Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Movie Review

I was late in getting into the world of Harry Potter. I remember being in Barnes & Noble one day and saw the books (at that time, the fourth one had just come out). I had heard a lot of press surrounding the Harry Potter craze and being that I’m an avid reader I decided to pick up the four books to see what all the commotion was about. From that moment on, I was a Potter fan. This series of seven books could arguably be called one of the greatest book series of all time. So, like most good books, the movies soon followed. For the most part, the movies did well in keeping to what happens in the books, however JK Rowling (the author of the series) has packed so much detail, plot twists and hints into the books that it was hard for everything to be captured. That is, until now. I’ve already seen “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” twice now, once at the midnight premiere and again in IMAX, and I would say without any hesitation at all that this is not only the most faithful of the movies to the source material but also the best of the film series yet.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Warner Bros. had decided to start splitting the books into two films per book, starting at say “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. The film series would have been able to delve deeper into the small details, character development and overall themes that Rowling had captured so perfectly in her books. Perhaps we would have received a prolonged funeral for Dumbledore at the end of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, instead of hurrying through his death and not having the funeral at all. I know most people believe that the studio split the last book into two films purely to grab even more cash out of their most popular of movie series. But now, after having seen Part 1, I can’t help but think that they simply wanted to tell the story as it should be told, leaving nothing out and honoring the story that we have all come to love.

It seems impossible to believe that the world has been watching Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grow up right before our very eyes. This film series has so far spanned a decade and we have watched children become adults. Not only have they grown up over these ten years, but their acting has come from novice to experienced veteran. We can see the trust that each one of them has with the other in their eyes and with their heartfelt moments of quiet and intimacy. For a good two-thirds of this two and a half hour film, these three are all we see and yet you feel as a member of this small group of friends. This dynamic trio of actors has raised the bar with each film and achieved their goals repeatedly, that I look forward to seeing the last leg of their journey with bated breath.

As always, the supporting characters continue to inspire us and bring this fantasy to life. The death of Dumbledore has crushed their hearts and left them without direction or hope. They all know that they must play a part in what is to come, but as the foundation upon which Harry must lean on to fulfill his destiny. Special attention should be given to Alan Rickman, aka Professor Snape, who plays his role so well that you can’t help for thinking that it was written for him. Knowing where his journey is headed in the last film brings me great joy. Also, if you haven’t yet been a fan of Dobby, be prepared to change your mind!

I hope that when the second part of this final chapter of the series is released, there will be marathons giving us each chapter back to back. Go from beginning to ending in a theater surrounded by other fans, both young and old. I can’t express into words how excited I am to seeing this journey come to a close and leave knowing that I’ve seen and experienced something special. Here’s hoping they knock it out of the park.

J.Chandler Grade: A

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