Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the One

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 96 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Running time: 146 minutes (2 hours, 26 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality
DIRECTOR: David Yates
WRITER: Steve Kloves (based upon the novel by J.K. Rowling)
PRODUCERS: David Barron and David Heyman and J.K. Rowling
EDITOR: Mark Day
COMPOSER: Alexandre Desplat


Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Bonnie Wright, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, David Thewlis, Timothy Spall, Peter Mullan, Rhys Ifans, Evanna Lynch, and Michael Gambon

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the seventh (and final) novel in the Harry Potter book series. Warner Bros. Pictures is releasing the film adaptation of the book as two films. The first, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, is now in theatres.

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his closest friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) embark on a quest to find and destroy the Horcruxes, the secrets to Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) immortality. Meanwhile, Voldemort launches his latest plot to kill Harry, so the Order of the Phoenix hatches a daring mission to protect Harry. Not to be denied, Voldemort’s allies, the Death Eaters, launch a surprise attack, which scatter Harry and his allies. Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest in London, where the search for a Horcux takes them into the heart of the Ministry of Magic and begins a journey that will find the friends alone with only themselves upon which to rely.

Apparently dividing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two movies will allow the filmmakers to make what is essentially one larger movie that is closer to its Potter book than the previous Harry Potter movies were to their respective books. One thing this split will do is allow the narrative to breathe. Some of the Potter movies always felt like they were missing something.

Sometimes, when filmmakers turn books into movies, they make the action in the book more frantic, in a way to make the narrative pop and seem livelier to movie audiences. They also leave out entire subplots and characters in adapting books to the screen. Movies, especially those created for wide public consumption, are often shallow compared to novels. Novels don’t have to offer fizzy amusement every page and sometimes show the less fun side of a character. Novels can have entire sequences that might seem boring compared to the non-stop nature of film, especially cinema of sensations, event movies, and summer tent pole flicks.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is not afraid to show the drier side of the Potter stories, and for the first time, a Harry Potter film really delves into the bittersweet of Harry Potter’s life and the complex dynamics involved in being a Potter friend, ally, or associate. Part 1 is certainly filled with exciting action scenes, breathtaking aerial duels, explosive fight scenes, sparkling displays of magic, and hot death, but it is also contemplative and emotional. This movie has both a meditative inner life and a combative outer life, which makes for a richer movie and a more fulfilling narrative.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is everything thrilling/action/fantasy that the previous Harry Potter movies were, but also something more. It has the character and drama befitting a great work of fantasy, and yes, you might even call it a Harry Potter movie that is really for adults.

9 of 10

Thursday, November 25, 2010

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