Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1
I’ve never been a huge Harry Potter fan. Nothing in the books or movies seems as creative to me as Labyrinth or The Neverending Story. Prisoner of Azkaban was a good movie and Goblet of Fire had the magic tournament. Usually as long as there’s enough to look at, I can get by. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 is the worst of all the Harry Potter movies. This is the most bored I’ve been watching one.
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) go on the run because Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is sending dark smoke clouds after them. Well, after Harry. Teleporting between London and various forests, their relationships get strained and they learn more about the backstory between Harry and Voldemort.
At this point, the mythology has gotten so dense that there’s really no room for a casual viewer. That means it’ll be great for the die hards. You guys probably had to wait around while the other movies caught all us laymen up. Now you can just dive hardcore into the horcruxes and Sword of Gryffindor.
There are still some pretty scenes to look at, but I have no idea what was going on in this film. Harry has to find the sword to destroy all the horcruxes. That’s about all I picked up. The trio goes to different characters to find more information. They encounter some new characters who cause trouble. I don’t know what they were talking about with any of them.
The deluminator is a cool idea. Ron uses that once or twice. The cloned Harrys look good. There’s action but no excitement. A freeway chase is just a collection of effects. A wand battle in a diner is sort of like a gunfight, and Hermione is the Chow Yun-Fat role, but it’s short. It doesn’t take long to cast a spell against someone.
Now there’s lots of handheld camera, so even the Harry Potter series copied that. It still looks like the Harry Potter world with overcast light and a foresty color scheme, even without the Hogwarts castle. You do get to see some of the old characters again, like Wormtail (Timothy Spall) and Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) so there’s a throwback.
It’s still a LOT of talking though. The film opens with Voldemort’s sinister council talking about their plans. It’s a long exposition scene. A character’s death isn’t even shown. It’s only spoken about, since presumably Harry didn’t witness it. That may be the script consolidating the story, but it seems like something I remember reading in the earlier Rowling books. She talks about things instead of showing them. The movies just represent that.
Ron’s frustrations sort of represent me. He gives voice to the repetitive nature of the series, but it barely affects the story. It’s like Rowling knows she’s supposed to include themes of jealousy, insecurity and betrayal, but she doesn’t do anything with them. It’s just now he’s mad, and then they talk about it, and then they talk about something else.
Maybe it’s just not cute anymore because they’re so grown up, or maybe the plot has finally collapsed on the story. I’m certainly not going to read any more of them (I stopped after Goblet of Fire) but maybe someone who did read them can explain it to me. And I’m sure you won’t hold back.