BANG Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

Today I went with Skye and Skye’s friend to see HP7i at the VIP cinema in Oakville. I’d like to say we got into the VIP place (which is age 19+, has big crazy chairs, alcoholic drinks, and reserved seating) on the sheer awesomeness of our persons, but actually entry is achieved by the purchase of a more expensive ticket. (Of course, we got ours with Scene points, which is a much better deal, so you could say there was awesomeness involved.)

Anyway! Back to the movie. (This review may be scattered and badly written, since it’s my bedtime and the last two weeks have fried me. Je m’excuse and tant pis.)

We thoroughly enjoyed it. We weren’t sure where it was going to end, since there’s a whole Part II coming in July, but it definitely went further than we expected in the plot. I was glad, because I didn’t want it to end. Honestly, I think I could have watched the whole thing twice in a row, there was so much in it.

I don’t want to say too much, because you should really go see it, if you haven’t already. In fact, you’re welcome to stop here if you want, and just take away the idea that it’s worth seeing.

I will state my one complaint first, which applies to both the Half-Blood Prince movie and this one: they really don’t convey the connection and passion between Harry and Ginny. To me, this lack of chemistry is disappointing, because J.K.R. does such a great job of it in the book. Any other little inconsistencies didn’t bother me: I was enjoying things too much.

Here’s what was great:

  • Effects, as always – SO NEAT (the polyjuice moments were particularly fun);
  • Amazing scenery, as always, but more of it;
  • Quite a few humorous moments, in spite of the dark content, and many of them wordless, even subtle;
  • A really cool animated sequence to depict the story of the Three Brothers;
  • Good acting and good pacing.

Let me expand on that last one. The problem I have mostly had with Harry Potter movies is that I always felt a) that the pacing was a bit wonky, causing awkwardness, and b) the acting was somehow… too obvious. In this movie, the dialogue and emotions seemed to come much more naturally. I’m guessing this is partly because the actors have grown up and are simply better at their craft.

The other factor, I surmise, is that they’re on the last book. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is all about the ties that bind, especially the friendships between the three main characters. They go through so much together in this book. The actors, likewise. As we were reading in Entertainment Weekly (thanks, Sean), these kids have spent literally half their lives being these characters, working together. The affection and closeness come through because they’re real. There’s one scene between Harry and Hermione in the tent that’s totally not in the book (if you see it, you’ll know which one I mean – don’t worry, it’s no breach of canon); at first I raised an eyebrow, but ended up really liking it because of the sincerity.

As I’ve rambled about before, one of the most enchanting things about the Harry Potter series, what draws us in and captivates us, is the love. Just imagine what you’d be feeling if you were one of these actors, playing out the end of era, the “motion picture event of a generation”… it’s no wonder the emotion is palpable. It leaves me, so far, with almost the same warm fuzzy feeling as the book did – and that’s an accomplishment.

To sum up (since I have to go to bed): in spite of being only half (or so) of the last story, it was immensely satisfying to watch.

The only problem: waiting eight months for the next one!!

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7 thoughts on “BANG Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

  1. Amanda says:

    We loved it. And because Matthew had watched every trailer and every media release coming up to the movie we did know where it was going to end.:-) That was nice because I was worried I would spend the movie watching the clock worrying about the end coming. We will for sure see it again in theaters maybe even more than once more. Unlike you we did not like the 3 brothers scene. We liked the voice over, but thought the characters were a bit too “cartoon” like for lack of a better description. I have a few little things that I did not think were great for me personally but the over all film was SO fabulous they are not even worth mentioning. We loved the detail, that it flowed along with the book better than the others and how the scenery was just as I had pictured when I was reading the book. I of course cried as they dug the grave, no magic….LOVED IT!!!!

    • diblog says:

      Okay, I just saw it AGAIN, this time with Sean. He agreed it was awesome – and he is not the easiest sell. It was just such a good balance of dramatic and funny and sad. And the music… it’s epic. Just as good the second time.

  2. Quinn says:

    I feel the same way you do! I thought the pacing was really nice in this film and didn’t want it to end! The acting and emotions felt more genuine and true to the book this time. I thought the three brothers animation was a wonderful way to portray the story but Nathan found it odd and distracting. Not enough chemistry between Harry and Ginny…and just a touch too much sexual chemistry between Harry and Hermione, if you ask me. I particularly enjoyed the Godric’s Hollow, ministry, and seven Potters sequences. Other than a few little things, I felt immensely satisfied and thought it was great! Can’t wait for the last one…although then it will be over and what will we do???

    • diblog says:

      Quinn, Interesting to read your comment about sexual chemistry between H and H, because I personally thought they got it bang-on – a connection that was not really sexual (unless you count the horcrux scene which isn’t real), but very loving in its way. (Although I guess when you’re 17, there ARE a lot of hormones at any given time.)

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