Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Grade: A+

The adventure continues in part one of the final installment in the Harry Potter saga. Voldemort is growing in power and strength. He now has control over the new minister of magic and no one is safe. Harry, Ron and Hermione have decided not to return to Hogwarts, but instead go on a perilous journey to find and destroy all seven of the evil Horcruxes, the key to defeating the Dark Lord. However, the trio doesn’t really know where to begin, so they spend most of their time trying to come up with a plan to find and destroy the Horcruxes. With the world in increasing amounts of danger, they set out on their task, but Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters are searching for Harry Potter. Will they accomplish their task in time?

Deathly Hallows part 1 is probably the best in the Harry Potter series so far. This movie is the darkest, most bleak and most tense movie of the series as well. It is filled with excitement at every turn and manages to through in a few laughs here and there as well. It is a very well balanced movie that flows very nicely and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The visuals in the movie were great. There were many scenes in the movie with great scenery. The battles were very fun to watch. Really just everything about this movie was great. The story was very gripping and there were some pretty terrifying moments. This is not the 11 year old Harry Potter running around having fun with his new friends anymore. This movie fully deserved it’s PG-13 rating, it is pretty terrifying and, at times, somewhat violent. It definitely has some more mature themes to it than its predecessors. The director, David Yates, did a great job with this movie and I can’t wait to see the final installment next July.

I really enjoyed the overall style of the movie. As I said before, it is dark and bleak. In one scene, you see a group of workers inside the Ministry of Magic putting together pamphlets on the “dangers” of muggles and muggle born witches and wizards. The pamphlets look a lot like something you would have seen during the Red Scare when the government was warning people against communists. Similarly, there is an interrogation scene shortly after that is very reminiscent McCarthy’s Un-American Activities Committee from the Red Scare as well. This all really helped portray the overall tone of the movie, which is of course fear.

The movie stars, of course, Daniel Radcliff as Harry Potter. Radcliff keeps getting better and better with every movie. He does a great job of portraying the characters inner torment and his love for his friends. Emma Watson returns as Hermione. Watson does a fantastic job in this movie. I feel that her character showed more emotion than any other in this movie and she played the part perfectly. Rupert Grint is back as Ron Weasley. Grint did a pretty good job with the character, it’s nice to see this character maturing a bit more and gaining some self confidence finally. Ralph Fiennes (Red Dragon, Clash of the Titans) plays the evil Lord Voldemort. Fiennes is an amazing actor and brings his A-game to this role. Voldemort is finally given a significant part in the story and Fiennes does his best to make the character as powerful, menacing and intimidating as possible. The movie also features great performances from Bill Nighy, Bonnie Wright, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Tom Felton, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, George Harris, Natalia Tena, David Thewlis, John Hurt Evanna Lynch, Rhys Ifans and Imelda Staunton.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 is an absolute must for any Harry Potter fan. If you haven’t seen any of the movies, now is the time to watch the first six movies just so you can experience this one. It is fantastic. The movie, of course, leaves you with a huge cliffhanger and I can’t wait until part 2 in July when we can all finally finish the series.

Great quote: “Dobby didn’t mean to kill. Dobby only meant to maim or severely injure.”

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