A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Harry Potter Madness

In Family on November 20, 2010 at 1:15 am

Harry Potter’s journey is almost complete – well as far as the books that have already been written are concerned. The stakes have been turned up, danger lurks around every corner and in the heart of anyone that Potter isn’t intimately familiar with. There’s a great moment, where a number of characters question each other to make sure they are who they seem to be. (Plenty of potions and spells that can make you look like other peopleare floating around – as is used a number of times throughout the movie.)

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1 is the latest turn at the wheel from director David Yates – who finishes out the franchise next year. And from the very beginning of the movie, we’re given the tone and demeanor of where this movie and this world currently are. It’s dark, dangerous, and not a single person is safe. There are at least two people that die within the first three scenes. (Possibly more, because a lot of this stuff happens off-screen.) The movie also ends – as is wont to do – with the sacrifice of a heroic figure, in the name of keeping Harry Potter alive.

Though we do get quick appearances of just about everyone that’s ever shown up in a Potter movie, and a whole new cast of characters that will hopefully all collide in the final chapter. The movie is almost solely concerned with following the three main leads. This movie features Harry, Ron, and Hermione, venturing out on their own. Breaking away from the adults – and Hogwarts – to fend for themselves. Just like the grown ups they’ve pretty much turned into.

All three actors avail themselves very well. Each getting their own moment to shine – but it’s really Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, that get the lion’s share of screen-time. Actually after getting our bearings in the world, it’s Hermione we see first – with the sole appearance of her Muggle parents, being the moment that she erases herself from their memories. For their own protection, we come to understand. It’s a tough scene and things don’t get much better for Miss Granger – especially when she has to dance with Harry Potter.

It’s amazing to see these characters – and from the split-second we get to see some of the other students (Neville Longbottom, I’m talking about you!) – all grown up. Though they still have certain expressions and the awkwardness in performing certain tasks that make them seem still, very child-like. But make no mistake, they can no longer afford to be children. In an almost LORD OF THE RINGS like turn for the series, we spend most of the (quite long) running time, walking through grand, beautifully shot landscapes. There’s even a blinding light CGI’ed version of dark embodiments of some of the main characters. Just to finally show that I’m not totally pulling this comparison out of my Hallow, let’s say this movie features smaller people carrying a piece of jewelry around their neck in hope to destroy it – while it tries to turn it’s bearers against each other.

Come on, tell me that doesn’t describe Lord of the Rings.

Anyway, the movie’s pretty fantastic. It’s so overstuffed though, that I found it hard to follow in certain parts. There’s horcruxes, ghostly deer made out light, hallows and so many names and characters thrown out that I don’t know that even if I’d read the books I’d be able to keep up. Though, in probably one of the best scenes meant as exposition, the story of what the “Deathly Hallows” are is told through a beautiful shadow-puppet like animation. But, at least for the moments that I was lost in what the characters were talking about, there was always something beautiful to look at.

The only major complaint – and no the above isn’t meant as a complaint – is the ending. And no, I don’t mean the abruptness, or even that this doesn’t feel like a complete movie in one sitting (having to wait until next Summer sucks). No, it’s just the small little thing in how they deal with the death of an important character in this particular movie – as opposed to how they’ve dealt with the deaths of characters that have been far more vital through the whole series. Unfortunately, I have to delve into SPOILER territory, in order to get this off my chest.

So, if you don’t wanna know; I say definitely go see the movie. Not that you needed convincing. And here’s the trailer to be the separator between the spoily parts. Enjoy.

Okay, so if you’re still with me, you must wanna know how a character that I originally despised (I literally stopped reading the books because I hated this character so much – and so far have not gone back to the books.) – turned into someone in this movie that I actually liked and was sad to see meet the fate that they did.

Of course that character is Dobby the (former) house elf.

He makes a major comeback in this movie, and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Harry Potter and friends. But, my problem with this is, the entire finale of the movie deals with him giving a tragic final speech; and then actually having a funeral – with a hand-dug grave by Harry (he even says he doesn’t want to use magic to bury Dobby). Meanwhile, Dumbledore, who died in the previous movie (sorry if that’s a spoiler for you), just kind of fell off screen and that was it.

Frustrating, but not a deal breaker. Now go watch the trailer again.

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