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Since this is the 7th movie in the series, you pretty much have to be
caught up by this point because it gets right into the plot without
explaining much, but that's simply because it would take too much time.
After just reading the book for the second time, I can safely say that
I would have been mostly lost if I hadn't read it.
The movie's pacing is all over the place. The first third has a very brisk pace, but then it slows down a LOT in the middle, but to be fair that's how it went in the book too. Then it finally starts to pick up again near the end. This is also, put simply, a road movie with Harry, Ron, and Hermione out to find the remaining horcruxes, while camping in many different locations and getting themselves in one situation after another. Some of these situations were pretty downplayed compared to the book, but some, such as the Malfoy manor scene were handled much better.
What more can you say about Harry, Ron, and Hermione at this point? This movie is all about them, more than any of the other movies. However, this does give them nice moments of character development. Of course many other characters make appearances, but they are only around for 1 or 2 scenes.
The film has a dark and tight feel to it. Many scenes are filmed very up close and some are so dark I could barely see what's going on, which took a lot of impact out of those scenes (you think they would use that Lumos spell more often). However the set pieces, such as the forest, for the most part look nice.
This is not my favorite movie in the series. It fact it might not even make the top 3, but still it could be worse. I'm just glad I read the book first.
"Harry! Hermione! Ron!"
I joked with some friends on the way to the theater that the preceding utterances would likely sum up the bulk of the dialogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. You see, with the exception of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the feature films that have sought to transform J.K. Rowling's vision of witchcraft and wizardry into a viable cinematic franchise have beenin my estimationdry, predictable, and not all that engaging. Here, where we experience "the beginning of the end," it's clear that director David Yates was able to harness some of the energy and urgency that fueled his previous offering. "Some," of course, is the key word. Though the movie is book-ended by some admirably crafted action sequences that effectively immerse us in the far-flung world of wands, potions and evil lords, the middle sags, as Langston Hughes would say, "like a heavy load."
Our protagonists' interactions have become increasingly complex as they've aged, and that's pushed to the next level in Deathly Hallows. No longer are Harry and company holding hands and exchanging superficial banter with those of the opposite sex: here, we see our hero exude confidence (and, perhaps, maturity) as he goes straight for a kiss right from the get-go. In fact, sexual tension courses through nearly every scene of the production. There's even an odd occurrence where we witness the feigned lustful encounter of some familiar characters via a mysterious vapor.
Given their age, this isn't all that surprising, and it ultimately adds some believability to the maturation unfolding before us. On the flip side, this also means that we're exposed to a number of drawn-out sequences that seem more like forced characterization rather than anything truly genuine.
And this is where the problems begin for Deathly Hallows. After a grand opening, we're forced to endure an hour (or so) of watching moody teenagers meander through the wilderness. They're searching for horcruxesthese objects are the key to defeating Voldemort (I think)and the location and purpose of each one is shrouded in mystery (surprise!).
Naturally, it takes a lot of interviewing and pondering for the necessary revelations to take place, but they eventually do, and we're treated to a third act that's vastly more entertaining than anything that comes before.
A few other notes: hints of Lord of the Rings abound, especially when a horcrux on a chain acts as a burden for each of our protagonists. Just as we've seen with the "one ring" in Middle Earth, this item brings out the worst in its bearer. And, as one of my students noted in a recent essay submission, there are some blatant comparisons made between Lord Voldemort to Adolf Hitler (and subsequently Nazi Germany). I don't necessarily mind this, but anyone familiar with popular culture or world history might find the preaching of Rowling a little heavy-handed.
As stated in my review of Half-Blood Prince, I have not read any of the novels. I'm told that much of what we see in Deathly Hallows is important to further fleshing out our heroic trio, and I'm willing to chalk up what I can only describe as "tedium" to screenwriter Steve Kloves desire to remain faithful to the source material.
But the question remains: for this to be the start of a slam-bang finish, couldn't something have been done to make it a little more I don't know magical?
My rating point is 4/10 (not so horrible). Some said it was a good story. Even my brother thought it was good. Between the seven Harry Potter movies I preferred the second and fifth one (I think). Like I said in my summary, it is not too much my taste. It was too strange. I never really fully understood the stories. Perhaps because I never read any of the books. Harry Potter isn't my kind. I will add only 1 Oscar for it for best special effects. The rest was so boring (sorry to say it). The actors are playing well. Harry Potter movies contain too much violent scenes. And it can make people very scarred. So I don't know if it is a good thing to add in a wizard film. Perhaps that's why I didn't appreciate Harry Potter. Good try anyway. Little kids shouldn't see this film because it is too violent and it is only allowed for 12 year old boys. I am fourteen, so I am allowed. It means that I am not a fan of Harry Potter films. Thank you for reading it! (it was an asperger review
This particular movie possesses many admirable qualities. Fine acting, exciting storyline etc. But for me the poor quality lighting of many crucial scenes out weighs all else and because of this I would give this movie a poorer than average rating. What good does all the rest mean,if you can't make out the picture? I watched the movie in high definition blue ray and scene after scene the lighting was terrible. I realize that the action took place after dark. Time after time I could not make out what was going on. I believe that the makers of this film and all of Harry Potter movies would be well served if they gave proper illumination to the scenes. I realize England can be drab and dreary, that wizards wear black and that they teach in Hogwart's dark chambers but consideration should be given to the viewer. I give you as an example, in the case of audio, how many of you have seen a movie in which within a scene horrendous noise is occurring, bombs are going off etc.? Yet, within the scene two lovers speak, perhaps one dying in the arms of the other and there is utter silence in the background as they speak. You are allowed to hear their conversation (literary license?)(perhaps need to tell the story). In the same way, the Potter franchise has often suffered with trying to set the scene with realistic light when what was needed was enough light for the viewer to make out the subject matter. Do others see it my way?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"HP and the Deathly Hallows" was obviously written with the big screen
in mind, so hopes were high that Yates would manage to NOT ruin this
He did it anyway.
Who would ever have thought that the first two movies would remain the best by far?! Starting with III the movie makers took over and any soul out of the story.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is no difference.
Here are the worst missed chances and screwed up scenes:
1.) Departure of the Dursleys - no nice words from Dudley for Harry whatsoever, they just pack and leave.
2.) Scrimgeours reading of the last will: it is indeed more of a grandfatherly reading, no confrontation whatsoever. Very important scene in the book.
3.) Harrys kiss with Ginny - No guilty feelings for Harry, no Ron, no confrontation, instead Fred with a toothbrush in his ear.
4.) The wedding - too short, no emotions, no glamour. Aunt Muriel?? Doesn't really happen.
5.) Kingsleys Patronus - no dramatic effect whatsoever.
6.) Suddenly the kids are at the Ministry. Way too suddenly.
7.) The new monument in the ministry, which sends an important message can not be seen completely.
8.) The interrogation scene is not nearly dramatic or frightening enough. And it's good to know that lift doors stop dementors...
9.) WHY, God, WHY didn't Ron say "I see, you chose him" instead of that lame "I saw you two the other day"?!
10.) Harry and Hermione dancing - totally pointless and ridiculous, wasted time that could have been used for important other scenes.
11.) Bathilda Bagshots transformation was ridiculous, and if Harry had come that close to her in the book, he would have realized there was something wrong. And where the hell was Voldemort?!
12.) Harry realizes his wand is broken, his wand that worked on his own account against Voldi and used to be his most powerful weapon against the Dark Lord, providing the unique connection. You'd think Harry'd be at least a LITTLE desperate or devastated. But not in this movie. He just spits out: "It's done, get some sleep!"
13.) Ron saves Harry - well, you'd think that Harry would be a LITTLE more surprised, or thankful, or overwhelmed - so many emotions to pick from. Yates tells Daniel to show - nothing.
14.) I missed Lovegoods "Of course none of you has ever seen such a cloak". The whole Deathly Hallows were apparently nothing important, just something mentioned somewhere in the movie.
15.) Instead of getting killed by his artificial hand for showing mercy Wormtails get's pinched with a wand, squeaks "Ouch!" and falls over. Dramatic!!
16.) Last scene: Voldi blasting some flames up to the sky after taking Dumbledores tomb. No tension like in the book - will he get there before Harry, must Harry stop him, will Harry chose the Hallows over the Horcruxes, is Voldi aware of Harry existing at all?!
The book is filled with close escapes, and the book manages to take the drama and tension almost completely out of the story, or what remains of it.
As mentioned, the Deathly Hallows and their impact is not handled well.
Everyone looks great, especially the three kids.
But this film, like most of his predecessors, has no heart, no soul and gives a sh.. about the books and the compelling and masterful story.
These Harry Potter movies are starting to make me grumpy.
Coming out of "Half-Blood Prince," I felt that the filmmakers didn't even try to make the film coherent to people who hadn't already read the book, and that trend continues with the first half of "Deathly Hallows." To make matters worse, all fun and whimsy have been drained out of this story, so not only was I confused, I was also depressed. The who's who of adult British actors that have been the only reason to stick with this series in the first place are mostly absent, save for an initial action sequence that stands as this film's highlight. It all goes downhill from there, and most of the movie consists of Harry, Hermione and Ron (and mostly just Harry and Hermione), sitting around in barren, rocky places looking gloomy. (If the kids can whisk themselves away anywhere, why don't they at least go into hiding someplace warm and sunny?) These characters simply aren't interesting enough to carry an entire film, and the absence of Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Brendan Gleeson (who bites it off screen early on but whose death is treated so casually by the script that you might not even know he died), David Thewlis, etc. is sorely missed.
The film's production values and sheer technical skill are enough to mask the fact that the script doesn't make any sense, and it's not until after the movie is over and you've had a chance to ruminate on it that you begin to feel like you've been snowed.
I will see the final installment because I might as well now, but it damn well better be good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was completely disappointed in this movie..not only did it leave out important parts of the book like Harry's want to go to Godric's Hallow and Hermoine finally giving in, but it also changed parts that I see as being pretty important..Dobby knocking out Pettigrew and the three running from the snatchers? and I guess i missed the part where Grindewald straight out told voldemort the wand was with dumbledore...hmm, guess I must have been reading the wrong book...the special effects were good, but i was also just expecting a little more to have happened with Harry and Dobby as that was more personal in the book. I just hope that Part 2 does a little bit better of a job following the book and giving the true feel of what Harry was feeling and his conflicts throughout the book
I suppose it was inevitable. As J. K. Rowling became a phenomenon her books got less and less editing though they needed it more and more. With the cynical, money-grubbing decision to make two films out of the last book a similar thing has happened. The triangular friendship and love of Ron, Hermione and Harry provides the personal, human tension of the over-all story but we all know that it can't be resolved until the last chapter/reel. The consequence is this movie bloated with empty calories to deprive us of the price of a ticket bought more to say we've seen the whole epic rather than because we've been truly entertained. We get a few loose ends tied up and a brilliant animated sequence telling the back story of the Deathly Hallows. Unfortunately more of the movie than any narrative line can stand consists of the three young people wandering the English countryside to no particular purpose except to pad out the space between opening and closing credits. At best the film is an over-long trailer for the final installment. Poor Harry and his friends haven't been this badly served since the series wisely, thankfully jettisoned director Chris Columbus and his attempts to drag the series down into the hell of Home Alone with witches. The best I can say of this film is that someday, in order to sell more copies of the series, someone may re-cut the films and combine Deathly Hallows Parts I & II into something like a watchable film. I have no confidence in that, however. The fashion is to add scenes that were left on the cutting room floor and, usually, should have made it to the cutting room incinerator. I am a father of the children of the Harry Potter generation and thus once removed from Potter-mania. Still I also have a deep affection for Daniel Radcliffe's and his Harry, Emma Watson and her Hermione and Rupert Grint and his Ron. I have watched them grow as I watched my daughters grow. Thus it's partly out of fatherly affection that I dislike this installment as a great disservice to three young actors who have worked hard and deserved better.
OK - they want to convey dark foreboding, and an air of mystery -- but Jeez -- staring at a black screen for half the movie, just doesn't do it for me. Give us a break and hire some electricians, spend some money on lights and power, and let us SEE JUST WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING, not just poorly lit photography. The first four films were enjoyable, but the last few were just not as good. Even after obtaining the dvds, and re-running scenes over and over to try and see just what was going on, these blacked out segments were not worth the effort. Couple that with the other annoying Hollywood technique of using jiggly hand-held cameras, and this last installment becomes a candidate for scrapping and re-shooting. David Yates, are you listening?? Don't waste film, talent, and time -- let us SEE your work, not guess at it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was very excited to see this movie, being the 7th book has become my
favorite of the entire series. After seeing it however, I felt utterly
disappointed but I also felt awe at the visualization of the film. So,
I both loved it and hated it. Let me explain...
The major error this film made was excluding A LOT of stories from the book, and if most if these had been included (like they should have), then this would have made for an amazing and much better movie. They leave out: Harry saying goodbye to the Dursleys, the entire setup of the wedding & Harry's planning, half of the conversation between the Prime Minster and the group, Kreacher's story of the locket, the planning of infiltrating the Ministry of Magic, talking with Black's portrait, Wormtail's death, and the biggest plot point of them all: the fight in Harry's mind over whether Dumbledore was really the man he knew and which was more important, hallows or horcruxes? By leaving all of this out, it just became a movie about camping.
Why was all of this left out? It would've been a much more exiting movie. I also can't stand how little dialogue there is in this movie and all of the other movies he directs, there is so much quiet you can hear crickets chirp. There were so many moments when just one little line from one of the characters could've explained the scene or what was going on, or could've just added to it!
But I have to say what I enjoyed about this film was the action and seeing some of my favorite scenes from the book come to life (albeit however loose an adaptation it was), like the great escape, the snatcher scene and of course Dobby.
Here's to hoping the next movie will at least tie up some loose ends!
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