Review by Michael Black
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a mind boggling 146 minutes. I was hoping there was enough content to keep me entertained for the full time. I was wrong. The Deathly Hallows starts off really strong with an exciting chase scene. Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody (Brendan Gleeson) turns most of Harry Potter’s (Daniel Radcliffe) closest friends into copies of Potter to help confuse Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) Death Eaters from capturing the real Harry. Once Harry reaches safety, thanks to his friend Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the excitement ends. One thing that bothered me was the death of one of the more interesting characters of the franchise during the chase scene and nobody seemed to care. There wasn’t a scene explaining how the character died and little remorse about the characters afterwards.
The Death Eaters eventually find Harry at the wedding of Bill Weasley (Domhnall Gleeson) and Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy,) and most of Harry’s friends, except for Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), disappear never to be seen again for the rest of the film.
The remaining story is dedicated to finding the one of the six Horcruxes that gives Voldemort his immortality. A good portion of the movie involves Harry, Ron and Herminone traveling and bickering about where one Horcrux is hiding. There are a few interesting scenes that interrupt the boredom like their infiltration into the Ministry to get the Horcrux from Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), and the end scene with Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) facing off with Dobby (Tobby Jones), the house elf that hasn’t been seen since Chamber of Secrets.
Despite the long drawn out plot, the cinematography is well done. Acting by all characters is satisfactory at best. However, this version of Harry Potter is dark and overall depressing, unlike how the series began. This is becoming less and less a kid movie and more of a dark drama with nothing new to offer in terms of magic. The kids are now young adults running for their lives and casting a spell every now and then. Having no Dumbledore is detrimental to this franchise and was one of the more enduring characters of the series who will be missed.
Instead of ending the Harry Potter movie franchise in style, the last book is split into two parts with the final film arriving in 2011. Dedicated Harry Potter fans of the movies and books will no doubt stand in line for a ticket – not once but twice – but the magic is lost on the very young because of the newer films’ darker tone.
Photo credits: Jaap Buitendijk © 2010 Warner Bros. Ent. / Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R
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