Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Its the beginning of the end for the Harry Potter series, and looking back at the series as a whole, they have managed to pull off quite a feat. I’ll admit that I doubted that they could keep up the momentum and consistency to go right to the end, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. I applaud them, especially since it appears that these last two installments are really going to ramp the whole storyline to new heights.

The first part of Deathly Hallows does an amazing job of staying incredibly close to the source material while also being a wonderfully constructed piece of visual storytelling. The tension of the condition the wizarding world has found itself in now can really be felt here and there’s an almost epic sense of foreboding events laying in wait. You also really get the sense that Harry, Ron and Hermione are really only a couple of steps ahead of the death eaters and at any given moment could lose their quest by a simple misstep.

This is Yates’ third Potter film as director and he has really grown from the somewhat awkward Order of the Phoenix. Yates still has problems with awkwardness when it comes to secondary characters such as Lupin, Tonks and Mad-Eye and their interactions. Fortunately, none of that awkwardness exists with the three core characters who are really the center of this film in a way that they actually haven’t been yet. And the three actors have really grown into their roles by this point. You really feel the deep friendship between them with all the range of emotions which come with it. I love the focus put on these three, which is really the heart of the movie.

There’s some really great stuff here, including Harry finding his parents at Godric’s Hollow, the Harry-Ron fight, and the animated tale of the three brothers, which had an art style which seemed to fit the movie perfectly. I love the book and I believe that it is the best of Rowling’s entire series, but this movie is really great at making the events in the book really seem real. Not as detailed as the book, but really down-to-earth real and not in a way which drains the magic from it either.

The only real problem I can find (apart from some poor line delivery near the beginning) is the fact that it isn’t a full movie, which there really isn’t any way around considering that the book is split into two parts. I do like where they split it, and the cliffhanger isn’t as glaringly unresolved as Spider-man 2 or Pirates: Dead Man’s Chest, but its still so far incomplete.
I cannot wait for the second part. I was hoping it would just start right away when this one ended. 9.5/10

2 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”

  1. I agree with everything you’ve said. The film is fantastic. I was actually scared that there would be lots and lots of deviations from the book, like they did with Order. But David Yates nailed this one. Somehow, I am reminded of Chris Columbus’ Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. Cinematic in itself and still very attached to the book. 🙂

  2. One of the things I really liked about this movie was how quiet it was in places — often it was just two characters talking, without any music in the background.

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