Movie #59 Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1
(2010, UK/US, d. David Yates)
If there’s one thing that this film did, it’s prove that Yates is far and away the man for the job to end this incredible series. I’ve grown up with these books, as did many. I remember reading the first book in September of 1998 and the addiction that started then has not abated once. I even remember once in the 4th grade praying to the poster of the then upcoming fourth installment of the book. So naturally, the end of this series is very bittersweet for me, and therefore I must examine the film from a fan’s point as well as a critical point. I’ll start with the latter. The writers crunched a lot – an understatement – of the last book into this film. It ends with the Dark Lord getting possession of the Elder Wand and a certain memorable character meeting his demise after a trip to the Malfoy Manor. I don’t know where they’re going with the next one – I’m guessing making the most large-scale fight sequence at Hogwarts that can be fathomed – since they covered everything here. Visually and stylistically, this movie gets an A. The story of the Three Brothers was beautiful as was a lot of panorama shots and color. A special shout-out has got to go the Production Designer Stuart Craig – who created an incredible world for these actors to play in (the actors who, by the way excelled in their performances, especially Radcliffe as Potter). I must say, critically, it was a little underwhelming and I think The Half-Blood Prince was a better adaptation. However, that said, I must move on to “fan mode”: Everything in the book is included here. Apart from the touching scene of leaving the Dursleys that’s so incredibly written in the novel, it’s all here and it was really hard to not cheer and clap at every little thing they got right. I loved watching the film and feeling like even stylistically, they were getting more mature as the characters were. Setting a majority of the film in the “real world” really cemented that. All in all, from a fan’s standpoint: an awesome ride. I’d see it again.