Film Lock: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Film Lock: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

I can tell you right off the bat that this is going to be a tough one to review. Given how long the franchise has been running and how monumentally successful it’s been, judging it as its own movie as opposed to another movie in the Harry Potter series has to be a real challenge. But, in spite of all that, here’s my review of the first half of the Harry Potter series’s final chapter.

For those who don’t know already: Lord Voldemort has taken over the wizarding world, and it’s up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione to stop him. To stop him, they have to track down the Horcruxes that hold the various fragments of Voldemort’s soul; only then can Voldemort die. They do this while constantly being chased by Lord Voldemort’s forces and watching their friends and loved ones drop like flies around them. Naturally, the main cast is still holding out, with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson all in as fine form as they’ve always been, as are the supporting cast.

One thing that can always be said for a Harry Potter film is the way they’re able to condense fairly long stories into good-sized movies, and this one thankfully continues that trend. The special effects are much more tastefully done in this film than they were in the last two films, and overall it seems more focused. There’s also an interesting shift when the actual story of the Deathly Hallows is being told where it goes into a shadowy, abstract animation depicting the story of the three brothers without any dialogue. Very well-handled.

Unfortunately, the movie is drawn back by a slight but not overwhelming sensation that the people involved would rather the franchise just end already so that everyone can move on with their lives. There’s also this very silly scene in which one of the Horcruxes is opened, and Ron sees some kind of smoke ghost image of Harry and Hermione insulting him and then making out in front of him. It’s too over-the-top to be taken seriously.

Still, if you liked the Harry Potter movies up to now, you’ll probably like this one also, so it’s very much worth seeing. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 gets eight stars out of ten. You can watch it at the Ashland Street Cinema from November 22 to November 25.