Reel Noteworthy: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (2010)

The temptation to write my blog about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 is more than I can stand. I saw it twice in its opening weekend (including an IMAX showing), and loved it both times. It was my favorite book in the series, and has quickly become my favorite film as well. In my humble opinion, it’s the first time that the transition from page to screen was seamless. As good as the other movies were, it was obvious that something was being lost in translation. Not this time.

Deathly Hallows follows Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) in their quest to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes, which will allow Harry to finally defeat Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Using cryptic clues left behind by Harry’s now deceased mentor Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon, who appears in the film through stock footage), the trio discovers the existence of the Deathly Hallows, items that will allow the wielder to escape death. Chaos ensues, which sets up the ultimate battle that will be the entire final film.

The series took a more serious turn when David Yates took over as director with 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film. As opposed to the bright, colorful, childish nature of the early films, the series transitioned to darker, grittier and more faithful adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s novels. This trend continued in the most recent film, with certain scenes having a noir-like feel to them. For me, it reflects the inner turmoil of the characters, so it’s appropriate.

Even non-Potter fans should like this movie. It’s got action, suspense, comedy and drama. I’ve only cried during two movies in my entire life: Harriet the Spy (I was 6), and Toy Story 3. Now, I can add this to the list. I literally had tears in my eyes for almost the entire movie. It starts with a poignant scene between Hermione and her parents (alluded to in the novel, but never shown), and kept me going the entire time. Even the end, which I won’t reveal, made me weep. I knew it was coming, it didn’t affect me when I read the book, yet it took all of my self-control not to sob openly when I saw it on-screen.

All of this, coupled with Helena Bonham Carter with crazy hair, equals a good time at the movies.

Keith Carroll

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