Friday, November 19, 2010

Movie Review: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1'

Deathly Hallows and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie poster, image property of Warner Bros.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 AWESOME! 
So the hour has come at last!  After a week of hearing me blabber on about Harry Potter movies, books, and celebrities you'll be happy to know that Wizard Week is over!  I won't annoy you anymore!!  Well, I'll write this one teeny little movie review, and then I promise to shut up about wizards and magic.

At least until Part 2 is released.  Then I promise nothing.

I apologize that I didn't get this review up sooner.  I watched the movie at one o'clock this morning, got home at around four, then slept until noon.  If I had gotten up earlier, I could have written it before work, but I didn't.  So I went to work and got home at about 8:00 PM.  Then I spent a couple of hours trying to convince Brian that we should go to the theater and see it again tonight, but he said no, no, no.  So here I am, wishing that I was watching the movie for a second time.  It's probably for the better, because I need to write this review.

So here goes.  This movie is amazing.  No, it's astounding.  It's breathtaking, stupendous, astonishing, extraordinary, impressive.  It's every positive word you can find in the thesaurus.  Dear God, I love this movie!

A coworker of mine said the movie was "perfect" and what he loved most about the movie was the fact that it took it's time.  I don't think he meant that it was painstakingly slow or dull, but that it wasn't overly rushed.  Although I love all of the Harry Potter movies, sometimes they move along at a frenetic pace without a moment to register what you just saw.  This one, however, had really great pacing.  It really did allow plenty of time for some of the slower, more human moments.  We were able to discover something new, soak it in, and really savor it before moving on to the next major plot point.

Quite a lot does happen though.  They fight some Death Eaters, sneak into the Ministry of Magic, fight some Death Eaters, get attacked by a snake, fight some Death Eaters, destroy a horcrux, run from some snatchers, fight more death eaters, and dig a grave.  I don't want to give too much away, but there really is plenty of action.  Plenty of scares.  Plenty of heartache. 

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) have grown into spectacular adults and their performances in this movie are really top-notch.  We see them in a whole new light in this film.  For starters, they aren't at Hogwarts.  In fact, they don't know where they are most of the time.  They are on the run, living in secret, and tempers flare, feelings are hurt, and doubt seeps into everything.  They are put under enormous stress, and we've never seen them more human.  The film has such a raw feeling at times.  We see Ron at his ugliest and Hermione at her most vulnerable.

The scene where Ron and Harry's arguing escalates to the point where Ron leaves them is acted so well.  I was really impressed with their performances here, especially Ron.  But my favorite scene would have to be the scene where Harry tries cheering Hermione up by dancing with her.  It's not from the book, so people might not like it, but it's beautiful.  It's goofy and tender and so understated.  In that one scene I was able to comprehend not only Hermione's love for Ron, but also for Harry in a way I never have before.  Harry and Hermione do love each other, but as close friends.  Almost family.  And Harry trying his hardest to reach out to her, and comfort her is very moving.  And you can see how much she needs Harry.  And how much she misses Ron.  It's just perfect.

And it's moments like this one that really elevate this movie, at least in my opinion.  Sure there's plenty of laughter, and plenty of magic, but the movie feels so much more personal than others have.  The movie is deeper and more poignant than any other Potter movie.

This movie also boasts superb direction by David Yates, exquisite cinematography by Eduardo Serra, a splendid screenplay by Steve Kloves, and Alexandre Desplat's score is the greatest since John Williams.  There really is a lot to love about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

My only complaint is that I was left wanting the conclusion to the story!  I need Part 2 now! 

Love movies?  Check out my Movie Page!
For Brian's review of this movie, click here.

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