I’ve heard and read a lot of mixed reviews about the latest Harry Potter film. Overlong. Shouldn’t have been divided into 2. Too complicated. Over-plotted. No character development. Etc.
So it was with some trepidation that Karen and I went to see The Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Wednesday night. Trepidation because, actually, we love the Harry Potter films. All of them. And I say that with a note of defiance in my voice to those who would denigrate them. But that doesn’t mean I am going to take kindly to spending near enough £20 on a shite film.
Thankfully I spent £20 on an excellent film.
I loved it. Having read the books I can say that for me, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 was spot on. Exactly as I’d imagined it.
Overlong? No. Not at all. I would have been happy to sit through another hour.
Shouldn’t have been divided into 2? No. To make one film – even one that stretched to 3 maybe 3 and a half hours – would have meant curtailing and abridging the story horribly, pointlessly and dishonestly. It would have cheated the audience.
Too complicated? I’ve read the book so knew what was going on – so I can’t judge. But my wife, who has not read the books, found this one easier to follow than its predecessor, The Half Blood Prince.
Over plotted? Nope. Everything that was there was necessary. If anything they missed a few things out – but nothing of any importance. For example, in the book, Mr Weasley lays into Harry’s foster parents for their coldness and cruelty towards him but Dudley, their spoilt brat of a son, makes his peace with Harry and wishes him well. Given the moral overtones of the story it would have been nice to have had this scene kept in but I can see it would not have served to progress the story along so it was probably right to leave it out. There were a few other minor omissions like this but hell, you can’t fit a whole book into a film.
No character development? Hmm. This is Harry Potter guys, come on! The entire series has been about him growing up and getting to this point! Finally Harry, Hermione and Ron are standing up on their own. There is no help from Dumbledore – well, no direct help. This is Harry facing his enemies without protection – only his own skill, nerve and courage. This is him becoming a man. And for what it’s worth I thought this was a surprisingly adult film. Surprisingly scary too. And very dark... and set to get darker still. The body count is rising. The stakes are getting higher.
It was always going to be difficult to draw the first half of a story to a close and do it in a manner that is cinematically satisfying – but they managed it. The conclusion leaves you feeling cranked up and ready for the last rush of the rollercoaster to the unavoidable termination.
I loved this film. I’d be happy to go again to see it. I can’t wait for Part 2.
To be honest, if you’re not a Harry Potter fan there is no point you going to see this film and expecting to like it. If you haven’t liked the others or you’ve picked fault with them, save your money and go and see Tron. But for those of you that are Harry Potter fans I found nothing in this film that would disappoint or let you down. It serves both us and the story well.
If Part 2 maintains this standard it will be a fitting end indeed.