In a rare twist of fate, Andy and I were lucky enough to attend a critic’s screening last night of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. Because of the timing (four days before the general US release) the crowd was ramped up and excitable. I really enjoyed the movie, although now I don’t want to wait until July to see the next one.
SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you don’t want to spoil the movie!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I starts where the last movie left off. Death eaters are killing muggles and magicians, the ministry of magic is in a precarious spot and Hogwarts is changing for the worse. The mood feels dire as the Dursley’s leave Harry and run, Hermoine obliterates herself from her parent’s memory to protect them and the Weasley’s house is no longer safe from death eaters. The pace of the entire movie is a bit off-kilter as you move from one action scene to another and then a large portion of the movie focuses on Harry, Hermoine and Ron camping out. There’s also lots of polyjuice potion used, so that particular joke gets a little old. Other jokes, many concerning Hermoine’s ridiculousness toward Ron, remain fresh and silly.
Suspense lingers in most scenes because of the lack of trust the death eaters have established in the wizarding community. “Nowhere is Safe.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows really stretches the idea that Harry Potter is a kid’s movie by including torture, death and some minor nudity ( Harry and Hermoine!). The movie finishes after Doby dies protecting Harry in a narrow escape from Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort acquires the all-powerful elderwood wand. The issues around Harry and Voldemort’s twin wands are brought up but not resolved. This particular Harry Potter movie is aimed at big fans of the book but not the general movie-going public. It was well-done as the first, and less exciting, half of the final book.