It’s finally here! David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 flies into theaters this weekend. It feels like it’s been such a long time since we’ve seen Harry Potter on the big screen, it’s nice to finally continue the series with a film that is stronger than the last. In this film the Potter world takes a turn for the worse and our three lovable characters have to find a way to fight back. Despite the few problems with this film, Yates has delivered his a solid Potter film with more action, darkness and emotional depth than we’ve seen before (except for in Alfonso Cuaran’s).
Find out more about the film below…
- Director: David Yates
- Writer: Steve Kloves (screenplay), based on J.K. Rowling novel
- Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton
- Original Music by: Alexandre Desplat
- Cinematography by: Eduardo Serra
We begin by remembering one big thing, Professor Dumbledore is dead and now nothing is safe. Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction–the Horcruxes. The three friends relationships are put to the test and they now must now rely on one another more than ever despite Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart. The Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort… alive. Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him.
- The Nazi/Facism Nod: Got to love a good nod to the Nazi regime! From the flyers, to the pure bloods screaming “but my father was a wizard!”, to mudbloods having to stand on trail and then hide out underground (though I’m sure most Jews would have loved to have a bit of magic to help them out). Though it was a bit obvious, it was a nice, messed up addition to the stories that helped show how big the war against Potter is and how much he’ll have to overcome.
- The Acting: These three kids are amazing. Not only have they somehow all managed to not become power-hungry crackheads BUT they also can act, and very well I might add. Despite some of the issues I had with the story, all three main characters and the outstanding supporting, English cast who has literally left no English actor out at this point, all gave wonderful performances.
- Dark Content: Though Alfonso Cuaran’s is still my favorite Potter film because of how dark he was able to take the tonality of the film, this was quite possibly the second darkest Potter film with some almost scary, definitely tense and sad moments that leave the audience feeling quite fulfilled.
- The Finale: I won’t give anything away for those of you who haven’t head the books, but the character who gets the grand finale at the end of Part 1 is one the best characters in the series and it was nice to see so much time spent on his departure.
- The Action: After David Yates told me in an interview that this film was the slow film and the next one is the action film, I’m worried for the second. There was plenty of appariting, flying, fighting, torturing for me in this one… anymore and it might turn into a straight Tony Scot/Michael Bay action film — here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen!
- One Plot Device to the Next: The film very much jumps from one set piece to another. You move locations, get one emotional set-up, a physical event and then a conclusion… rinse and repeat, over and over again. The film as a whole is extremely formulaic, albeit entertaining.
- Dancing Scene: Luckily Yates saved this by the end, but the start of the scene where Harry and Hermoine have a spontaneous dance moment felt a bit contrived. It was hard not to feel like they were intentionally trying to emotionally manipulative the audience. We get enough of this from Twilight, lets just leave it out of Potter. Which reminds me…
- Twilight Nod!?: Yes, the “Twilight Vs. Midnight” line in the film is in fact in the book as well BUT something about the way this was shot made it feel like the entire film paused for these couple of lines and brought attention to them. It was worsened by the fact that you could feel people in the audience stop, look at one another and then keep going. Anything that takes you out of the world that the movie has created takes away from the experience and should be cut. So many things get cut from the book to the screen, why is that one important? And to further that, they say it three times and then end with a “Twilight might be better”. Though it probably had nothing to do with the Twilight series it’s hard for audience goers right now not to connect the two and get distracted.
- The END: If you can call it that! This is supposed to be a film, not an episode in a TV series. We don’t have one week to wait for the next “episode” but SEVERAL months. Although I like who got the finale, the abrupt stop felt like an obvious “now you have to pay for another ticket” chop between the two films. It’s no Pirates of the Caribbean 2, but it will leave you pissed you can’t see the rest!
Though this film had some faults I could pick at, it was quite an entertaining film and kept me interested from the action-adventure start, through the emotional moments and to the non-ending.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I in theaters November 19th!