A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
So after catching up on the previous six installments of the series, I was able to make it to an out of town dollar theater to watch the penultimate Harry Potter film, the first I'd seen on the big screen. And when I saw the bespeckled nerds in tight jeans and 40 year old dudes in horizontally striped shirts, I knew I was in the right place. The film opens up with the knew minister of magic (Bill Nighy) giving a rousing speech of how he will not be deterred. His reign will be short lived as Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes is back. No one plays bad like he does) and his minions, who have now taken over Hogwarts with Snape as Headmaster, see too his demise shortly after administering Dumbledore's last will and testament to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. After the trio barely escapes the clutches of the evil lord, they engage on a journey to complete their mission established at the conclusion of the previous film as well as learn the mystery behind the lethal title objects. A long delayed and much specualted romance also is in bloom. In short, The first half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is lavishly spectacular entertainment, filled with the most sprawlingly beautiful visuals and stunning special effects in a series known for its sprawlingly beautiful visuals and stunning special effects. I was particularly wowed by an early chase sequence where motorcycles and mounted broomsticks swoosh through the air and streets of London. Another segment in which the three wizards don the appearance of three grown-ups to invade the ministry is equally impressive. Also, a stay in the woods with the three taking it on the lam is filmed with great beauty as well. I was thinking that there is so much to appreciate here visually that a person who hasn't seen the previous films would still probably get much out of it. In fact, I'm not sure I even understood what a hallow or a horcrux is. I also did think the film was overstuffed with developments and details which made me wonder what Potter book loyalists have been griping about all this time. Do they really want to sit through seven six hour installments so nothing would be lost in translation to the screen? Harry Potter 6 part 1 is a riveting, wonderfully looking film that could have afforded to leave a bit on the cutting room floor.