Title – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One
Released – 19th November, 2010
Running time – 146 mins
Age limit – 12A
The first installment of this epic two-part finale was never going to match how incredible the second half of the actual book is, let’s be perfectly honest here. However, what this part does do is give us an all-important character study into our favourite trio, and sticks incredibly well to its already brilliant set text.
Anyone who doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter by now should be very ashamed of themselves. To quote a tweet from one of my favourite YouTubers, Hank Green (one half of the VlogBrothers) – “If you call “spoiler” on something that happened in a Harry Potter book, I have no sympathy for you.” Well said, Hank. However, I will do my best to avoid spoilers of Part 2 in this review, but if I accidentally do, then I won’t apologise. It’s your own fault.
Let’s face facts – this is definitely one big set up for Part 2 as, truthfully, not that much happens in this film that will interest people who haven’t read the books (i.e. youngsters who’ve grown with the films rather than the books), but if you’re like me – an all-round, self-confessed and proud Harry Potter nerd – then this film is the best Harry Potter film to date.
It may seem weird that not much happens in this film, it lasts a whopping two-and-a-half hours, but with not much happening, previous readers will know that a lot does actually happen. A lot of it is simply dead end leads, arguments and Voldemort terrifying his followers and generally looking awesome. The plot of the story is that Harry, Ron and Hermione have to track down Horcruxes, seven things Voldemort put part of his soul into so that he couldn’t die unless someone managed to destroy these seven things. What Harry and co. need to figure out is what these seven things are – they literally could be anything. Thankfully, two of which have already been destroyed by the beginning of this film – Riddle’s Diary way back in film two, The Chamber of Secrets and Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring (a distant relative to Voldemort himself) that Dumbledore destroyed in the most recent film, Half-Blood Prince. The task proves almost impossible for Harry, it leads to a feeling of uncertainty in their midst as they feel the task Dumbledore set them is simply too great to defeat.
This film is, finally, well-acted (for the most part) by everyone in this film. Daniel Radcliffe has come on leaps and bounds since the beginning, especially since the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban (“He was their friend….HE WAS THEIR FRIEND!!” Oh, Dan….). Rupert Grint is brilliant as usual, being the most experienced and all-round better actor than the other two. While Emma Watson is as gorgeous as she’s ever been, and surprisingly acts quite well, especially when dealing with one of the dream team’s departure. There’s even a scene where Hermione is naked. Thank you, David Yates!
There’s definitely a lack of more mature actors in this one (previous outings have seen the not-brilliant acting from Radcliffe and Watson being saved by legends such as Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon), but that’s understandable since the trio quit Hogwarts in order to do their task. There will be more of the older actors in Part 2. I can guarantee it, even from those you don’t expect to be in Part 2. If you know what I mean….
There are a few action set-pieces for us to feast our eyes on. The highlight of which being the truly brilliant chase scene, almost at the very beginning of the film. We see Harry and Hagrid fly through the streets and tunnels of London on Hagrid’s (or Sirius’, depending on your Harry Potter knowledge) flying motorcycle being chased by numerous Death Eaters. The effects are exceptional in the entire film, numerous explosions take place and they’re a joy to behold. Ron’s “splinching” is impressive too, with a bit of blood and gore top horror filmmakers would be proud of. There’s even one set piece that had me jumping from my seat, it got me that scared!
To finish, there has been much discussion on the placement of the ending. I personally think that was the best place to finish it. It sets the second part up absolutely perfectly with one terribly depressing, heart-wrenching moment as my favourite character from the entire series is killed, followed by a short scene that doesn’t bode too well for the Wizarding World as Voldemort succeeds in claiming what he’s been searching for during the whole film.
All in all, a truly excellent adaptation from one of the best books of my generation, definitely the best film in the series so far at sticking to the story. It gets a very, very respectable 8.5/10.
You can read more reviews by RuhBuhJuh on his review blog, though we cannot be held responsible for the content of external blogs.