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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:52 am
by Remo D
Well, now that we're almost at the end, let me reiterate... I've been a fan of the POTTER books from the beginning, and by that I mean that I read almost all of them out loud to my children (most of them more than once), and made a beeline for the last two even when they didn't need me to read to them anymore. I believe the movie adaptations have been (by and large) faithful (and reasonably condensed) takes on the source material, even if they could never hope to replicate the experience completely.

I also understand completely that the last book in the series had to be broken into two separate films. It's not a grab for extra cash now that the series is coming to the an (which is EXACTLY how I feel about the same treatment being given to the final TWILIGHT book)--HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS could never be reasonably contained in a single feature. All the same, I'm unsurprised--yet still somewhat disappointed, that PART 1 was just what I feared it would be: it's necessarily the slowest, talkiest entry in the movie series, with many a dull stretch betwen the bursts of brilliance.

Some things (such as exposition) work better in books--what can I say? If you've read the books, you know we're gearing up for one hell of a finale--but when you read HALLOWS, you have the option of immediately CONTINUING to said finale. The first HALLOWS movie is hurt very badly by the barely-there status of such important characters as Snape and Hagrid... and you can forget about the rest of the Order of the Phoenix in the meantime--if you've only seen the movies and never read the books, you probably STILL don't know exactly who the hell such characters as Kingsley Shacklebolt and Tonks are supposed to be. And yes, there was at least one point where a character's death was abruptly announced, and more than one person in the audience responded with "Huh? Who?" On the other hand, Lord Voldemort FINALLY steps up as a major player, and the movie springs (or slithers) to life whenever he appears.

The movie still has a lot to offer--especially the maturity that a PG-13 rating for such a series ought to allow... those who consider Potter "kid stuff" probably have very limited experience with the actual works. There's a wonderfully perverse bit near the beginning where a wide variety of characters (including females) transform into Potter decoys (and are thus obliged to dress the part). There are some surprisingly grim scenes of torture, bloody violence and death--and there's a most startling image of sensuality used to torment the jealous Ron.

And it should also be pointed out that there are a couple of wonderful 'movie' moments that work better than they would have in the books. You may have heard about a brief 'dance' sequence that offers Harry and Hermione as brief respite from all the nastiness--yes, it's a most welcome moment. And perhaps best of all is a triumphant animated sequence depicting the Tale of the Three Brothers--it's been a very long time since I've seen such beautiful "shadow puppet" work.

Okay--it's not going to get any more pleasant, but it's not going to slow down from here, either. I hate to call DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 the least of the film series, but on its own, it's certainly the least satisfying. Call it a necessary evil.

Re: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:49 pm
by hodgy
Loved it. I loved the grittiness, the dark tone, and the look of the movie. I even loved the slow pacing of it- to me it added to the overall feeling of unease; because you KNOW it's just the slow ride to the top of the first hill of the rollercoaster that will undoubtedly be Part 2.

Re: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:49 am
by Evil Red
hodgy wrote:Loved it. I loved the grittiness, the dark tone, and the look of the movie. I even loved the slow pacing of it- to me it added to the overall feeling of unease; because you KNOW it's just the slow ride to the top of the first hill of the rollercoaster that will undoubtedly be Part 2.
I'm right there with all of this. Loved it. I was kicking myself for not going back and reading it again to freshen up on this particular book since all 7 have just become one gigantic story in my head. I forgotten mostly where one leaves off, and the next 'begins'. At the poly-juice scene though... I suddenly started to remember just HOW MANY characters' end up getting killed in this one and I have no qualms admitting that Harry Potter was one of the few books I've cried at while reading. One death in particular and sure enough, watching it on screen got the waterworks going again. Broke my heart all over again and that in itself is a true compliment to the film making. It's pretty hard to get me to do that during a movie. I can NOT WAIT for part II. :metal: