Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

A Movie Review

by Dana Quigley
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the seventh film in the franchise, leaves die-hard fans satisfied by staying true to the original storyline. On the other hand, casual fans of the series are left without details that clarify the plot. The film follows Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they continue their quest to destroy several artifacts whose obliteration is integral to defeating Voldemort. The movie is rife with beautiful scenery, though the constant shifting of space is disorienting and does not firmly convey a timeline of events. Infrequent moviegoers are left with stunning landscapes and not much context concerning the plot's progression. Aside from this ambiguity, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson deliver their best performances in the series, dominating the screen for most of the movie, running from the forces of evil. In particular, Watson steals a few scenes from her co-leads; such is the case when Hermione wipes her parents' memories of her existence.

Breaking from the Past

The most notable change in this movie from the previous installments is the location: the grand halls of Hogwarts no longer constrain the set. Harry, Ron, and Hermione find themselves in a dangerous world on the run from death eaters and the like; the variety of astonishing landscapes in the movie causes one to realize the staleness of the wizarding school as a setting. In addition, the brief animation of the Deathly Hallows tale is an unexpected surpriseā€”it is simply fun to watch. Whereas some of the previous titles revolve around mystery, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 can be classified as a big chase movie: death eaters and other baddies no longer wait in the shadows for Harry, but instead pursue him at all costs. The movie breaks the school-setting formula repeated six times previously, and in doing so is much more aesthetically refined than its predecessors.

Setting up for a Big Finish

As the title suggests, the movie is not meant to stand alone as an independent movie. That being said, it is still hard to justify the installment's lack of a climactic event. Sure, the movie ends with the death of a beloved character, but considering the movie has nearly the same amount of footage with people dancing than this particular character, it's an obvious stretch to call this a climax. The entire movie serves as a transition to the final endeavor, though it does this well. Simply put, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is well crafted and devotes time to some of the details that would not have been possible if the seventh book's plot was crammed into one movie. In a sense, this is the first movie in the series to adhere so closely to its textual counterpart. The plot was not trimmed and condensed to achieve a reduced reproduction. Though some critics claim that the movie was split into two parts in order to reap bigger profits, fans will appreciate the close similarities between the book and movie. In the end, this movie is just the opener to the next and final installment.

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