Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Release Date: November 19, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the seventh installment in the Harry Potter franchise, in which Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and Ronald Wesley (Rupert Grint) are on a mission to find and destroy the horcruxes, mystical objects that grant immortality, so that the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is unable to use it to his advantage. The focus of this film is really the acting among the three actors who have been together for so long, and how they have made each character they play their own, and that’s really important when you have a setting when there’s not a lot of action going on, overall, but I’ll talk more about that a little later.
I’ve been a fan of the Harry Potter films for quite some time now, and if you haven’t been, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 isn’t going to change your mind. To everyone else, however… well, I hesitate to say that you’re going to love it.
The tone and wonder of the first few films are almost completely extinct due to the heavy subject matter that has been the focus since the end of the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the past two films have taken the dark subject matter and injected it with a lot of action while the storyline starts coming together and the big picture becomes clear. However, in a film such as this, the characters are on a voyage type of mission, not unlike the events of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. In a fantasy series, and specifically one where it’s a film adaptations dedicated to the special effects and wonder that is affiliated with an epic (and I mean that literally, there are dragons in Harry Potter) story like the events in Harry Potter. And as plenty have noted, the movie is extremely faithful to the book, but this kind of story truly works better in novel form, as opposed to film.
But the advantage that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 has over other stories where the central theme is finding an object/destroying an object, and being removed overall from the the rest of the world’s cast of characters is that Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint have been playing these characters since they were children, and have spent the majority of their lives as their respective characters, so you honestly believe the events that are going on with the characters. Also, the chemistry between the actors is a direct replica of the dynamic between Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
It’s all actor/character driven and the team of Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint sell every moment that they are on screen. It’s a great character movie to showcase how the relationships have grown between the central characters and gives the actors the room to flex their art before with they wrap with the all out epic war for the survival of good within a dark world. Also, the directing and cinematography was fantastic, everything looked flawless, and the look of the movie suited the mood of the story, so everything worked in complete synergy.
It’s not really bad, but it’s a slow-paced movie. It’s not poor pacing, and the pacing’s not off, it’s just that the movie just moves slowly, and for a film that’s over two hours, it can start to wear on you a little. And, as a fan of the action and fantasy that’s been such a big part of the Harry Potter mythos, it felt like the movie was one hundred percent preparation for Deathly Hallows Part 2. On the other hand, the creative team behind the movie sold this tension, which worked to its benefit in the long run, since we’re only getting half of the story.
As I said before, this installment isn’t going to make new fans, and if you’re just looking for the action and apocalyptic drama of the later films, this movie won’t whet your appetite, but Part 2 probably will, so be patient. But, if you’ve truly fallen in love with these characters, and you honestly care about everything that’s going on in Harry’s world, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be depressed and want to cry, but you’ll still leave the theatre satisfied.