Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part One
Only a muggle living under a rock wouldn’t know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One is the first half of the final installment of the uber franchise about a boy wizard and his mates.
As such, it is one of the most anticipated movies of the year and one which marks a distinct change in the Harry Potter experience. It’s dark. Really dark.
This time around there is little fun and frivolity as Harry, Hermoine and Ron hunt down and destroy horcruxes, a kind of jewel that would enable Lord Voldemort to become immortal.
From the beginning they are under attack by their enemies, while muggles are also under attack in a kind of Nazi-style persecution of Jewish people back during the war.
There is a lot of depth and emotion as Daniel Radcliffe (Potter), Emma Watson (Hermoine) and Rupert Grint (Ron) show just how they have matured during their 10-year reign as wizardry wonders. These three take centre stage as characters such as Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter’s Lord Voldemont and Bellatrix Lestrange step to the side a little. It is a move sure to delight fans of the stars.
Hermoine is a particular stand-out in the movie, with Ron predicting her dominance early in the film when he praises her gifts with spells. Watson is measured in her performance, bringing a quiet strength to Hermoine, who becomes the glue that holds the movie and the trio together. A little is made of her growing relationship with Ron, but this is confusing and at times so subtle you wonder if they're even dating. Hermoine does share a very raunchy un-Potter-like scene with Harry though.
Visually, Deathly Hallows is very striking. Sweeping, bleak landscapes replace the architecturally intricate schools and locations of yore. At times the locations are a little reminiscent of the later installments in the Lord of the Rings movies and this feeling is amplified by scenes in which the wearer of the horcrux becomes irrationally angry and aggressive. Uh, Frodo and the Ring anyone?
While this, the seventh Harry Potter movie, might be rather dark, it is tempered with moments of humour. Just the thought of Rhys Ifans playing a character called “Lovegood” is worth a laugh.
Happily most people seem to agree that the movie is quite faithful to the book. However, the last 20 minutes or so run a bit long as the director sets up the ending to run into the final, final installment due out July 14, 2011.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part One is in cinemas from November 18.