Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Last night was the midnight premiere of the seventh film in the 8-part Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. This film doesn’t open with the intensity that its predecessor did but instead with a speech from the new Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour about the dark times of the present. Harry, Ron and Hermione are each in their respective homes with Harry and Hermione leaving theirs for what may be the last time. Hermione’s is particularly saddening when she removes herself from her parent’s memories as she leaves.
Previous to this film, I thought the most physically intense scene was the one in which Dolores Umbridge charms a writing pen to scar Harry’s hand when he writes “I must not tell lies” but that is quickly outdone within minutes of this film starting with the opening scene of the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort. Hovering over the table during the meeting is Charity Burbage, a muggles studies professor from Hogwarts who is bruised and bloody as she pleads to Snape for her life before she is killed and fed to Nagini. This moment, I knew that the film wouldn’t be holding back.
Prior to this film, I had only read the book once. The week it came out back in July 2007. I was particularly looking forward to seeing the visuals of the chapter in which Harry is taken by the Order to the new protective area but is infiltrated in the sky by the Death Eaters. I don’t think this particular scene was presented as intensely as I was anticipating but it still paved the way for the battles yet to ensue.
One of the more well-done scenes of the Deathly Hallows was in Godric’s Hallow where Harry and Hermione find Bathilda Bagshot, possibly the most eerie, creepy visualization in any of the films so far. Another well-done aspect was with the elves, who previously looked more cartoonish but in this film are much more believable as being true beings.
Other well-done highlights of the film include the animation of “The Three Brothers” legend and Helena Bonham Carter beautifully reprising her role as Bellatrix Lestrange.
Overall, this film has a much more realism to it that the previous six didn’t quite have. There weren’t any scenes taking place in Hogwarts. Much of the film took place in a more real world setting and magic wasn’t the centre of attention. With that, it definitely helped to feel more empathetic to Harry, Hermione and Ron as they spend much of the movie on their own. It no longer feels like you’re watching a film of wizards but you’re actually there with people you’ve known for nearly ten years, helping them and keeping them company.
The final scenes leave the anticipation as high as ever. While we have to wait eight months to see the second half, it’s not disappointing. You leave satisfied knowing the last two and a half hours were the best hours in the Harry Potter film series so far.