I have something to set straight. In earlier posts I have been (somewhat) negative about the Harry Potter. I have always acknowledged the popularity of the novels and the fact that they definitely are a landmark in the fantasy genre but at the same time, I have criticized the hype surrounding the movies as I do not believe them to be as good as everybody keeps on telling me.
However, of course there is also good to be found in the Harry Potter movies and I had been told that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is the best one so far. And after having seen this latest Potter movie, I must admit that I am still not a fan but I did enjoy the movie. Not much more than the previous movies in the series but then again, looking back they too were not that bad.
The story centers around Harry, Hermione and Ron fleeing from Voldemort’s forces and searching for the Horcruxes. Destroying these Horcruxes appears to be the only way to stop Voldemort, who by now is in control of the Ministry of Magic and has starting rounding up everyone who may oppose him. The late Dumbledore has left each of them an item to help on this quest.
Despite the death of several of their friends and serious arguments between the three of them, Harry, Hermione and Ron manage to escape from Voldemort’s henchmen, retrieve the Sword of Gryffindor and destroy a Horcrux. However, Voldemort finds the Elder Wand, increasing his abilities even further, making the outlook for the last movie very bleak…
Lots of action, not too much depth
As mentioned above, the movie is definitely entertaining to watch. The storytelling is quite fast paced and there is lots of action. The setting is quite dark with several tense moments but not to the extent that it should be classified in any way as a scary movie: the focus is still on entertaining teenagers so they shouldn’t be scared away.
The whole love story between Hermione and Ron not working for me. This element, together with the uncomfortable moments Harry has with his two friends due to the fact that he is the third wheel, should provide some extra depth to the story but it seems too artificial to me.
Another downside is that it is the first of two connected movies. A large part of the movie feels like a prelude to the finale and there is also no real ending to this first part. This is not surprising as the story is based on one single novel but I feel they could have done a better job. On the other hand, it did the trick in one way: I really do want to know how the series ends and, as I haven’t read the last couple of Potter books, I will have to watch the last movie!
One more to go…
To conclude: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is all right to watch and even one of the best fantasy movies of 2010. You will have a hard time not sitting on the edge of your seat and you will most likely want to see part 2 to find out how the whole saga ends. The final movie in the series may well become one of the highlights of 2011.
Having said that, I am sorry to say that I still haven’t lost all of my misgivings about the series…