Film Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. Directed by David Yates, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) drop out of Hogwarts to seek the remaining Horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). On their journey, the trio learn about The Deathly Hallows, three sacred objects that together could also help them on their way. Following Voldemort’s return and Dumbledore’s death, they must sneak into the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts itself whilst having to remain hidden from the dark takeover of Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

Being the seventh book, the film skips over a lot of the explanation. You’re expected to have some basic knowledge of the story – who the characters are and why they can use magic for just about everything – but, with the exception of my housemate, who hasn’t read/watched at least one of the books/films?

At two and a half hours long I did expect a little more, though; you need more than one hand to count parts that the film had missed out. Dudley’s goodbye to Harry may not seem like an important part of the film as a whole, but was a part of the book which gave a heartwarming end to their relationship. More important scenes of the book, possibly even vital ones, were also excluded such as the story of Dumbledore’s family and how Harry didn’t really know him at all, the letter from Harry’s parents to Sirius, and Kreacher’s tale about Regulus. Although these could be replaced into the second part of the film, it’s more likely that they’ll be skipped right out.

After a decade of the main cast working together, with the addition of a few other characters, the relationship between the cast has become one that the fans can truly admire; the Weasley family, especially, make you laugh in all the right places, and the loss of some brings a tear to your eye (I had to hold back the tears at Dobby’s final words – “Such a beautiful place to be with friends”). Emma’s acting could not be faulted, Rupert’s had really evolved from his nervous ‘bloody hell’ phrased character, but Daniel’s seemed somewhat awkward with a lack of emotion in most places.

The film itself was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and in times was quite dark, maybe even scary for the younger audience. But the only criticism that the film can really be given is whether the ending was the right way to go. Could there have been a better cliff-hanger for those who do not know what to expect from the second part of the film? To be honest, I don’t know. It had to end somewhere, and it was always going to be an inconvenience (Especially now that we have to wait 8 months for the next part!) Personally, it wasn’t something that could ruin the film for me, but it could have been done in many better ways.

Although I found a lot to criticise about the film, I was genuinely pleased with its outcome. Noted, it didn’t quite fulfil the excitement that I had been holding in all day, but I still believe that as the final film, or at least the first part of it, it was a brilliant adaptation and will place somewhere at the top of my favourite Harry Potter films.

Now, we just have to impatiently wait until 15th July, 2011 for Part 2!

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