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Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows Part 1

January 3, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

This is one of the rare occasions where I think the film actually did a better job than the book.  Now, the book obviously has two parts and the second part of the book is extremely good (minus the epilog which should have never been written Rowling), but the pacing of the first part of the book tends to be slow and tedious with more detail written into it than needed and it just slows down the book as a whole.  The film maintains much of that detail, but they can show it instead of having to put it down in words, and that speeds up the pacing to a respectable speed.

The story comes together as well as we approach Harry’s 17th birthday at which time the magical protection on his Aunt and Uncles house will be up.  So the Order plans out a way to move Harry to a safe location.  Things don’t go as planned as death eaters attack the party the minute they leave.  Harry and most of the wizards helping him are able to make it back safely, but Mad-Eye Moody gets taken out.  Harry is safe for a while until the death eaters figure out a way to get into the safe house and Harry, Ron, and Hermione are forced to flee and Harry decides that they need to start taking out the horcruxes that Voldemort has created in order to kill him.  Things don’t go as planned and there is a falling out with Ron leaving.  During this time Voldemort tries to take out Harry again, and they find out about the Deathly Hallows, three items used to control death and figure out that Voldemort wants to get an unbeatable wand.  Things don’t go all that well and Harry gets captured, but he is able to escape.

The acting performances are quite solid in this film.  It was a shame that Snape wasn’t in the film more because Alan Rickman is a very good actor and a very good Snape.  Helena Bonham Carter reprises her role as LeStrange and does a good job in that role.  When it comes to the main characters, I think that Daniel Radcliffe is probably the weak acting link out of the three.  Rupert Grint has showed notable improvement as Ron and Emma Watson has a good acting career ahead of her as long as she can shake the type casting from such a well known role. Bill Nighy is in only a very little of this film, but is a quite overbearing and sniveling politician and plays it quite well.

This film is likely visually ahead of any of the other films, but also visually simpler in many ways.  There are no grand Hogwarts scenes that require some magnificent test to be done or any Quidditch to be shown.  The story is in many ways darker, and slower moving.  There are still plenty of chances to show off impressive broom flying and flying motorcycles, but overall it is much better than previous films because it doesn’t ask for as much to be shown.  It will be interesting to see the final film because of how epically large the final fight scene is going to end up being.  David Yates does a better job with this Harry Potter film than his previous two, which were two of the better ones anyways.

For a fan of Harry Potter this film is a must see even if you’ve just read the books, you can jump in at this point of the movies and be just fine if not better off than those who have just watched the film.  If you haven’t seen any of them before,  you could jump in here if you wanted, but going through and watching all the films (or better yet reading all the books) is the better way to go.  But this is technically the best Harry Potter film and leaves you wanting the second half to come out now and to not have to wait for it.

Critical Grade: B-

Entertainment Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B

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