25 November 2010

Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 (AKA strange impromptu Harry/Hermione dances, degrading speeches for Dobby, important info cut, and the best Harry Potter movie yet)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

4.5 Stars


No, I did not just see the movie. However, I did just create my blog. And so I shall review it now, six days after I saw it. So, first off: I am a huge, huge, HUGE Harry Potter fan. Read the books when I was 8 and never looked at a Magic Tree House book again. In my mind, any book I read now can only achieve 2nd place in my mental hierarchy - Harry will always be #1. However, as much as I love the books, I am not always that satisfied with the movies. I think the first and second were actually really good, but from the third movie onwards, important things were cut, stupid things were said, and the whole movie franchise thing seemed like a big joke. That's not to say they weren't good movies; if you hadn't read the books, or if you had read them and didn't care about changes being made, they were quite enjoyable to watch. But for me, watching Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince was torturous. I felt that there was no real character development, Voldemort seemed like a tacky villain, and the whole enterprise had taken away the lovely magic of the books. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I heard Deathly Hallows would be split into two parts; I was hoping beyond hope that this magnificent story would be replete with small details and fully-formed characters and plot. And - this is what shocked me - it was! It was almost everything I could have hoped for! It was a thing of beauty to see the plot staying (mostly) the same as the book, and it actually made me cry a bit. I thought all of the actors were truly putting all their emotion and energy into their performances, doing their best to make the characters come to life on the screen. This was especially evident in the camping scenes, when the trio had to hold their own, without any supporting actors. I thought they did a spectacular job, especially Emma Watson, who beautifully displayed all of Hermione's conflicting emotions and worried but strong attitude. Rupert Grint was also fantastic, and Daniel Radcliffe was better than ever before. Helena Bonham Carter was, as always, delightfully insane, Ralph Fiennes terrifying, Alan Rickman menacing, Imelda Staunton horribly malicious, all the Weasleys lovely, and the 'Ministry trio' very convincing. The quality of everybody's acting was such that I sometimes found myself with tears in my eyes, like when Harry and Ron fought, when Harry and Hermione visited his parents' grave, and when Dobby said his last words. However, as great as the film was, there were still a few, inevitable, idiotic additions. But, amazingly, there were only three notable ones!
1. Harry and Hermione's impromptu dance in the tent after Ron left. This was absolutely ridiculous. It was a sweet gesture. But it only heightened the suspicions of Harry and Hermione's secretly being in love, which is incredibly stupid, especially as Harry later tells Ron that he has only brotherly feelings for Hermione. It seems to me that the movie was trying to create a nonexistent love triangle.
2. Dobby's stupid words. Like when he drags Mundungus to the trio, or when he rescues them from the Malfoys' manor. They did not fit his character at all, and degraded him as silly and overenthusiastic, which was especially tasteless as he was about to die.
3. The stuff that was cut. Too many things to mention, but I'll just give one example: Kreacher's tale, in which he describes his relationship with Regulus Black and the tale of the locket. For me, this was a rather emotional part of the book, hearing of Kreacher's heartbreak and anguish, not to mention that it was necessary to flesh out Kreacher's character instead of just making him a crazy old house-elf.

So I might have some scruples about the movie, but overall, I loved, loved, loved it. It was a great adaptation, and in my opinion, the best Harry Potter film yet. But, hey, maybe you disagree with me! Go on over to the poll on the left and vote, or feel free to give me more specific thoughts on the movie in the comments! I shall respond ;)

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