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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

(8/10)

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Current Rating 9.5/10 | 2 Votes

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the beginning of the end for the boy wizard and his friends. The evil Lord Voldemort has been steadily gaining power throughout the series and it's finally reached its peak. It's fight or flight time for Harry Potter, and since flight is much harder to pull off in a world full of magic, Potter must gear up for an epic battle that is just around the corner.

The film kicks off shortly after the last left off, with everything more or less gone to hell. I highly doubt anybody's reading this review without having seen Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, but this is your warning. Dumbledore is dead, cast off of a building by Severus Snape, who has seemingly solidified his position as being in league with Voldemort. Draco Malfoy, who was never much more than an annoyance to Potter, has now reluctantly gone full-blown baddie and sits at the same table with Voldemort himself. And with Dumbledore gone, our safety net goes with him, and we feel real fear for the first time. Throughout the series, the tone has grown darker with each entry, and now that darkness is absolute. 

Not only is the film dark in tone but visually as well. We rarely see bright colors, which is fitting. Director David Yates and his crew have done something wonderful with this entry. They've taken this magical world and sucked all of the wonder out of it, leaving only that which is frightening and alien. This world is populated with evil witches and wizards that can kill by uttering a few words and flicking their wrist, and for the first time, the threat they pose is fully realized. Without going into details, within 20 minutes of the movie (if memory serves) death comes to those we know, and for the near two and half hour runtime, it doesn't stop. I've never cheered for Harry Potter more.

I'm obligated to mention that the film drags in parts. I was fully engaged in the characters and their situation, so I never found it to be a problem, but that doesn't mean a few moments couldn't have been trimmed down. The scenes serve their purpose, however, and I felt Harry's frustration and impatience in wanting to destroy Voldemort and be done with it.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is both a worthy addition to the series and at the same time held back by the obvious restraint of being a first half. We've come a long ways with Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, and Ron Weasely, and it's both gratifying and nail biting to watch their quest come to a brutal, bloody end. But we won't get that conclusion until the middle of next year, and while Deathly Hallows: Part 1 may not end in a terrible place, one could argue that having it end anywhere other than the resolution to the story is a tragedy. And yet splitting the final chapter into two parts makes that unavoidable.

But that's all ok, because I've never been more excited for a story to reach its conclusion. Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was torturous in the best way possible. I watched characters that I loved get beaten down, time and time again, and words can't express how much I'm anticipating their glorious retribution.

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