Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book to Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One

Yesterday, I got this amazing opportunity to attend the press screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I am a movie and theatre reviewer for a local website and my editor was so anxious for me to go, then come back and write my review. And now that I've done it, I wanted to share some of the excitement with you - in advance of the big premiere tomorrow. Don't worry, no spoilers here.

The first thing that comes to mind is how truthful to the book this movie is. It almost reminds me of The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, which were almost annoyingly by-the-book. I guess splitting the book into two movies allows for more details to be shown. However, I am not completely satisfied with the splitting - it leaves us without a proper ending of Part One and although the movie is more than exciting, the final product has absolutely no resolution. Although the final scene is art in itself, it seems almost arbitrary, as it could have happened anytime in the past two and a half hours. Not to mention, there are seemingly endless scene that could easily have been cut.

I was really happy that the movie was not released in 3D. I believe 3D just keeps reminding you you're at the movies and that you're supposed to scream and laugh (kind of like a theme park). And trust me, although the action sequences are jaw-dropping, this movie is much too poignant and emotional to be seen as light entertainment. Unfortunately, Part Two will be released in 3D, which I hope will not interfere with the movie's emotional tone. And here's a big surprise: there's an animated bit in the movie. Now, I'm not going to tell you what, but it is beautiful and creative and I was really happy (although shocked at first).

The actors are all amazing, of course, but no one more than Emma Watson, who's really grown into a strong actress. The opening scene of the movie is all about her, as Hermione casts Obliviate on her parents, and it instantly got me to start crying. Rupert Grint is fun as usual, though he does get a dramatic moment or two. Daniel Radcliffe is also good, though the weakest of the three. Anyway, Part Two will be his chance to shine. There is also a (surprisingly graphic) nude scene involving two of the main characters, though that's another surprise I won't ruin. And don't worry, it's all in good taste.

All in all, though not my favorite movie of the bunch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a fabulous piece of movie-making and a satisfying beginning of the end of my childhood. Make sure you bring tissues, as well as a friend to clutch to when things get especially tough. That Nagini sure gave me a heart attack!



Trisha said...

You are so very lucky! I'm glad to hear it stays more true to the books that past adaptations.

Roof Beam Reader said...

I CANNOT WAIT! 24 hours from now I will be out of work and waiting in line, with my Starbucks!

Amanda said...

Okay, I've been saving your review until after I saw the movie myself, which I did this morning! I actually liked the place where the movie ended - perfect cliffhanger! I was worried it would end with the scene right before then, and I wouldn't have liked that, but I liked the place where it ended up. I also really was surprised but eventually happy about the animated scene. My only real quibbles were small. I especially didn't like the unnecessary camera shakiness in places, because I'm the sort of person who gets motion sick in theatres really easily and already has to sit in the back row!

I believe the movie was released in 3D here in the states, but I'm not sure because I try never, ever to see movies in 3D (that whole motion sickness thing).

I wrote up my own little review on Tumblr. Sadly, no one can comment on it unless they have a Tumblr account, so I'm not expecting a response, but if you want to read it, it's here:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I can finally read this as well since I posted my review... ummm... about 30 minutes ago.

I loved it sooooo much!

Jenny Girl said...

So glad this one is better than the Half-Blood Prince, and true to the book. I would hope it would be since it's the last book. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the wonderful review.