I saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” over the weekend. Overall, I enjoyed it very much. I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, so the rest of the review is behind the cut. Avert your eyes if you receive posts via e-mail.
After finishing “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth book in the series, I couldn’t figure out how author J.K. Rowling could wrap up the story in just one book. There were so many loose ends to tie up she could have written two more books. She did manage to fit everything into one last book, and then I wondered how all of that could be crammed into one movie. I was relieved when it was announced the book would be split into two movies. That allowed the movie to be much truer to the book than previous installments, and allowed for plot development that otherwise would have had to be cut.
First, what I liked:
- The scenery, especially when Harry, Hermione and Ron are camping in the tent. We got to see more of the British countryside than in previous movies, and it was all gorgeous. It did more to make me want to visit the country than anything else has, ever.
- The scene where Harry is spirited away from Privet Drive. Seeing so many Harrys in one place was quite amusing. I can’t imagine how hard that was to film. The fight with the Death Eaters is also suspenseful and exciting.
- Harry finally giving Umbridge what she deserved and stealing the locket.
- As horrible as this sounds, the scene near the end of the film where Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione, and Dobby rescues everyone from the dungeon, dying in the process. I was sad to see him go, but glad he died a hero and got the recognition he deserved.
Things I didn’t like:
- I thought a lot of things were jammed into this movie that had been left out of previous ones to make them shorter. If you’re a fan of the books, you know what’s going on, but I felt like the average moviegoer might have been confused. For example: Bill Weasley having wolflike characteristics as a result of an attack from Fenrir Greyback. Or his marriage to Fleur. No mention of them even knowing each other has showed up in the movies yet, although they’re engaged in the sixth book.
- Harry and Hermione randomly dance around the tent to cheer themselves up after Ron leaves. I thought that was rather odd and didn’t add anything to the story.
- What could have been filmed instead (and maybe it was but didn’t make it into the final cut) was the bit in Godric’s Hollow where Harry and Hermione see the magical statue and monument to his parents. I also missing the part when, after Ron destroys the locket Horcrux in the woods, Harry explains he loves Hermione as a sister, being a hero isn’t as much fun as it looks, and the two boys hug. The scene was good as it was, but I think it might have had more emotional impact if it had lasted a little longer.
On the whole I liked it a lot. We saw a lot of great characters who it would be awesome to see have more screen time.
What did you think? Thumbs up or down? What are you hoping will make the cut for Part 2? There are two things I really want to see: Professor McGonagall calling the castle to arms, and Molly Weasley screaming “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH” as she takes down Bellatrix.