"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Everything in the "Harry Potter" franchise has led up to this. This movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1", adapts the last novel in J.K. Rowling's bestselling book series, and fans have been waiting for a decade to experience the end of this beloved film series. Unfortunately, however, this movie disappoints a bit as it is the slowest and oddest entry into the entire movie franchise, which is somewhat saved by some fantastic action sequences and enjoyable characters.
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) all know that they can't return to Hogwarts for their final year. After the death of Dumbledore in the previous film, they are now tasked with hunting down and destroying all of Voldemort's Horcruxes, which will finally kill the dark wizard everyone is scared of. However, tensions between the famous trio run high as they are now conflicted by their feelings for one another, which is also influenced by the dark power of the Locket, one of Voldemort's most famous Horcrux.
This is without a doubt the most different film in the entire franchise. Hogwarts, which is the famous school that our wizards attend, is not present at all in this movie; instead, Harry and his gang spend most of the time in the woods throughout the movie. The film focuses solely on our three characters, and many fan-favorites are either not present or briefly in this movie. The filmmakers made the decision to rely solely on our main actors to tell the story, which puts a lot of pressure on our three young stars. I think they all did a phenomenal job, but the plot and the story just aren't there for me.
After a while, the viewer feels restless from all of the wandering around in the woods. We get it - they're on a hunt to destroy the Horcruxes, but it seems like they dragged it on for way too long. They could have easily made this book, which has been split into two films, into one movie, and could have cut out a lot of the filler scenes.
Essentially, that's basically what this movie is: a filler movie. The filmmakers are just trying to set up the high-stakes battle in the final film, but they definitely did it in all of the wrong ways. Don't get me wrong - Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson are incredible in this movie, and perhaps give some of their best performances in this franchise. But, I think we could have gone without a full-on nude make-out scene between Harry and Hermione.
The picture does deliver on some fantastic action sequences however, especially the Nagini scene in Godric's Hollow. These scenes are incredibly shot, and up to this point in time, are some of the best action sequences we have ever received from this franchise. But, they're too far in between to actually make this movie as enjoyable as the previous installments.
The humor, as well, does save this film quite a bit. One of my favorite scenes from this movie is when Ron (who is disguised as a regular Ministry businessman via Polyjuice Potion) worries about his wife being on trial, when Harry reminds him that he doesn't have a wife. It just seems very in-character for Ron, and I love how they added some of his classic humor in this extremely dark movie.
I can appreciate what the filmmakers and Warner Bros. were trying to go for with this movie, but I think this movie could have been done a lot better. It just seems like a waste of a film as they could have added much more to this franchise using this movie. It does perfectly set up the last film, but it's a pain to have to watch this film all over again when you're already prepared for the final battle.