Movie Recap: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Posted: November 27, 2010 in movie reviews
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So, I know I owe you guys like 2 weeks worth of Glee recaps…so to make up for it, you’re going to get my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

You ready? I know I can’t wait.

The Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

*side note* I love the above poster with Hogwart’s burning. It’s so haunting.

The Players: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman…the list goes on and on.

Initial Impressions Before Watching It: The trailers left me with chills and left me wanting more. This book is definitely my favorite book of the series. It’s so dark and so powerful, and I love it. I wanted the movie to be exactly how I pictured it in my mind while reading, while all the same, knowing it can’t be that way because then the movie would be too damn long. Previous movies the plot felt rushed and I felt the took out a lot of my favorite parts of the books. I hoped this 7th movie would do the book justice.

What this movie is about? Harry, Ron, and Hermonie seek out Dumbledore’s last wishes in order to get rid of Voldemort, while trying to stay alive. There’s much more to it than that, but unless you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read the books, seen the movies, or watched a trailer. The above sentence should sum it up quite nicely.

My Review: My review is difficult. While I felt this was the first movie that was shot well, included story, and could stand alone without having read the book, I also felt like it didn’t do the book justice, and left out the most amazing parts of the story. Maybe it’s because I just love the book so much it’s hard to be impartial. But the movie could have been longer. I could have sat through 3 more hours of it. I felt like it was just getting started and it definitely did not feel like 2 1/2 hours. But I digress…

Quit reading if you haven’t read the books or seen the movies because this next part includes…SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!


Pros (What I liked about the movie)

1) Acting was a lot better. While Daniel Radcliff needs a little help, I thought Emma and Rupert did an excellent job. Especially Emma. This movie would not be the same with out Hermonie. And there was something about Rupert that made him extremely attractive – even though he’s not good looking – persay.

2) The Cinematography was fantastic. I love the huge landscapes. It really felt like a road trip movie and the vast shots were a perfect reflection as to how alone they all were. There was one shot in particular, I loved. When the three first arrived at Grimuald place and were sleeping together in one room. Hermonie was on the couch, her arm dangling over, and Ron was on the floor, his hand sticking out toward her hand. Almost as if they were holding hands, only they were far apart. It was nice foreshadowing.

3) There was story. Being split into two parts definitely helped this movie. The movie was allowed to take dramatic pauses. There were allowed to be breaths in between plot points and action. Such as added scenes where Hermonie had to wipe her parents minds clean. And proper time was taken for Harry to visit his parents graves, or for Hermonie to cry over Ron running out on her. These characters really developed more in this movie. More than in any other movie, I think.

4) I loved the 2 scenes they added. Seeing Hermonie wipe her parents memories of her were really heartbreaking. But it was something that needed to be shown, not told like Hermonie did in the book. Seeing just exactly what Hermonie was sacrificing to help her friend — the audience was allowed to carry that burden with her. Also the scene where Hermonie and Harry danced I thought was needed. It was coming after a heaving moment, and I think it would truly be what would happen. If my friend were upset or sad, and we hadn’t talked in days, I would try anything I could to cheer them up. A lot of sights believe, that in this scene Harry was contemplating being more than friends with Hermonie. However, I didn’t take it that way. Maybe I’m just naive, or maybe I just believe that Ron and Hermonie should be together. J.K. Rowling wrote it that way, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

5) I loved the animated scene about the story of the Three Brothers, explaining the Deathly Hallows, and I’m glad the producers decided to tell the whole story in the movie, not in just some round-a-bout/summarized way. The animated sequence was really lovely. And there’s just something about Emma’s Watson’s voice…

6) I also thought the entire sequence in the Ministry of Magic was fantastic. I loved how even though they used different actors, they still had Ron, Hermonie, and Harry’s voice. And I thought those other actors did fine jobs of conveying emotions that their characters would feel. Often time it’s very tricky slipping other actors into characters we love and know so well, but I thought these actors did so seemlessly. It was quite funny, and charming all at the same time.


Cons (What I didn’t like about the movie)

Still I felt like a lot of my favorite parts of the book – especially the spots that built up tension, moved all too quickly. Some prime examples:

1) The fight of the 7 Harry’s. Though while I don’t like understand why certain details were left out, and while the transformation scene was fantastic, I felt like it could have been a lot more dangerous. In the book, I got the feeling that everyone was in much more danger, that more blood was shed. We should have seen Mad Eye Moody’s death. Where was Mr. Weasley telling Lupin he’ll answer his questions when he sees his injured son? Where was the fact that Harry nearly broke every bone in his body when he and Hagrid crashed into the pond. And that he for that matter thought his dear friend Hagrid had died when he jumped off the bike to protect Harry. There was no URGENCY in this scene. Everything just kind of happened. They all came back safe and sound two by two, no immediate danger.

2) The Wedding and Harry’s Birthday. While not that important to the story. These moments were important to the characters. Especially at the wedding when Harry finds out about Dumbledore’s past. Blink too quick and you nearly miss it in the movie. At least they got Kingley’s chilling, “They are coming” right.

3) The secret radio station and hearing his friends in the woods. I forget what that radio station was called, but I always thought this was rather important to the story. I believe that Harry knowing he had the backing and support of his fellow Hogwarts students, as well as other wizards and half-bloods in general was really what helped Harry to survive. Knowing you have people behind you helps move you forward. More than just the need to get some answers. These brief moments in Deathly Hallows allowed Harry to be connected to the outside world. To know, like what Ron said, this is all much bigger than him. Harry has to be a leader. And he can’t do it all on his own, even if he thinks he has too. It happened again in Godric’s Hollow. Everyone writing on the sign outside his door, but the movie missed this opportunity again.

4) Harry and Ginny. The Harry Potter stories have never much been about love. But while the other movies spent time with Harry and Cho, Ron and Lavender, Ron and Hermonie, I feel like they kind of glossed over how strong Harry’s feelings were for Ginny. Sure they kissed in the Deathly Hallows part 1. But again the danger, the longing, and the fact that they could never be together because of who he is – that element was lost. Where was Ron trying to protect his younger sister from Harry? And I just love the line, “There’s the silver lining I’ve been looking for,” before Ginny kisses Harry. Where was that Hollywood, where. was. that?

5) When Ron kills the locket. Probably one of my most favorite parts of the book because it’s the first time we get to see Ron vulnerable.  He actually breaks down crying from the weight of it all and Harry comforts his friend saying he and Hermonie have never been more than just friends. However at the end of this scene, all we get is “Just think, three more to go.”

6) Luna’s Dad’s House – While this scene was greatly acted, I missed the part when Harry enters Luna’s dusty room and sees pictures of them laughing together with the words “Friends.” Harry: Mr. Lovegood, where is Luna?” Her father just wanted his daughter back, and Hermonie and Ron when to great lengths to help him out, even if he was trying to capture them.

7) Hermonie’s torture scene. I had a big problem with this. I know this is a childrens movie. I know there can’t been too much blood, or torture or gruesome things, but in the book Hermonie’s torture seemed much more brutal. There was blood, there were curses, there was definite hurting. And Ron was freaking out screaming for her. This, I felt is where Ron really didn’t care that other people knew he loved Hermonie, he just wanted to get to her. But none of that was portrayed in the movie. And I felt cheated. And don’t even get me started on the whole, Harry asking Griphook to lie for them, and Dean, Ollivander, and Luna being on their near death beds – none of which were in the story. I can deal with that. But dude, I want to feel the URGENCY! I want more grit. I don’t care that it’s a kids movie. I great up with these books and these movies, and so did most of the people watching the 7th movie I imagine. I’m not afraid of a little blood, torture, despair, grit.

8 ) Dobby’s death. Also glossed over. I liked that Harry silently dug Dobby’s grave, with the help of Ron and Dean. I like the fact that they gave him clothes, because the clothes symbolized something important. And I liked Luna’s eulogy over Dobby. It was touching. While also touching in the movie, I didn’t feel what I wanted to feel – what I was suposed to feel.

Overall, I think David Yates did a great job on the film. There was a lot of love put into this and I could felt like this movie was important to the actors. I just hope the next movie doesn’t gloss over the important things, Fred’s death, Crabbe and Goyle’s death, and I already told my friends if the fight between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix does not have the line, “Not my daughter you bitch,” I will stand up in the crowded theater, scream “What the Hell!” and cause a scene. You don’t want to miss it!!


Rating: 3 1/2- 4 stars (out of 5)


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