Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By: Tim Fulgham
On Nov. 16, 2001, a young boy, who may or may not have been named Tim, went to see “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Already having read the first four novels, he immediately welcomed the film adaptation. Flash forward nine years and three days, four different directors and two crappy adaptations “Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince” and the young boy, now turned adult, was pleased to witness the first part to the conclusion of one of the most popular franchises of today.
Directed by David Yates, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1,” follows Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reprising their roles as beloved characters Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley, respectively, as they journey towards defeating Lord Voldemort. However, they must first destroy all seven Horcruxes, severing his ties to mortality.
David Yates has finally proven himself as a director; after two butchered adaptations, he actually pleases with the first part to the finale of Harry Potter. Despite a vast majority of the novel itself entailing the trio camping out in the woods while Voldemort and his minions take over the Ministry of Magic, as well as wreaking havoc upon the world, the film is action-packed. Rather than spending chapters in the woods, Yates incorporated the camp scenes in such a way that it wasn’t boring, nor was time moving slowly; leaving the audience with nothing to do but reach for their cellular devices.
Like many adaptations, scenes were cut or added, and Yates did a particularly excellent job incorporating Dumbledore’s backstory, as well as the actual legend of the titular Deathly Hallows themselves. J.K. Rowling is a terrific novelist, but her sense of timing wasn’t on par when she picked up her magnifying glass and seemingly said, “Oh, wait. Here my lovely readers, Dumbledore has HISTORY.” It was a little too much, a little too late. However, Yates squeezed it in nicely, especially for those who have yet to read the novels.
Another nice touch added to the film was in the opening scene where Hermione obliviates the memories of her parents, causing them to forget about her entirely. This aspect wasn’t given too much focus in the novel, but the scene is just so heart-wrenching and really draws attention to the severity of the final battle approaching.
For those looking for action, look no further; it’s incredibly action packed, with plenty of good wizarding battles. One thing that the “Harry Potter” films have had going for them all of these years is the realistic effects that they boast. Even the almost cheesy CGI fairy tale scene looked cool! The film is engrossing, even for those who swear by the book and call the films utter blasphemy.
With all films, “Part 1” had its cons, the largest of them being that it just kept going. The movie ends around chapters 24-27; there are only 36 chapters in the novel. It would have been better to just shoot the movie as a whole and run for four hours (a la “Lord of the Rings”) or just shown “Part 1” and “Part 2” back-to-back. Despite this, the choice to forgo screening it in 3D was wonderful. The best way to see “Harry Potter” is in IMAX, without babies in the crowd.
Despite the fact that the wait between “Part 1” and “Part 2” seems like an extremely long bathroom break and some aspects were left out, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” is amazing. It’s one amazing prelude to the finale that arrives in July!
Photo from: zath.co.uk