Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" (2010)

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" (2010)

3.5/5 Stars

From the very first of the seven movies now in this series, it has seemed to me that the target audience was those who already had read and possibly reread J. K. Rowling's exciting and inventive Harry Potter books. As a result, I felt and still feel that the filmmakers absolved themselves from the ordinary duties of storytelling, concentrating instead on visualizing highlights from the books for fans who know the story inside-out already.

Rowling's novels are too complex to have all their ideas transported into the standard two to three hour film format, so it made at least some sense in adapting the final volume to present the movie in two parts. The extra time could then presumably be used to make the movie less of a gloss on the book than the earlier episodes had been.

Despite the extra time allotted, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" is still not all that it should be. Like the earlier films, this one benefits from its near-perfect casting and lavish budget. Like the earlier films, it fails to capture fully the suspense, the thrill, and, yes, the magic of the books. Do we really need to see a three-minute dance between Harry and Hermione that isn't part of the book? It's done well, but it doesn't add much, other than giving the director the feeling of accomplishment that comes from slipping something of his own into the works. Ms. Rowling, as producer, evidently was willing to go along with the digression. But why leave out what happens to Peter Pettigrew during the battle of Malfoy Manor when he has his crucial moment of hesitation? Anyone who read the book would recall that event vividly. Why omit Ginny Weasley's equally memorable birthday offer to Harry? In all fairness, it might take ten hours to tell the whole story, but my complaint is more that the movie doesn't make the best use of the time it does have.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: 
Part I Official Trailer #1 - (2010) HD

Video added May 27, 2012

Note:  My brief movie review of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" can be found here.

Blog Updates:

I have updated the post on Timothy Q. Mouse with the sale result here. And I never leave out the Q.

I have updated the post on George Booth  here with a new contest proposal from James Gurney.

I have updated the post on Whistler's "Upright Venice" with the sale result here.

I have updated the post on Pablo Picasso's "Visage" with the sale result here.


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