Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Film Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Director: David Yates. Screenplay: Steve Kloves. Producers: David Heyman, David Barron and J.K. Rowling. Cinematographer: Eduardo Serra. Editor: Mark Day. Studio: Warner Bros. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Running Time: 146 Minutes.

First and foremost let me be clear: I have not read any of the Harry Potter novels. As far as books go, fantasy, wizardry and anything to do with magic is not exactly my cup of tea and so the chances of me reading a Harry Potter novel are slimmer than Hermione's waistline. With that said, I have more often than not enjoyed the films and so I was expecting more of the same entertaining but not quite mentally stimulating fun from this film. Sadly that was not to be.

This second last instalment in the Potter film series follows Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they set out on a dangerous quest to find the rest of the Horcruxes they need to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort before he becomes too powerful to be stopped. With the help of some of their friends, old and new, they embark on a journey that tests their courage and the strength of their friendship in extraordinary circumstances. What ensues is an epic adventure in the same heroes-on-a-journey style as The Lord Of The Rings although on a less grand scale with our heroes traversing the length and breadth of their fantasy world to save it from the clutches of Voldemort's evil empire. As with every other Harry Potter film, this one is beautifully shot and has it's moments of cinematic magic that will leave you in awe, be it the top-notch visual effects or the chemistry between the leading actors who have now been together for over a decade. There is indeed one particular scene between Harry and Hermione which is not in the novels but was added to the movie by the screenwriter Steve Kloves and is now my favourite scene in the entire series. Although it is a fairly brief scene, it adds just that extra bit of emotional weight to the film that pulls you in even more to care about the characters and what they are going through than you initially did. It's a bit like poetry in motion picture. On the negative side, the overwhelming problem I had was that the movie drags on much longer than it should and there is more than one moment in the film where I was sitting waiting for something (anything!) to happen. Naturally this is bound to be the case when the final Harry Potter book is split into two movies just to squeeze another billion dollars or so in extra box office takings. The end result is what could've been a great movie ends up being an ok film thanks to some bean counter at Warner Brothers studios. 

Summary: A sometimes entertaining if long-winded curtain raiser of a film that will please Harry Potter fans but leave most muggles wondering what the fuss is about. At least we can rest assured that part 2 can only be better.
Rating: 54/100

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