|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010).|
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" (2010) debuted on November 19, 2010 at the tail end of the hugely successful "Harry Potter" franchise. "Deathly Hallows" quickly became one of the highest grossing films of all time, and the top film of 2011 by a wide margin. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" has grossed way over a billion dollars worldwide, which is a lot of money for a franchise with as many films under its belt as the "Harry Potter" series. Kids love Potter, but at this point the actors are growing up quickly. No longer kids, they can give a few adult nuances now and then as well, with a hint of things to come.
So, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" is not just some kid's film: it is big business indeed. With such a moneymaking machine in high gear, it is not the time to take creative chances. Thus, in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" there is nothing too controversial. In truth, there is no need, as the series by this point has had plenty of time to smooth over any rough edges.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), in my opinion, is starting to take on a "Dr. Who" vibe by this point in the series (I realize you may violently disagree). He is a wizard indeed, solving issues and leading his team of fellow wizards. Emma Watson ("Hermione Granger"), meanwhile, is developing a few curves that indicate womanhood is not far off. The most unchanged by time is Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint, who still exhibits the sophomoric behavior with which he began the series in 2001.
|Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are growing up rapidly. Gestures that at the beginning of the series would have been passed off as childish affection is approaching the point of perhaps signifying something more. But... it doesn't.|
Early in the Harry Potter series, of course, Harry and Emma had a confrontational relationship. As the series has progressed, they have become more partners, consoling each other and so forth. Nothing wrong with that, just another sign that everybody is growing up. At this point, there still is no sign of actual romantic involvement by any of the leads, but that inevitability cannot be held off much longer. The inevitability of romance is the "elephant in the room" even when there are little CGI creatures fighting for attention. Who will wind up with who, though, is not disclosed in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" or even hinted at.
|Some of the scenes begin to seem like a bunch of actors conducting a class in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1." The special effects are top-notch, so good, in fact, that they fail to amaze but just seem natural.|
While Harry and Hermione are working together, Ron Weasley is the odd man out. If this were a TV series, Ron's character probably would have been written out by now. As it is, Ron amiably follows along and adds some complications here and there, but doesn't really get in the way of the action. At one point, he has an argument with Harry and leaves, but of course they all reunite later. It is all somewhat half-hearted, as it is much too late in the series to start eliminating one of the three leads. He is like the old friend who has always been there, and there's simply no reason to change things that are working well. Clearly, though, Ron adds nothing that needs to be added.
|Harry and Emma seem quite suited to each other in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1." Will they wind up together? See Part 2.|
Thus, it is the two leads now - Harry and Hermione - who carry the proceedings. At this point, you are unlikely to start watching the series unless you know something about the characters and have seen previous entries. Having that knowledge helps a great deal in enjoying this entry, and in fact is pretty much a prerequisite. Starting off with this film would be like starting to watch "Game of Thrones" three years into the series - sure, you could, but why do that and not experience the full development of the characters? Let's just say that this film condenses much of the narrative, and not in a bad way if you are up to speed.
|Harry Potter remains the focus of the series despite the increasing clutch of big-name stars intruding on his screen-time.|
All in all, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" follows the J.K. Rowling book quite closely. It hits the main plot points and only leaves out inconsequential travel scenes and the like. Thus, mark this adaptation down as a faithful rendition of the book, or at least the part that it covers. One imagines that Steve Kloves, the screenwriter, at this point basically is just cribbing from the associated novel. Rowling, after all, knows her books will instantly become motion pictures, so she is writing a screenplay when she churns out each new novel. The novels, of course, have more meat and nuance than the film versions can convey, but they simply are condensed into outline form for the films. While theoretically that is the case in all adaptations of novels, it is done much more rigorously with the "Harry Potter" series than in other situations. This is a because the series has become so revered and discussed that major deviations would cause a revolt amongst the fans who purchase the theater tickets. So, the screenwriter is locked in, and the only question is how much detail from the books can be transposed to the screen, not whether he is going to change any of the details from the novels, because that isn't going to happen.
|Is that Professor Snape or Voldemort? If you can't answer that question straight up, this is not the film with which to begin your "Harry Potter" experience.|
There are the usual gothic vistas and scary characters, but nothing Harry can't handle. The point is - it's the same old, same old. Alan Rickman returns as Professor Severus Snape, Bill Nighy is Minister Rufus Scrimgeour, Ralph Fiennes returns as Voldemort, and Helena Bonham Carter is Bellatrix Lestrange. Everyone knows how to play their role, all of these old pros hit their marks, and it is a painless 146 minutes under the able direction of David Yates. The plot? If you're a fan, you don't need me to tell you the plot, and if you're not a fan, you're extremely unlikely to start at this point in the series. In brief, our three young leads band together to defeat Voldemort. Is that a surprise? It's what they always do.
|Yes, the kids are alright and growing up fast.|
The children who began the series in the lead roles have grown into fine actors by this point, and their skills are improving from film to film in more ways than one. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is well worth watching for fans, and definitely is suitable for small children. Enjoy another solid entry in the Harry Potter franchise.
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010).|