August 15, 2011

Rabid Rewind: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One
starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emmat Watson, and Rupert Grint
directed by David Yates
written by Steve Cloves; based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Warner Bros. (2010)

I was quite resistant to the whole Harry Potter phenomenon a decade ago. What a difference ten years can make.

It's coming to the end now, and at the end of the summer there won't be any more Harry Potter movies--lord willin'. I have enjoyed them all, mind you, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

With Deathly Hallows, we're to be treated to two movies, which is reasonable considering the sizable nature of the source material. The books seem to grow by an extra hundred pages with each installment. This time, Harry is on the run, as Voldemort and his roving band of evil wizards impose their will on the wizarding world and seek to kill the bespectacled "chosen one."

As the movie played out, I found myself swept up yet again in the adventures of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. And it really was their movie this time around, as they took up the vast majority of the screen time. As I recall from past films, there was plenty of room to feature the long-standing supporting cast. This time, however, much of those familiar characters fell to the wayside, as the teenage trio spent much of the film on the run and on their own.

I think I criticized the book the same way, but I'll state again that Deathly Hallows abandons a lot of that childish mystery and wonder, complemented by a mosaic of characters, and instead focuses on a narrowly focused cat-and-mouse chase that really only acts as distraction and time-killing before the ultimate face-off between Harry and Voldemort--you'll have to wait for Part Two for that gem.

I liked this movie, but the climax isn't nearly as monumental as past Harry Potter films. That's to be expected, I suppose, when you chop a book in half and offer up all the stage-setting of the first half as its own movie. It's worth watching, yes, but I think I should have waited until I could have watched Part One and Part Two back to back.


  1. Agreed - and part two was all climax. Unfortunately, it was probably studio concern over revenue, rather than source material, which drove the decision to cut the story.

  2. No doubt.

    "Hey, why make one movie for ravenous fans who hate their movie, when we can chop that 600 page behemoth in two?"