I had the pleasure of checking out an early screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1 last Monday here in Atlanta. My friends pretty much all disowned me for not taking them with me, but I still managed to enjoy myself.
Beware of minor spoilers before proceeding. Though I won’t get too in-depth I promise!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1 is the beginning of the end of the series that so many us feel like we’ve grown up. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit theaters nearly a decade ago, and part 1 of the final chapter opens today. So does it stack up to expectations? You bet it does.
The 7th Harry Potter film will surely break records this weekend and over Thanksgiving holidays next week. David Yates returns as the director, and with this film becomes the longest running director of the series.
Most Harry Potter fans have seen the clip of the potion that all the characters take in the beginning of the film which essentially cloaks Harry Potter by creating multiple copies of him. This is one of my favorite scenes in the film as we get to see Hermione and Fleur Delacour shift into rather awkward versions of Potter. I appreciate the humor as overall the film is emotionally intense, not as playful and light as other Harry Potter films in the series. As we approach the conclusion of the series though, the more epic the tale becomes.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) help Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to carry the burden of the Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes – the first of which is a necklace that has an inarguable strain on whoever is wearing it. Most notably Ron, who finds the necklace only causes his insecurities to grow.
I’ve always been a Harry and Hermione fan, and we actually get to see a little bit of tension between the two in this flick (of course anything more than unspoken tension would differ greatly from the books). Ron picks up on it and reads a little more into it. For a portion of the film, our trio becomes a duo as Ron simply can’t handle it. But you haven’t seen the last of him, he’ll be back in time to save the day.
I also really enjoyed the animation with the story of the Deathly Hallows which is told around the middle of the film. It’s story of 3 brothers who were granted a wish by Death, and I’ll leave it at that. I really enjoyed the artistic quality of this method of storytelling and felt that it aided in the overall grim atmosphere of the film. Speaking of the atmosphere, the dark tone of the film is undeniable and present throughout. We’ve seen a shift as we’ve progressed into the series, and now it hardly feels like something targeted to children. This film is the most faithful to the books in my opinion, which of course means you will be shedding some tears. I won’t spoil it for those of you that haven’t read the book, but those of you that have know exactly what I’m talking about.
I honestly felt a bit like I just saw Fellowship of the Ring when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1 concluded. Of course I knew that the final chapter was being broken up into two separate movies, but I couldn’t help find myself cursing because I wanted more. It’s surely the introduction to an epic finale which will find it’s way into theaters on July 15, 2011.
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Review By: Emma Loggins