REVIEW: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1’

Director:
David Yates
Cast:
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson
Alan Rickman
Ralph Fiennes
Rated: PG-13

Well folks, we are almost to the finish line.

The first part of the seventh installment begins not too long after the ending of the sixth film. Our three heroes are all preparing for a long journey of being on the run and in battles. At first, the three have some help from the Order of the Phoenix, but after some dangerous battles the three are forced to go out on their own and fend for themselves.

The three begin to travel around the magical world searching for Horcruxes, seven objects where Voldemort (Fiennes) put pieces of his soul in. Meanwhile, the villain himself is busy taking over the magical world, infiltrating the Ministry of Magic and searching for Harry to put an end to him. They are also looking to eliminate muggle born witches and wizards and the way this happens is similar to Nazi Germany.

The first thing to notice about “Deathly Hallows” is the superb dark, gritty atmosphere that is portrayed from beginning to end. As the trio move through the wizarding world, everything around them begins to fall apart and crumble, leaving them with little help. This sets up a ton of suspense for the protagonists, as the movie plays out like a ‘fugitive’ type story.

While some may question the decision to split up the final book, “Deathly Hallows” works being split up. The film feels like a complete story on its own while still setting up the picture coming up next summer.

Moving on to the characters, they were all fantastic here. The actors of course know their roles very well and the characters themselves have been built up over six previous stories. Seeing them come to fruition, in a sense, was great to watch.

The characters are put through the ringer in this one like never before, too. There’s no safety of Hogwarts and the stress of going on their journey even starts to splinter the trio at some points, making for some good drama.

 

The villains were great here, too. My favorite of course was Snape, who is portrayed extremely well by Rickman. He is such a great actor and really gives Snape the facial expressions he needs at certain times. The rest of the ‘Death Eaters’ are done well, too, they balance being fearful of the bad guy boss yet being cold and calculating themselves. I don’t really have much to say on Voldemort, solid performance however he wasn’t in the film that much, probably a bigger performance in part two.

The special effects of the film looked awesome as always. A lot of the spells come to life on screen as they have in previous pictures. I especially liked the battle scenes, there was always a lot going on and they looked great. At the same time, the filming locations were fantastic. We went from forests, to the middle of big cities, to dungeons.

The shifting locations and having the characters on the move was great for this film, keeping it moving and adding to the development of the characters. I didn’t think this installment was perfect, and it may have been that this wasn’t the whole story, however it was still a very solid film and by far the best Potter film so far. I will give this one a high 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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