And the award for longest blog post title goes to… MOVIE NEWS: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1! Take a bow, blog post! You’ve earned it.
Anyway, if you’ve read the “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Harry Potter” feature in the November issue of OWL — or pretty much any other website, newspaper, or magazine in the last six months — you know the first part of the final chapter in the Harry Potter film franchise comes out today. I saw it at a preview screening earlier this week and I’m here to share some thoughts.
At this point in the series Hogwarts is pretty much a distant memory, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione are wholly engaged in a battle of good vs. evil with the fate of the entire world at stake (no pressure!). They need to take off on their own to find fiendish Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes* in order to make him mortal.
Here are a few observations I had about the movie:
1) It’s engrossing. From the very first minute we’re locked into the action and it doesn’t let up until the final scene. Even the quiet moments for Harry, Ron, and Hermione are infused with tension and drama. That’s all thanks to great acting from the film’s three stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.
2) It’s scary. Fans know that the books and films get darker and scarier as the series goes along. However, let me reiterate: this is easily the darkest and scariest film in the series. Voldemort is ruthless and our favourite characters are in mortal trouble at all times — they spend loads of time running from danger and hiding in dark woods, etc. Also, the “Deathly” in the title is no overstatement. Like I said: mortal trouble.
3) It feels like a Part 1 of 2. Better yet, it feels like a Part 7 of 8. What I mean is a lot of the movie feels like it’s devoted to setting up the final movie — not telling its own story. For instance, we find out what the Deathly Hallows are, but we don’t see how they come into play. I know this set-up will be integral to understanding the next movie in the series, but it doesn’t stand on its own as well as the other flicks.
Overall, I liked this movie for what it was. It’s also made me really anxious to see The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (which comes out July 15, 2011), which promises to be an action-packed climax to end all climaxes.
Finally, while Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is an absolute must-see for fans, it’s not a good introduction to the series for non-fans. If you don’t know the series, start with the first book and movie and work your way up to this one.
Talk to you next week, all!
* For non-fans: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling once described a horcrux as a “receptacle in which a dark wizard has hidden a part of his soul for the purposes of attaining immortality.” The more you know!