WATCH: Harry Potter fans rejoice; the Harry Potter movie franchise has finally given us, the Harry Potter disciples, something to enjoy.
As I sat in my seat awaiting the arrival of Harry, Hermione and Ron I could not help but wonder if director David Yates would yet again decide to trade in content for unnecessary additions. It was only a year and a half ago the sixth installment, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, came to theaters.
When the sixth film premiered, I faithfully ordered my tickets and attended the midnight showing, only to find myself perplexed at the story presented on the screen.
Amidst poor acting and awkward relationship development, it was deemed appropriate to add a scene that did not appear in the book. (As if J.K. Rowling needed anyone’s help.) I left the film feeling disappointed and nervous for the next two installments, which, in my opinion, contain the best of Harry Potter.
I was pleasantly surprised when I left the theater early Friday morning. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I contains some of the franchise’s best visual work, acting and depth. Yates followed the story line carefully, with only some minor changes.
It would be too confusing to attempt to outline the plot of the film, so instead I am going to simply name the highs of the film and some of the areas I thought could have been done better.
First, the opening of the film was amazing. The film opens with Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), striding towards Malfoy Manor. Upon arriving at the Manor, audiences are greeted by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and various Death Eaters. Fiennes portrayal is perfect. His arrogance and pure evil comes across brilliantly. It is the first time I have seen the Lord Voldemort I have read about come alive.
After the opening scene, the film continues in a fast pace. Many chapters from the book are condensed into short clips, but without losing the content.
In the middle of the film, Harry, Hermione and Ron find themselves in the Ministry of Magic. The scene following is one of my absolute favorites from the film. The acting is sharp, the Ministry is beautifully created, and we are given a small dose of humor—a break from the overall dark tone of the film.
Following the Ministry scenes Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) are forced to be in constant travel as they are on the run from Voldemort. When reading the book, I thought these scenes would be difficult to translate to the screen, but the acting skills of Rupert Grint brought depth to the character’s circumstances.
I was shocked by how real his jealousy of Harry felt and how much he was able to hurt Hermione with his sharp words. Grint was able to create realness often absent from these particular films.
Finally, the film ended with the same intensity as it began. The stopping point was better than I expected, and the final scene was moving.
The visual high points of the film include the telling of the Tale of the Three Brothers, which was done in a style very uncharacteristic of Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic scene and the beautiful countryside images.
I only faced one disappointment in terms of the film. The scene in the Malfoy Manor, after Harry and company have been captured, was not as enjoyable as expected. While reading the book, I envisioned this scene to be one of my favorites, but it went by too quickly.
It makes me nervous for some of the other emotionally charged chapters in the end of the book. (Particularly the chapter involving my favorite character, Snape.)
Overall, the film was my favorite of the series. The 2.5 hours of the film flew and I had a hard time leaving my seat. The excitement for the next and final installment has already set in. I can only hope Part II is as good as Part I. Harry Potter fans everywhere are realizing the end is near, and it seems as though our years of dedication will finally pay off.
4 out of 5 stars
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
Danyella Tonelli is a staff writer for The Aviso.