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Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I

November 19, 2010

Well folks, it’s finally out. One of the most anticipated movies of the year, the penultimate film in one of the most beloved movie franchises ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has a lot of hype to live up to, both from fans as well as studio execs. I really love the Harry Potter books; I have listened to all seven audiobooks twice. I also have enjoyed the film franchise, though at times have felt that it just didn’t live up it’s potential. As the series sits on the eve of ending, I really hoped that this film would work. It did. Warning: minor spoilers ahead.

As I watched the film, the main thought that came into my head over and over again was “Why did they not break more of the films into two parts?” Sure, when the credits began it was difficult to accept the six month wait until Part II, but the benefits of breaking the film into two parts far outweigh the unresolved anticipation. A major problem that has plagued past Harry Potter movies (Order of the Phoenix, etc.) was a fragmented story line. Seeing as many movie-goers have read the books, obvious comparisons between the two often have created disappointment due to the large amount of information omitted from the film; watching Deathly Hallows was the first time that I really did not experience that feeling. Sure, there are always scenes and details left out, as that is the nature of adapting a book into a movie. But the film felt extremely loyal to the book and very complete, which created a satisfying viewing experience.

An exceptionally well done scene was at the beginning of the movie, during which six of Harry’s friends transformed into Harry in order to safely transport him to the Weasley home. Much of the comedy and intensity ┬áin this chapter of the book prevailed on the screen, which was then juxtaposed directly with the looming tragedy. Another fantastic scene is one in which Harry dives into a frozen pond and is strangled by a locket around his neck; the special effects were phenomenal and abstained from becoming silly or comical. The effects wew so well crafted that the scene is one of the most intense in the film, which once again was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps more successful than any specific scene is the ever present feeling of isolation and hopelessness, which, any reader of the book can attest, is a predominant theme throughout The Deathly Hallows.

The film wasn’t without it’s problems. Overly shaky camera work in a chase scene served not to increase intensity as much as create headaches, and some stale dialogue was prevalent at times (mostly from Radcliffe during scenes lacking a secondary action). But be that as it may, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is one of the best harry Potter films to date. If only this movie was the third or fourth in the series instead of the second to last; however, perhaps the evolution of the franchise is what enabled this film to be what it is.

When the credits began, the entire theater erupted in exasperated sighs of disgust; Part I is a gem of a film, and proves faithful to the book in a way not seen since The Sorcerer’s Stone.

9/10

 

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2010 4:56 pm

    I agree with you about breaking some of the films into two parts. That would have allowed for so much more to be included that was important to the readers of the books!.

    I will link to your review when I do my review round up.

    T.

    • November 19, 2010 5:27 pm

      I am glad you agree! And thank you so much for linking to my review!

  2. Tom Barden permalink
    November 20, 2010 11:25 am

    Hey! Decided to pop over from Wired to read your review. I watched the film yesterday and i agree, it’s brilliant that they done this book in 2 films. I’m really disappointed they are not bringing the next one out in January though.

    Film was great just because we were able to see the struggling relationship between the friends. It would have been nice to have the fight scenes a little longer, but i suppose that is all to come in the 2nd film.

    Really enjoyed reading the review, keep it up!

    • November 20, 2010 11:56 am

      I appreciate you checking out my review! And definitely true about seeing the struggle between the three main characters; that element is so prevalent in the book that I was glad it was the same way in the movie. And yes, I expect Part II will be pretty battle crazy!

  3. November 23, 2010 2:22 pm

    I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that they WERE planning on breaking the films into two parts beginning with 4 or 5, but the director at the time convinced the studio that he could handle it in one. Admittedly, I thought 5 was the best film thus far, despite the many cuts, until I saw the newest one. But I would give a lot to see Percy Weasley’s story on screen.

    • November 23, 2010 2:45 pm

      They were planning on it? Wow I really wish they had… I was quite disappointed with what was left out in the 5th film. And I too would love more Percy; his character was always one of my favorites throughout the books! Thanks a lot for visiting!

  4. Georgie permalink
    November 23, 2010 2:51 pm

    GREAT REVIEW, BANG ON!

  5. Bryan permalink
    November 24, 2010 9:52 am

    Thanks for the review.

    For those of you considering whether to go see the movie or not (oh my gosh how could you consider not :). Anyway, I felt this movie did a great job of adding character interactions between Harry, Hermione, and Ron that was limited or absent in previous movies without loosing the great action and excitement. I especially thought that the dance scene was great. It showed deep friendship without any betrayal to Ron.

    • November 24, 2010 8:21 pm

      Thanks for your input! And I definitely agree about the dancing scene; a definite highlight out of all the films! Thanks for visiting!

  6. November 25, 2010 7:15 am

    Considering the new route and the spectacular introduction to the title place, it does have me interested in how things will play out in “Part II,” something I haven’t felt about a Potter film in quite a while.

  7. December 21, 2010 12:44 pm

    Don’t know how I stumbled upon your reveiw, but I was over at Wired and found it. I agree totally that this was one of the best HP films. After seeing this on Thanksgiving, my wife and I proceeded to watch the previous 6 films, and place this one far ahead of Half Blood Prince in regards to honoring the book.

    • December 22, 2010 3:53 pm

      Thanks very much. I’m glad you agree and that you stopped on by the blog; make sure to check it out again!

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