Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – Sacrifice and loss is no stranger to these three.
The film opens with a diabolical meeting, and scenes of the sacrifices being made by Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). Things get edge of your seat thrilling as magical doppelgangers make a mad dash to safety fraught with danger and Death Eaters, an ill timed wedding with uninvited guests, and horrifying Death Eater attacks that don’t seem to let up and give the audience time for a breather. Muggle-born wizards are being hunted and persecuted as part of the Ministry’s new regime headed by a smug Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) and her henchmen. With Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) reigning supreme, the entire wizarding world is living and breathing in terror. Add to that a risky Mission Impossible-esque mission into the Ministry of Magic by Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and the adrenaline factor is one that will severely raise the blood pressure.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – A diabolical meeting.
Hogwarts, a staple of the Harry Potter movies is a place that is no longer safe for Harry, and so Harry, Hermione, and Ron spend the rest of the movie literally running for their lives. The absence of the guiding and reassuring presence of Dumbledore was palpable, and it was obvious that the trio of characters felt his absence keenly, though they did try their best to make up for the lack and act like adults trying to handle a seemingly impossible situation. Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s search for the Horcruxes is like a macabre treasure hunt and the prize is a battle to the death with the Dark Lord himself. It is clear that Harry and his friends were going to need every bit of knowledge and skill they had gathered and learned throughout the years as it would all come into play now here in the end.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – On the run.
The bleakness of the triad’s sojourn in the woods is amplified by an intense feeling of isolation and desperation. We see Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s relationship tested in ways that it hasn’t been tested before. What makes it worse is that each and every one of them is suffering and severely bruised by the sacrifices they have had to make, and the horror of events leading up to their taking refuge in the woods. They are alone in a way they have never been before and things are looking grave.
The film’s high octane moments are tempered with the odd moment of much needed humor to ease the tension, and at times lengthy lulls before the storm. However, it is here during these lulls and silent contemplations, where we are granted images of some of the most wonderful and poignant intimacy between our main characters, and some of the supporting characters. We are also treated to the intriguing mythology of The Deathly Hallows and the book The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which is simply brilliant. It is also during these moments where we delve even deeper into the phenomenal and mystical world of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010) – Things are looking grave.
The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 gives Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson the chance to prove what talented actors they have become. Rhys Ifans makes a brilliant appearance as Luna Lovegood’s father, a man forced to make a terrible choice, and Bill Nighy (a.k.a. Viktor from the Underworld movies) plays the new Minister of Magic in a superb fashion.
Dobby who once audiences may have found irritating is a character that now can only garner the most poignant of feelings. Bellatrix exhibits how devoid of sentiment or empathy she really is, Malfoy gives us pause in our thinking. As for Voldemort, he demonstrates to us just how evil he really can be, and you will leave the theater never doubting that he is the most evil and feared wizard of all.
Steve Cloves has developed another masterful screenplay, and the score composed by Alexandre Desplat adds drama and heightens the emotional force of the film. David Yates has managed to deliver yet again a film dazzling in intensity, offering us moments of powerful visceral strength, and emotional depths of such magnitude as has only been hinted at in the previous films.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010) – Will Voldemort rule the wizarding world?
The decision to split The Deathly Hallows into two parts was a wise decision, as there is a horde of detail and story to tell. And despite its PG-13 rating, this is not a kids’ movie anymore. Everyone has grown up (or grown older), and this is a film that doesn’t shy away from that fact.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is close to being but not quite everything we have been waiting for as the culmination of a decade’s worth of storytelling. However, let’s remember that it is not over yet; it’s only the tip of the iceberg, and it is definitely a worthwhile opening for an epic finale. I have high hopes for Part 2 which is due to be released in 3D on July 15, 2011.