The Harry Potter franchise nears its end with the first in a two part story known as Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows. This is Part 1. How does it fare? Let’s take a look.
Spoilers are highlighted in red.
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 commences as a continuation from the Half-Blood Prince. With the help of The Order Of The Phoenix and the Weasley family, Harry, Ron and Hermione set off to retrieve and destroy Voldemort’s remaining five ‘Horcruxes’. During the quest, they come across three objects known as the Deathly Hallows including the Elder Wand, The Resurrection Stone and The Invisibility Cloak, they destroy a few more Horcruxes and teenage-romance bickering occurs within the threesome.
Unfortunately, I’ve only seen the film and I have yet to read the book. I already explained reviews ago about my downhill engagement with the franchise, though I did first watch this film earlier this year following my viewing of the Half-Blood Prince, six years after its initial release. It’s also the third Harry Potter film David Yates directed (the first being The Order Of The Phoenix). I found the Half-Blood Prince to be an improvement to The Order Of The Phoenix, but how’s about The Deathly Hallows Part 1 in comparison to The Half-Blood Prince? Eh,… nah.
Before I progress any further with the review, I question the need to split the story into parts. Look, I know there are such great films that was split into parts, i.e. Kill Bill, and the original book is the longest one in the series, but why not just make the Deathly Hallows into one film? I’m aware that both over two hours long, but come on, Gone With The Wind was four hours long and still enjoyable and so was Lawrence Of Arabia and the Ten Commandments. Oh well.
We’ll start with the good stuff. Firstly, I really admire the last few shots of the film; Voldemort breaks into and raids Dumbledore’s tomb. Then, end of Deathly Hallows Part 1. Tell me that ain’t awesome for a film’s ending! I also like the bit where Dumbledore’s will is discussed. This takes place sometime before the threesome embark on their quest. Each one of them receives a possession from Dumbledore. Harry has the old golden snitch and remembers how he caught it in his mouth during a Quidditch match (see The Philosopher’s Stone). Oh and the bit where Harry and Ginny are snogging and one of the Weasley twins catches them and is like “Morrrrr-ning” is quite amusing. I also forgot to mention Dobby’s appearance, and his final one. Yes folks, ya may remember him from The Chamber Of Secrets where Harry saved Dobby from Lucius Malfoy, thus earning Dobby his freedom. He comes to save Harry and co, but is yelled at by Bellatrix for ‘defying his masters’. This is where Dobby stands up to the Malfoys (“Dobby has no masters, Dobby is a free elf”) and Bellatrix kills him with one throw of her wand while he’s attempting to escape with his friends. Poor Dobby.
Alas, none of them highlights are enough to save a film from boredom. Unfortunately, during the middle, we have to sit through an over-dragging love triangle between Harry, Ron and Hermione. While we progress through the series, we know that Ron and Hermione are in a relationship with each other and Harry fancies Ginny, but there’s an affair, Ron acts like a moron about it and storms off, so much bickering. It drags and drags and has very little to do with the synopsis, a lame excuse to extend the film’s length and we know they’re going to realise what idiots they was and get back together again. I’ve seen it all before, let’s just say it’s boring! In fact, this is Ron’s weakest performance and most of his dialogue is constant bitching. You can just about replace it with this “neyh neyh neyh neyh neyh neyh!”
I also question the opening scene. We see the main threesome getting ready for their quest. I saw the deleted scenes and I’m surprised they wasn’t included in the final cut. One deleted scene indicates Harry and his aunt Petunia talking about the time when James and Lily were murdered by Voldemort and Petunia’s like; “that night at Godric’s Hollow, you didn’t just lose a mother, I lost a sister”. This indicates that Petunia does have a secret belief in the enchanted world. In another deleted scene, the Dursleys are about to leave Privet Drive; Harry and Dudley make peace with each other, handshake and final goodbyes. Those scenes are powerfully great! I never read the book, but apparently, the book included them. Why did the film have to shorten the opening scene to the Dursleys leaving without much word. I also debate what Hermione does before she leaves. I know by wiping her parents’ memories of her, she’s trying to save their lives from the Dementors, but I still feel disturbed by it.
We briefly hear that following Dumbledore’s demise, Snape has taken over as the school principal. We hardly see any of how he copes with his new job, which would’ve been really interesting. But the only time we see him is when he’s attending a meeting with Voldemort, the Malfoys and some of the death eaters at the Malfoy Manor, and that’s it. Maybe I’d just have to wait till Part 2.
And let’s briefly point out the rip-offs; Hermione acts a bit like Mary Poppins. Okay she doesn’t use an umbrella, but have you noticed how small her bag is and how large the items she carries around are? Speaking of Dumbledore and Snape, since Snape killed Dumbledore in the previous film and took position as principal, it seems a bit like in The Lion King where Scar kills Mufasa and inherits the role of the king of Pride Rock. Also, Harry, Ron and Hermione’s wasteful love-triangle plot is soooo Twilight!
If I had a favourite scene, I’d have to give the point to the scene where Harry teams up with his mates and some of the Order Of The Phoenix, followed by a brief flying battle where they fight off some of Voldemort’s minions. There’s a brief moment where Hedwig gets killed, but Harry doesn’t get a chance to mourn her. Couldn’t there be a scene afterwards where Harry gives his pet owl a quick send-off? Also, Moody is reported to have been killed as well. I kinda wanted to see how he died.
Overall, the film is one of the most boring of the franchise. It lacks much of the fun and the love-triangle bit gets entirely in the way. Of course, this is only Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows. There I am thinking; will Part 2 be an improvement? Join me in the next review as I review the final Harry Potter film of all.
Overall Rating: 3/10