely needed to be split into two movies, so much would have had to have been cut in order to make the movie under 3 hours and then the movie just wouldn't have done the last book justice. I'm really looking forward to part 2 as well, so much good stuff still to come!


  2. I've been waiting to see this one too until the crowds die down. I loved the HP books and enjoy the movies as well. Great review, as always!


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