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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

by

Jeff Nelson

...has many flaws, but that doesn't stop it from being well worth the price of admission.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
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It's a rather difficult task for a filmmaker to take a book and translate it into a film lasting generally an hour and a half to two and a half hours. Two-parters usually piss audiences off because it's essentially just attempting to rake in the cash by releasing two movies instead of one. Is worth spending double to finish the story?

The first installment of the two-part conclusion to the Harry Potter series finds the wizard walking away from his last year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes, putting an end to Voldemort's bid for immortality. With Dumbledore dead and Voldemort's vicious Death Eaters on the loose, the world is more dangerous than ever. As the poster states, this is the beginning of the end. The series is starting to conclude and takes a different approach than the previous films. The comedy meshes a lot more naturally as it doesn't dominate the film and is spread out through the beginning of the film well. Comparing it to the other films in the franchise, it's much darker and is aimed towards a bit of an older audience. However, the largest problem with the screenplay is that it drags a bit later into the film. There are times where the next plot points are predictable. Unlike the other Harry Potter flicks, this one focuses heavily on character development and Harry's gang rather than the magic FX and spells. This allows for the audience to be able to feel closer to the action and feel more involved.

Surprisingly, the side characters barely have any screen time at all. Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, and Ron Weasley are closely followed, which puts a lot of responsibility on the three actors. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint all return as the trio of wizards. Those who have watched all of the films have had the experience of seeing Harry and his friends grow up. These actors have become much stronger actors over the years. Daniel Radcliffe is required to be in a few more emotional scenes than he was placed in earlier in the series. When called upon, Radcliffe brings out emotion without feeling over-the-top. Emma Watson is great and her character goes through a wild emotional roller coaster ride. Watson does so marvelously and breathes life into the role. Rupert Grint has definitely improved with his acting skills. All three actors clearly get along in real life and the chemistry carries over onto the screen nicely.

A lot has changed from the earlier films to this. The visuals department has undoubtedly changed. The cinematography is absolutely stunning throughout. In the scene where Harry and his friends are running in the woods from trouble, the audience has to suffer through handheld action. This leads to not being able to see much of what's going on. Luckily, this lets up rather quickly so that it's not occurring for too long. There aren't many big battles in this film, but the few that are there are entertaining, although they are quite short.

The fact that this was split into two movies has an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that this allows for the filmmakers to focus much more on the elements on the first half of the story and not feel the need to rush through the events. The disadvantage is that those who want to see how it ends have to pay for another ticket if they want to see that ending. The ending of Part 1 will piss off many moviegoers since it ends abruptly. The pacing of the movie isn't the best, but it doesn't take away from the movie. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has many flaws, but that doesn't stop it from being well worth the price of admission.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

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