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 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.
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.
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.
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.