Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Director: David Yates
Year: 2010
Country: UK

It finally arrived, the first part of the final chapter in the Harry Potter film series, it is finally here. Almost ten years after the first (with the second part beeing released exactly ten years later) we finally get the beginning of the end of this enchanting series that marked my childhood and a generation. What was probably the most expected movie of the year was far from a disapointment, an utter failure that puts the other to shame. No, it was totally the contrary. It was surprisingly better than expected, and it may become one of the best Harry Potter films. And though I am not sure if its better than Prisoner of Azkaban or Goblet of Fire, it is still a fantastic entry to the series, and who knows? maybe with Part II, regarding Deathly Hallows as a whole, we'll get the best of the series. But we'll have to wait until July 2011, but in the mean time let me tell you what I thought about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I.

Harry Potter is about to turn 17 and the mark that the ministry has upon him will vanish, but until then they can track every movement he makes. Harry is moved then to the Burrow, Ron's place, to be safe until this mark is broken. The place is later attacked by the death eaters, following the fall of the ministry, and Harry, Ron and Hermione see themselves forced to leave the burrow and are unable to attend their new year at Hogwarts. But they have a difficult task ahead of them: find the remaining Horcruxes, the objects were parts of Voldemort's soul are hidden, and destroy them. And on their journey they won't only have to face the common dangers one would expect, like coming across a couple of blood thirsty deatheaters or having to face nasty creatures, but also what can be the hardest mission they may ever have to undergo: survive as their friendship deteriorates slowly.

Well, the first part of the finale of this epic series was more than satisfying, and while it may not be perfect and may not be the best, it is still an incredible and exciting journey to take.

Part of what's wonderful about this film is how David Yates shot it. I have always had some doubts about David Yates as director of this films. He seems that he prefers to make the film dark and add his style rather than to deliver the story. But it seems that for this film he has learned his lesson. I'd say this is his directorial masterpiece within the series, not to mention the best of the ones he has directed. The way he directed the film, with the beautiful shots of the British landscapes or the thrilling action scenes, he has finally achieved what seemed he was looking for from the beginning: to deliver the story without sacrificing his style. And of course his dark tone wasn't tossed out in this film. He keeps the film dark, but without leaving out the joy or funny moments, like he did in the fifth film. So, in a way, he finally delivered what he wanted to do, making this his best directorial effort in the series plus the best of the three he has directed.

The acting is astounding too. The tree main actors, Daniel Racliffe, Ruppert Grint and Emma Watson have improved alot since they first put on their cloaks and grabbed their wands. They are grown actors now and they are able to deliver the emotions to their characters and are also able to carry out their scenes perfectly. I'd say that probably Ruppert Grint is the best one out of the three, but Radcliffe and Watson are also vry good in their roles too. Other than them, there are plenty of actors that shine in this film. Ralph Fiennes, who plays the evil Lord Voldemort, is as fantastic as in his previous films. He inpires a menacing and fearful feeling to any one who sets eye upon him. Helena Boham Carter is also marvellous as the insane Bellatrix Lestrange, although I think that she did a better job in 5 and 6. Brendan Gleeson, Mad Eye Moody, is also great though his performance has decreased too.

But what's really especial about this film is the excitement the film provides to the long time Harry Potter viewers. Its not only the flashy and awesome special effects (including the battle on broomsticks, the monster within the locket, the patronuses, the dementors, the spells, the snake, etc) or the thrilling action sequences (including the battle on broomstics -again-, the numerous chases like the one in the ministry, the deatheaters scenes, etc), but the big feeling that all fans will get while watching this film. And while I was in between nostalgia and excitement, the film finally did the trick with me and made me forget all about nostalgia and focus on excitement.

While we still have to wait to see the end in July, I can already feel the excitement of the final conclusion. In the book, the second half has more action and possibly more excitement, so I can't wait for Part II! So Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is a very exciting film that all Potter fans will love, despite a few unspecified problems here and there.
My recommendation: A must see for all HP fans; for others, you might want to watch the previous films in the series in order to fully understand and enjoy this one, but it is worth the shot
My score: This is a little difficult. I want to rate it high, but I would be kidding myself. I guess I'll give the film a 92 in a Potter scale (a 92 in the series, with 100 being Goblet of Fire which is my favorite) but a, lets say, 84 in a real film scale. I think I'm satisfied with that.
It is still almost 8 months away, but I'm already starting to feel the excitement for the next one!

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