Whether you are a fan of J. K. Rowlings tales of the magical world of Harry Potter or an avid moviegoer, the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One has been on your radar for more than a year. Perched to set a number of records, this film may very well be the jewel of the Harry Potter crown. Dumbledore is dead, Voldemort`is taking over and Harry must somehow figure out how to save his world. This is the backdrop for the latest Warner Brothers’ offering.
With Deathly Hallows, the talents of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermoine) are clearly at their best. Each offers their fans strong and deep performances. The cast of supporting actors, which are some of England’s finest, are superb. Bill Nighy is mesmerizing as Rufus Scrimggeour, Jason isaac’s is incredible as the snotty, even when frazzled, Lucius Malfoy, Helena Bonham Carter commands as the pure-blood crazed Bellatrix LaStrange, and Alan Rickman is a gem as the stone faced, double agent Severius Snape.
Steven Kloves, unlike in past films, took cinematic liberties with this darker installment, which worked well this time around. His twist on the fate of Headwig, the Deatheater Wedding crashers, and invasion of the Ministry of Magic were excellent. Harry, Ron and Hermoine are serious and likeable, and Hogwarts, which once symbolized safety and security, is just someplace everyone else must go.
While many considered the splitting of the last Harry Potter book into two cinematic pieces as a financial ploy, viewers will realize that from a storyteller’s standpoint it was a great move. The film for the Order of the Phoenix installment would have been more cinematically clear if presented in two parts. In fact, the missing elements and clues presented in the Order of the Phoenix would have made the Deathly Hallows film much more clear to those who do not read the book.
The film; however, is not perfect. Some handheld camera shots are wobbly and there are a few focus issues that make you wonder if it is a mistake or an attempt to add some cinematic flare. Other crucial storylines, such as Harry and Dudley’s moment of closure, Creatures bonding with Harry, and the saga of RAB’s death are unfortunately omitted; however, the trade is the more heroic sacrifice of Hedwig, the brilliant depiction of the seven Potters, the reclaiming of Alistair Moody’s Eye, and the clever interpretation of the Will of Albus Dumbledore.
While there is always the debate regarding whether the books are better than the film, it does not matter with Deathly Hallows. The film stands on its own. While most of us realize that we will probably suffer from Post-Potter Depression after July 2011, Deathly Hallows, Part One satisfies everything any self-respecting muggle loves about the magical world! DH1 is entertaining, well written, superbly cast, and chocked full of action. You would have to be “mental” not to enjoy it.