Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ReviewWritten by Ender on November 30, 2010 · Filed under Review, TV/Movies
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (12A)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Jason Issacs, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson
Running Time: 146 minutes
Director: David Yates
Here it is. The penultimate film of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Some people were a bit unsure as to whether splitting JK Rowling’s final book into two films would be the best idea. But from watching the film and being a massive fan of the series, I’m glad they did…so far.
The general consensus has been that Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows was good, but lacked that extra sparkle to make it the magical film we were all hoping for. But given the story, I’m glad it’s been done like this to let everyone know what Harry, Ron and Hermione have got themselves in for.
A brief rundown of the storyline in case you’ve been living a sheltered life, is that Harry has decided not to go back to Hogwarts for his final year, and Ron and Hermione have stayed loyal to their friendship to help Harry in his quest. They have to hunt down the remaining Horcruxes which hold pieces of Voldemort’s soul in order for him to be killed forever. Not only that, but they are being hunted down by the Death Eaters as Voldemort wants Harry dead and will stop at nothing to find him.
As you can tell from my previous reviews of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, I wasn’t completely sold with David Yates’ versions of the films. They were good, but lacked something to make me think they were amazing films. Well this time around, I really think he’s hit the nail on the head and I can’t wait to see what he’s done with Part 2.
The film, to me, is a hell of a lot darker than the previous instalments of the boy wizards adventures, and you’re really given an idea of the weight that is on Harry’s shoulders and the difficult choices he has to make. He never asked for any of this, but it’s what has to be done.
The cast are all on top form and you can really see how the three lead characters have progressed since The Philosophers Stone. With a whole bag of emotions running around, it’s good to see that they’ve learnt to cry properly as some of the scenes are really heart felt, especially the scene in the graveyard at Godric’s Hollow. Not to mention the end, which I won’t tell you about, but is one of the saddest moments of the series so far.
The beginning of the film is brilliant. It shows each of our trio of heroes preparing themselves for what lies ahead before a superb chase sequence as Harry leaves the Dursleys house for the last time. With this being the final book, of course there are going to be lots of deaths along the way, and there’s no holding back just because it’s at the beginning of the film.
The relationship between Harry, Ron and Hermione is vital to the story and their friendship is really put to the test at the eleventh hour, so it’s great that the cast has stayed the same over the years as their bond really shows on screen.
The rest of the cast don’t hold back no matter how small a role they have in Part 1. It’s just a shame we only get to see Alan Rickman as Snape at the beginning, but fear not, as he’s going to play a very important part in Part 2. Ralph Fiennes gives his best performance of Voldemort yet and sends shivers down your spine at times. The ever psychotic Bellatrix LeStrange is played to perfection by Helena Bonham Carter and it’s a shame she hasn’t had a bigger part in the films. Bill Nighy is cast as new Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, but again this is only a small part which is a shame as Nighy is a superb actor. It just shows what a massive film this is when you have some of the country’s best actors playing the smallest of parts in Harry Potter.
Part 1 really is more of a road movie so don’t be expecting to see bucket loads of magic all over the shop. Of course there’s plenty to be seen, but I thought this was more about building everything up for the big finale in Part 2. Plus, if they stick to the book as much as they have done in Part 1, there’s going to be wand waving galore as it really will kick off.
There are still moments in the film which they’ve changed slightly from the book, as you’d expect. But I don’t think you could get as close as Part 1 as they’ve included literally every chapter so far. Of course not everyone will like that idea and some will love it. It’s hard to say what the film will be like for those who haven’t read the books, as I’ve read them all a few times so am familiar with all the little details.
There’s a brilliantly animated section of the film when the story of The Three Brothers is being read. It’s something we’ve never seen before in a Harry Potter film, but the whole story is done in a Tim Burton-esquec style animation. It’s an important part of the film as it explains just what The Deathly Hallows are, hence the name of the film.
There were a couple of times when the film didn’t explain things properly and they assumed you’d read the book. It didn’t ruin the plot of the film in anyway, it just wasn’t fully explained. But for those who have read the book, you’ll know exactly what’s going on. For example, the audience isn’t made aware of the fact that Harry, Ron and Hermione are at shell cottage, but I knew as I’d read the book.
That’s about the only bad points I could say about Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows. The rest of the film was expertly executed with the cast really on their game. The effects as always are fantastic with my favourite moment being the entity inside the locket. I’ll say no more in case you’re not aware of the story.
It’s sad to think that there’s only one more Harry Potter film left to see and then it’s all over. We’ve seen the cast grow up over the last 10 years and it’s nice to see that we’re being treated to the best of the bunch at the very end. Whether you’ve loved or hated the films so far, I think you’ll be impressed by what David Yates has done with Part 1 of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.
If Part 1 is this good, then I can’t wait until next July to see Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows and the final encounter between Harry and Voldemort.
4 out of 5
Have you seen the film and agree with my view? Were you left disappointed by Part 1? Or aren’t you a fan of the Harry Potter films? Whatever your views, leave your comments below.