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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

By Christina Samuel • July 10th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Release Date: November 19th, 2010
Running Time: 146 minutes

Director: David Yates
Composer: Alexandre Desplat

Producers: David Heyman, David Barron J. K. Rowling

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Official Movie Site

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the first in a two part telling of the last book in the Harry Potter series that has griped the globe. Directed by David Yates; who also directed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the film has gone beyond expectations and was performed admirably. Yates had steadily darkened the tone of each subsequent film and ‘Part 1’ of the Hallows adventure was no exception.

The film begins with snippets of the characters’ lives as they are all uprooted from the lives they have led thus far; Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) makes the decision to erase her parents memories to protect them; Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) is left without a home after the horrific attack on the burrow in the last film and is adjusting to that; while Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is taken from the infamous No 4 Privet Drive for the last time in a daring escape that grows deadly as they are ambushed.

The tone is set for the rest of the film and danger surrounds our heroes (and heroine) as they quest to discover the Horcruxes (pieces of the evil soul of Lord Voldemort) and destroy them. During their quest the mystery of the Deathly Hallows surrounds them as they try to figure out the meaning of the clues left to them by Albus Dumbledore.

Ralph Fiennes returns as Voldemort, said to be one of cinema’s “most terrifying and merciless villains” and I can’t help but agree. His interaction with the Death Eaters, his mostly zealous followers, is frightening and the tension and fear can almost be tasted as he interacts with Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) a character that had never been seen before as anything other than polished and regal, but is now fearful, hesitant and powerless, reduced to this state by Voldemort, his own Lord.

Voldemort discovers that he needs to find a method to overcome the effect of having a brother wand to Harry Potter, the boy he wishes to kill but cannot. We are informed of his decisions and quest to find a solution “as if his life depends on it,” by Harry who has visions that he cannot or will not block from his mind. It is an interesting way to tell Fiennes part of the story and mirrors the flashes of Voldemort’s triumphs and failures from the book.

The tone of being without a home is carried throughout the film as Hogwarts is not featured or seen in the entire film. It has always been a home to Harry Potter as opposed to the house he shared with his relatives for ten years and the school that sheltered the children since they were eleven. The audience is presented with three teenagers that have to grow up far quicker than they would ordinarily, not protected by the halls of Hogwarts anymore and without the safety of teachers; Radcliffe, Watson and Grint portray their characters’ uncertainties and fears about being in the world fantastically, as both diehard fans and “newbies” realize quite quickly that being out in the open is dangerous.

As the characters survive in a tent through harsh weather, the occasional brush with the “snatchers” and living in such close quarters with each other both Harry and Ron’s temper’s explode and are expedited by the evil piece of Voldemort’s soul trapped in the locket, and Ron leaves, devastating Hermione and leaving his two friends feeling abandoned and hurt by his accusations.

Although there are obvious deviations from the books as transferring the words on the pages to the screen is difficult, I felt it was done very well. The emotion, urgency and mission were unchanged and steady descent into darkness that the books have carried is brought forth with this film. Ron’s rescue of Harry and his reunion with the trio is one of the most heart-warming scenes of the film and Grint and Watson do Harry Potter fans proud and is one of my favourite parts of the film, along with Harry’s typical teenage attempt at comforting up his heartbroken best friend; it was both funny and moving.

I believe the film ended at a great stopping point in preparation for the next film and I can’t wait till Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 graces the big screen.


Christina Samuel

Christina Samuel

Christina is a 21 year old film lover with very particular tastes, which range from Fantasy and ‘some’ Science Fiction to Martial Arts but do not extend to anything to do with “space.” A devotee of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter on an epic scale – but still able to appreciate the classics in the form of anything James Dean related.

Christina happens to be a closet feminist with an appreciation for most marvel movies, and believes Adrian Brody’s nose should be admired and have a starring role one day. An acquired taste to many, but eventually loved by the masses.

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