Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Film Review

Sitting down to watch HP7 (or #HP7 as it’s being called on Twitter) with an audience of thousands, most of them big fans, was genuinely thrilling.

A wild amount of applause started when the curtains parted to the Warner Brothers logo.  There is no preamble, we are dumped right into the action.  We see Hermione as she removes images of herself in photos with her parents, erasing herself from their memories and walking away from their house, down the road.  We see Harry watching the Dursley’s pack all their belongings and leave Privett Drive.  Without much preamble we follow Snape up a stone staircase to a meeting with the Dark Lord Voldemort himself as he sits at the head of a conclave of other dark wizards.

Voldemort declares the end to the equilibrium, there is to be a war against muggles, mudbloods, fellow wizards, the Ministry of Magic and everyone who stands in his way.  But one thing stands in their way, a young boy.  Harry Potter.

Snape confirms the date of Harry’s removal from Privett Drive and that moment of hope you harbour in your heart that he’s not really a bad guy, is dashed.  We know that Voldemort wants Harry dead so you don’t have to be a genius to realise what’s going to happen next.

As Harry flees the house with Hagrid on the back of a flying motorbike several other Harrys leave the house with other adults from Harry’s close group of friends.  It is of course a ploy to throw off Voldemort and his cronies but sadly, things go awry and the real Harry is exposed.

All of this happens maybe within the first ten minutes of the curtain lifting.  It is heart racing stuff and I was really worried that there would be problems with pacing.   But to be honest, the pacing changed completely after the first say twenty minutes.  As the mood deepens and darkens, we are left feeling a bit lost as Harry, Hermione and Ron set off on their own to find the various Horcruxes (Horcruxi?) which Voldemort needs in order to regain all the pieces of his soul.  It is of course our intrepid trio’s job to make sure that these are located and destroyed.

There is much of the Lord of the Rings in this seventh Potter film – there is a lot of walking and talking with the occasional spurt of action.  But it is necessary as against the relative calm of them stumbling from one clue to the next, we are made aware of the implications of the Minister of Magic being killed and new people taking over important roles.  It also showcases the hatred some full blooded wizards feel towards muggles and mudbloods (half muggle, half wizard).  Families are executed and friends are turning on each other.  The magical world is in turmoil and things are becoming very bad indeed, not just for our three friends, but everyone we’ve come to know and like in the other movies.

When Harry, Ron and Hermione eventually manage to locate a very pretty locket, that is one of the Horcruxes, things are ramped up a bit.  Both Harry and Ron’s characters become nastier, meaner, whenever they come near it or whenever they wear it for an extended period of time.  Finally, there is a massive fight between these friends and Ron storms off, leaving Harry and Hermione on their own.

This part really broke my heart a little – I really like Ron and think he’s a great character and is so well portrayed by Rupert Grint.  I didn’t like the split in the group and the burgeoning romance between Ron and Hermione is so quietly portrayed that I thought it was quite a cheap shot to drive a wedge between them.

Anyway (I have to remind myself this is not real life!) Harry and Hermione continue onwards to find a way of destroying the locket but we have no idea what Ron gets up to – personally I would have liked to find out more what he was doing, even if it was just staring moodily into the distance.

We also have no idea what’s happened to anyone else including the Wesleys, Hagrid or any of Harry’s other friends.  It works as a clever ploy to show just how isolated Harry and Hermione really are – they have no idea if anyone is still alive and how far things have progressed in the real world with the ministry questioning wizards and muggles alike.

Pieces of the overall puzzle falls into place, helped along by Harry’s dark nightime visions of what Voldemort’s been up to in his own quest to gain possession of certain artefacts.

This may not be the most action filled Harry Potter film, but it succeeds well with what it set out to do: it shows how our heroes are struggling to raise themselves above the isolation they find themselves in, in an attempt to save those they love and hopefully, the world.  How difficult it is doing the right thing, even when the world is falling apart around you, and how steadfast friends can truly be more important than family.

When I walked out of the cinema on Friday night, I felt genuinely entertained.  It’s still fresh in my mind and it makes me want to go and read the books.  I am reluctant to leave Harry, Hermione and Ron behind as in truth, their true quest has just begun and from where I’m sitting, it looks like Voldemort is definitely holding all the cards.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens 19th November.

Source: www.thevancouverrealestate.ca

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One comment

  1. forensicfanatic /

    As much as I love the movies, I highly recommend reading the books. They add so much nuance and depth to the characters, not to mention little subplots that add a little humor and mythology to this magical world. I cannot wait to see the movie.

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