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|Index||617 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not a Harry Potter movie. It is a movie that has characters with the same names and faces but they are in an alternative universe, one created by David Yates starting in movie 5. In that universe, all the themes and ideas developed in the book-based Harry Potter mythology are gone. In its place is a story about an individual boy wizard and his teen friends. What happened to the great choices Harry has to make, like does he go after the Horcruxes as Dumbledore instructed or does he get sidetracked looking for the Deathly Hallows? Horcruxes are thrown in as a McGuffin, an excuse to take a group camping trip rather than as the key to the whole mystery: how do you destroy evil without destroying yourself. The Hallows are the great temptation that the animation in this movie beautifully suggests but then they are completely ignored for the rest of the movies. Remember that Dumbledore and Gregorovich once had a notion of "The Greater Good" and that idea did not die with the end of their friendship. Dumbledore tried to teach Harry that what he was doing was not for himself, it was for the greater good of all beings, not just pure-bloods, and certainly not just for teenagers. Okay, did you get any of this from this movie? NO, because it has all been washed out of the story and replaced with silly teen anxieties and individual relationships. How very sad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Deathly Hallows Part 1" follows the book closely, but misses out on a
few interesting scenes, and then makes up a few additional scenes that
are poignant and incredibly welcome.
In the beginning, it seems like the film's skipping through the book's content very quickly, but it makes sense, when you realise how much is going on. At the end, the beginning is far away, although the journey there doesn't make it seem like a long while.
General opinion seems to be that it drags in the middle, but, let's face it, so did the book. There's no real reason to complain about Endless Camping Trips at all, because the film moves from plot point to set piece to plot point all the time. There's some clever ways the film handles its exposition, although it is not without its faults.
The trio's acting is the second best thing in this film. Emma has improved loads over the past few years, and she seems to be at the top of her game in this film. Her acting is stellar. As usual, Grint gets saddled with the role of comic relief, but he also gets his chance to shine in an array of emotional scenes. Daniel manages to carry the story as the main character. The three manage to stand their own very well without the presence of the adult actors.
Speaking of adult actors, Nick Morran's Scabior is a delightful character - he's slightly perverted and he has a bit of a Jack Sparrow vibe going on. Peter Mullan's Yaxley was impressive and managed to be quite threatening. It is a shame that we see so little of Bill Nighy's character, the new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. The character was regrettably cut from the previous film, and I wish they hadn't, if only to see more of Nighy's impressive performance. Old-time familiar faces are great, as usual. Fiona Shaw gets but one shot of screen time, but the look in her eyes says so much about her character. Jasoon Isaacs is terrific as a broken and devastated Lucius Malfoy. The lack of Rickman is a shame, but the presence of Bonham Carter makes up for it. Big baddie Ralph Fiennes manages to finally be a menacing, scary Voldemort in the film's first scenes, but as the story progresses and he gets appearances in a few messy, rushed and disappointing visions, Voldemort's actions just don't continue being an ominous cloud of danger, as they should be.
The film's greatest achievement, however, is the animated sequence detailing the "Tale of the Three Brothers", an interesting wizard fairytale. It is a daring move from the filmmakers, one that will pleasantly surprise the audience.
The biggest letdown is how the film doesn't just keep going. After two-and-a-half hours, it doesn't feel like the story's finished. A few scenes were added to make the climax more exciting, but it's just a downright shame that the movie doesn't just continue for another hour or two.
I just got home from watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I
will try not to give any spoilers, but I thought it was one of the best
movies yet. I thought moreover that it was fairly loyal to the book for
once, as far as it was possible. I thought the tension build up was
very good throughout the movie, I liked seeing the characters being
slightly more matured. There are some new kind of 'special effects' in
the movie, which was kind of weird to me at first, but I guess it
fitted the story. I can't wait to see part two , even though I know
what will happen.
I will not tell you anymore, but it is definitely worthy to see it in the cinema:)
This is not a run of the mill series, but something which has been
intricately planned for from almost the very beginning. With the last
few films crafting the level of suspense into a crescendo, where each
film augments the impending doom and gloom culminating in the finale
seen in The Half Blood Prince, things get a lot worst here from the
start, where The Deathly Hallows begins with a grim reminder from the
Minister of Magic, before we see Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his
ghastly lieutenants plot to take over both realms Muggle or not in
quite Fascist terms.
Yes you read that right, and what I thought was quite the brilliant stroke of genius to transmit that level of fear and dread into the Potter world through something quite familiar in our world, where there's a takeover of ministries and the installation of past villains who are puppets of the regime, the continued discrimination and probable extermination of the ordinary, non magical Muggles and even the half-breeds against those who are of pure magical blood, and a curious scene where a disguised Potter head inside the undergrounds of the Ministry only to see propaganda being created by the masses in creepy, clockwork like fashion.
Everything is doom and gloom with copious amounts of shades, shadows, black and grey (save for Hermione's red dress in one scene), where our heroic trio are quite clueless without their guardian headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) always ready to pull some strings from behind the scenes. His absence is largely felt, and they are left mostly to their own devices and smarts to try and figure out a way to get to the remaining Horcruxes and to destroy them. They become the hunted with little allies to rely on, where betrayal seem the norm, almost from within their own circle of trust as well where a major subplot continues to dwell on the suggested romantic/platonic dynamics between Hermione with Harry and Ron, the former sharing a curious dance sequence while on the run, and the latter, well having his worst fear confront his lack of courage to tell Hermione just how he feels for her, well, from how many films ago.
So the verdict is whether The Deathly Hallows warranted two films. My answer is a resounding, definite yes, because there's so much going on in the story, of the relationships and friendships forged over the years, of the closure both good and bad that has to come to the myriad of characters introduced (J.K. Rowling doesn't show a lot of mercy by the way), and not to mention the inherent quest that Harry, Ron and Hermione chose to embark on that has gone beyond just the survival of Harry Potter, and what's more, introduces to us what those Deathly Hallows actually are, which goes just beyond the destruction of the Horcuxes. Danger lurks at every corner and the narrative spins at breakneck speed, harrowing most times with the frequent close shaves the rookies encounter against their enemies who are growing more powerful by the minute.
While the previous films have boasted special effects extravaganzas be it little things to pepper the scene or large battles between wizards and witches, this is kept surprisingly muted in the film since it's swaying on one end of the spectrum with Evil gaining an upper hand, and most of the effects not already something seen before in the earlier Potter films. But what ultimately leads this film into being the more powerful one, is the strength of the story and how it leads you along the way, building anticipation as we root for positive outcomes as much as possible, with slight comedy punctuating appropriate moments to lift the spirits.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all share that perfect camaraderie that's been built over the years, it's no wonder that they add that convincing depth and natural realism to their friendship, with an audience that has largely grew up with them as well. There's no ensemble cast like the one assembled for the Potter franchise, though most of them - Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, Tom Felton and a long list more - come and go too frequent and too soon, but one hopes the evil Death Eaters do get their spotlight by the time the second installment rolls over.
Chris Columbus may have begun the film franchise and made it a large welcome for the young (especially) and old to embrace J.K Rowling's magical world, but I am of the opinion that David Yates inherited the franchise at the right point from The Order of the Phoenix where things required a consistent hand rather than a rotating director's chair, and developed the franchise into what it is today in quite unassuming terms. Credit also has to go to Steve Kloves who has adapted from Rowling's books (save for the point where Yates came onboard), knowing what best to adapt into the film, and what to leave behind, steering clear of the more cutesy tales and plunging us headlong into Voldemort's return and ascension to power.
You know that this will end in a cliffhanger, and what a cliffhanger it is, whetting your appetite to devour Part 2 as soon as it's released, just so to witness how the film franchise of our generation will fittingly conclude. I can't wait, and I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of fans around the world cannot wait for the next too.
In my mind, the Deathly Hallows Part 1 captured the feeling of exactly
what the Harry Potter movies should have been all along: gritty,
emotional, and cinematic. I haven't been a huge fan of any of the HP
movies to date, but I was pleased with the Deathly Hallows because it
took a big step up in maturity from the "children's fantasy" genre and
focused on themes very central to the seventh book: hopelessness and
After the death of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, the magical world falls into disarray as Voldemort gains power over the Ministry of Magic and hunts tirelessly after his mortal enemy and our continuing protagonist, Harry Potter. While keeping a low cover, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine decide to track down and destroy Voldemort's soul contained in hidden "horcruxes" but have difficulties deciding what to do and where to start.
The Deathly Hallows very successfully portrays the despair-filled journey of the wizarding trio. With dark undertones running through the cinematography, Part 1 of the Harry Potter finale is the film that deals more with the emotional stagnation of the characters and spends less time with action scenes and major plot points. Since Rowling's seventh book is separated into two movies, Part 1 boasts a much slower pace than earlier HP films and is not so focused on cramming as many subplots and side-stories from the book as possible into the movie's runtime, which tends to clutter up the storyline and make the whole thing feel rushed.
But where the slow pacing makes this film stand out in the series, it also may be its downfall. The Deathly Hallows continually feeds us a feeling of desolation as Harry, Ron and Hermoine fail to discover a way to destroy the horcruxes; they seem to be making no progress towards defeating the Dark Lord, but as an effect the movie seems to be making no progress towards an ending. Storyline lags intensely towards the middle of the film and is dragged out until the conclusion (which ends abruptly). You'll be left in your seats feeling like this is going nowhere- but that's the point: Harry, Ron, and Hermoine are getting nowhere. So I liked this movie because the pace was slow, but I also didn't like this movie because the pace was slow. See what I'm getting at? Aside from that, I can't complain much. Performances were fine, effects were impressive, and best of all, nothing dastardly was done to J.K. Rowling's story.
The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a nice improvement and a fine addition to the Harry Potter series and should serve as a solid emotional base for Part 2 to take off with next year. If you've enjoyed the HP movies so far, this should be a satisfying experience at least. If not, let the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 redeem your faith in the series. 7/10
P.S. Keep on the lookout for the scene about the deathly hallows story. It has some of the most beautiful and artistic animation I have ever seen in a movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Right from the very start, when the Warner Bros logo appears, this film
feels different. The colours are gray and muted, the sound is a low
rumble and even the famous theme from John Williams seems to have given
way to a much darker drone. It doesn't even feel like a Harry Potter
movie anymore. It makes the first Chris Columbus movies feel like they
are from a whole different universe. And this feeling stayed with me
right until the end
For the last few instalments of the series
(possibly from number 3 onwards) we've been hearing a lot of "this one
is darker" type of lines being bantered about, whether from the
critics, the fans or even the film-makers themselves. But it's never
been more true than in this final chapter.
And yet, this is not just a darker and scarier film, it is also a much more mature one too. It's as if the film-makers have grown together with their viewers (who are now 10 years older than they were when the first movie got released) A few years ago, when we first heard about the fact that the seventh and final book was going to be divided into two films, we all cynically thought straight away: "They really want to squeeze every single penny out of this last one, those greedy people". And I am sure that must have been one of the reasons, however director David Yates has been able to take advantage of this extra time to give the story a certain amount of depth, sophistication and gravitas that was missing from all the previous instalments.
The pace is a lot slower, for a start. Of course, you get some cracking action scenes too (a particular good one through the Dartfor Tunnel), some great visuals, whether just the perfect vistas and landscapes, the inventive special effects (the scene, in the trailer too, where there are about 8 different Potters, is all done in one perfect 360 degree shot) and there's even a beautiful short animation sequence (where "The Tale of the Three Brothers", is shown as a shadow-play and that by itself should almost be nominated for an Oscar for BEST animated short), but the real core of the movie this time are actually the 3 main characters. Their dialogue scenes take centre stage and are played in the most realistic possible way, with long silences, pauses and meaningful looks.
Even the music is a lot more subtle and understated, aside from being of course a lot darker. There's a particular chase scene in a forest towards the second half of the movie, where unexpectedly, they decided not to play any music at all, just letting the sound effects play through: that is very very unusual for a blockbuster of this calibre.
The film bravely takes a lot of risks, on one hand, by veering away from what kids are probably expecting, but at the same time it'll give fans a real treat (and it might even change the minds of some of those Harry Potter haters)! It is a film about emotions, about characters, about friendship first and foremost and it all happens to take place in a magical world. It's what every single avid Harry Potter reader has been waiting for years.
In a way, the mood of the film is much closer to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not just in the muted colours of the landscape, or in the grittier looks of the characters (even Harry Potter looks dirtier this time and has even got a bit of a beard!), but in the way it's paced and constructed.
It's essentially a road movie (it's also the first film to be Hogward-free. We only get one quick glimpse of the train going to the school, but that's about it). There are much fewer laughs throughout and most of them come from Ron (Rupert Grint), but somehow when they do come, they seem to work a lot better than they ever did. Maybe because the whole film is so tense that you are just craving for a moment to relax let the tension fade. And this is by no means a criticism, in fact, quite the opposite.
By all means, this isn't a masterpiece. For all the tension, the great atmosphere and all the brave intentions, there are some slightly clunky moments here and there too. For example the scene where Ron comes back and rejoins the group, feels a bit "out of the blue" and could have been handled in a better way. Also some of the dialogue doesn't quite ring true and too many characters come in and out like bell-boys in a hotel. But it's interesting to notice how most of the stuff that doesn't quite work in the film, has actually been lifted straight from the books. I think once again the film exposes the weaknesses of the book (which c'mon let's face it, however gripping, it wasn't really a great piece of writing. I loved it, in fact I loved the whole series, but I recognise its limits).
It's good to see them trying something different. It's good to see them slowing down a bit and taking good care of their characters. It's good to see them trying to be more mature and stir away from cheesy clichés. I can see why this is JK Rowling's favourite movie.
I was happy with it too but then again, I love Harry Potter, so I am probably biased.
Summer 2011 cannot be here soon enough. And after that? Oh dear, I am already so sad that it's all going to be over
See the full review here http://wp.me/p19wJ2-3v
The last book in the Harry Potter saga has been split into two parts.
At first, maybe people would think it is to squeeze some more financial
mileage out of the series. On the other hand, having watched this
installment, there is simply too much complex storytelling involved in
this book to cram it into only one two and half hour movie.
This Part 1 is already a very full two and half hours. The drama begins even before the opening credits roll. The special effects have reached a new high point with the trick of using polyjuice potion to create multiple Harry's. The frenetic escape of Harry in Hagrid's motor sidecar is an achievement in action editing. The trio's penetration of the Ministry of Magic to get the locket horcrux is very exciting and tension-filled.
Momentum dips a bit in the midsection as our trio scour the English wilderness for a way to destroy the horcrux. This prolonged section, which some may find boring, dealt more with the personal relationships loyalty of the three friends as challenges are thrown their way. The segment is marked by the hard-to-watch bloodlust of Bellatrix Lestrange and the nobility of Dobby. Watch out too for a most unexpected dance scene which will surely make you smile, if not actually chuckle!
In the third section, we learn what the "deathly hallows" are referred to in the title as our trio learns it from Xenophilius Lovegood. But the main highlight here is a most amazing animated short featurette called "The Tale of Three Brothers" as narrated by Hermione. This Part 1 ends very well with a sky-splitting final cliffhanger sequence.
Its been repeatedly mentioned how the main actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have all grown up in front of our eyes as this movie series unfolded. Rupert and Emma are both taller than Daniel already! Acting-wise, everyone had likewise improved very much. They all even show some skin here. Yes, even Hermione! The support from the esteemed gallery of British actors and actresses serve the film very well indeed. We saw everyone from all the previous films it seems, except for Maggie Smith.
The direction of David Yates is excellent as he did in the last two films. Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves got just the proper mix of action, drama and humor needed to make the saga work on screen. This may just be a set-up installment, however, it stands very strong on its own merits. As the last scene faded to black, the audience will definitely develop the resolve to watch out for the concluding part to be released next summer, and witness the epic Battle of Hogwarts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I confess. I read the book about a dozen times in the past few years.
It's not like I don't do anything else, but I do. In a year, I probably
get through about 25-30 books. So reading HP and the DH was just
something I was enjoying. There are clues in various places in the
books, and you just have to marvel at how Jo Rowling tied up all the
ends so nicely in the last one.
The one thing, though, that I felt was off in 7 was how she portrayed Hagrid. In a few cases, it seemed like she was treating him like a buffoon, but that's a personal opinion, not something that critically could be considered wrong with the book.
But the last book kept elements close together. It brought in all the old characters, added a few new ones, but basically held together things with bonds of steel. The relationships were both old and new, with a true feeling of family and friendships. And we all celebrated the good times in the book and lamented the bad times.
So when Mad-Eye Moody gets killed so early in the book, a feeling of loss goes with him. When Fleur is so happy to be marrying Bill, we're all happy for them both. When we see Kreacher turn from a foul house-elf to a fine house-servant, we're happy for him. When Tonks tells us she is pregnant, we celebrate! But almost none of that is in the movie. We know instinctively that those things happened in the book, but if you haven't read them, you're going to go WTF? an awful lot.
Mad-Eye is killed in the chase, but there isn't a toast to this memory. When Fleur is so intense about the wedding, we see no real emotion, but for one brief moment. When the trio leaves Kreacher for their exploits at the ministry, we have no idea how much he has changed. And when Tonks and Lupin go off, there is nothing to suggest the very sad and aching love they have for each other, and about Remus's hesitation about his upcoming fatherhood.
There is no investment in these characters in the film. It's like "strip the souls from everyone but Ron, Harry and Hermione, make the others more melodramatic with no attachment to the real story, and voilà! you have Deathly Hallows Part One." I confess: I don't like David Yates' direction. There has been something off about it since OOTP, though I might be one of the few who think that. I think his often amateurish direction is quite obvious in this film. The film is often like a roller coaster, with giddy high points, either in the action or the tone, but there are also many very low points, and there is nothing in the middle. We don't LEARN anything from the characters--we follow them on their journey, yes, but we have to inject too much of the overall plot from the book to see what has been left out, and what is still present. There are times when a collage filming of the many places the trio (and in the middle, the duo) went could get that section speeded up without weighing it down (a friend with me found the middle WAY too slow), and at times, a more polished director could have found ways to make the scenes pack a lot more information into them. It certainly didn't look like the kids weren't eating a whole lot, or how much Hermione actually fit into her small pocketbook. The scene that could have managed that would have been the scene in the book where Hermione packs the full sized painting of Sirius Black's relative, Phinea Black, former headmaster of Hogwarts, into her bag. But it was not to be.
I think if there had been a consistent tone during the film, it would have helped bring a more cohesive tone to the film, interlocking all the elements into one. But there wasn't that kind of a feeling in it, and I am disappointed that it didn't happen.
I might be one of the very few fans who feels the film wasn't a very good one. Yes, it's only half of a whole, and the second half might be a totally different one, emotionally, and dramatically. But I just need to say to fans, go with the warning that there are a lot of faults with this installment, and accept it just as a nice visual film, with very, very little to do with the entire HP legacy. It probably won't help, and you will be filling in the blanks from the books, but it's certainly better than nothing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even having read every "Harry Potter" book and seen every "Harry
Potter" film, I still hesitate to call myself a fan. It isn't that I
don't enjoy the world J.K. Rowling invented or the characters she
created, but rather that my enjoyment of the series has always been
transient. With sometimes years between each subsequent release, my
memory of the litany of events preceding them is often shaky at best,
and I've never felt particularly inclined to re-visit.
Inasmuch, every "Harry Potter" has been almost an insular experience for me. I enjoyed the film series as pure Hollywood spectacle, but have always felt their independent merits were questionable at best. In that regard (taking into account I haven't seen "The Sorcerer's Stone" since I was in high school) "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" may be the weakest in the series. Curiously, in others ways, it's the best.
I love that director David Yates pumps the breaks for this adaptationthat he actually gives the material breathing room, allowing it to be more than a feature-length amusement park ride. On a technical and artistic level, there is a lot I admire about his team's work on this penultimate adventure. But at two and a half hours, covering only half a book, there's no getting around the fact that "Deathly Hallows" is perhaps the least exciting and inherently least complete-feeling film in the franchise.
I get it, Warner Brothers. Splitting the final "Harry Potter" into two parts was a brilliant marketing decision. It's hard to lie down and watch a cash cow die, and I'm sure many consumers will even relish the grandeur of a two-part finale. From a creative perspective, however, Rowling's "Deathly Hallows" might be the worst book in the series to divide.
The bloated first half of her novel features a few action sequences peppered in out of necessity, but Rowling's authorial stalling is what translates most clearly in this film. Painfully little transpires, rendering probably the most faithful adaptation of her work as the weakest cinematically. Of course, Potter portrayer Daniel Radcliff and co. do as admiral a job as always in breathing life into the characters and humanizing the often absurd plot developments and plethora of plot-holes a magic world entails, but nothing can save "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" from feeling like half of a storyor more precisely, one eighth of a story.
Unlike prior "Potter" outings, "Deathly Hallows" also over-relies on the hunting of mystical artifacts. Major story arcs and characters are ignored in favor of horcruxestrinkets imbued with pieces of Voldemort's soul that Harry must seek and destroy before their climactic confrontation. The titular deathly hallows are then yet another collection of requisite magic items; between the hallows and the horcruxes, "Harry Potter 7" feels like one tedious fetch- quest.
That may be enough to satiate some Pottermaniacs, but even having read every book and seen every film, I'm not devoted enough to the franchise to overlook that "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is a shameless cash-grab. It's a film almost inappreciable when considered on its own, and unexciting when compared to its prequels. There is no reason Rowling's last "Harry Potter" book (which is not the longest in the series) couldn't have been concisely and effectively wrapped up in two and a half hours, and asking audiences to pay twice for one film strikes me as more than a little unfair. "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is a colossal teasecrippled on its own and treading water in context, its never more than half a film. It's only fair it get half a score.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . for the most part wasted. Bill Nighy has about 5 minutes of
screen time, Robbie Coltrane maybe 10 minutes, Ralph Fiennes perhaps
15. Trailing along are Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Rhys Ifans and
Alan Rickman with perhaps 3 minutes each, David Thewlis with 2 minutes
and Timothy Spall with about the same. Helena Bonham Carter probably
has 10 minutes and only over-acts for 8 of them.
Instead of concentrating on this galaxy of stars we spend most of the time sitting in the mountains with Harry and Hermione suffering a lot of angst or sitting in the mountains with Harry, Hermione and Ron suffering a lot of angst. As a break from the mountains we get time sitting in the forest with Harry and Hermione suffering a lot of angst, or sitting in the forest with Harry, Hermione and Ron suffering . . . well you get the picture. There is, in fact, so much angst in this movie it should have been made in Swedish with English sub-titles.
The problem with angst is that it's . . . well . . . boring.
Then there are things that simply don't lead anywhere - Harry has a snog with Ginny Weasley, but he doesn't follow through. He has a dance with Hermione (in between spurts of angst) but he doesn't follow through on that either. OK, this is Harry Potter, so we don't expect shower scenes, but can Harry actually lift his wand? I think we should be told.
The "love" scenes may be anti-climactic - but then so are the action scenes. For example: woman inexplicably changes into a snake - snake attacks Harry but retreats after (shock! horror!) biting a chair leg. Something funny going on with Harry and the snake - is this another metaphor? There is no plot aside from . . . did I mention lots of angst? The best part of this film: the credits. I didn't think I'd see a film worse than Robin Hood this year - David Yates has directed one.
P.S. Why did Dumbledore die? - because he wanted to avoid being in this.
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