A total of 13 years, including the release date of the very first book, 6 films and 7 books later, we are finally introduced to the first installment in the final piece of the great epic that is Harry Potter. Hope everyone was able to follow that. Assuming that you were, I’ll press on. I am quite proud to say that this is probably the first modern movie that I have actually read the book that it was taken from. I have actually read all of them. Due to my sister’s liking of the story when she was much younger, (she could care less about it now; teenagers) I took her to see the very first film way back in 2001 and have been somewhat of a fan ever since. I took the opportunity to catch the midnight release for this one. I must say that the many films that have been brought to life have done a pretty good job mirroring the books. This latest and maybe greatest does no different.
We pick up where the last film and book left off. It’s rather difficult to explain the synopsis of this movie without giving away spoilers from the previous films but I’ll try my best. Plus you should have done yourself a favor and simply read the books or at least watched the movies. Anyways, the famous Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is now dead and the wizarding world is at war. Half want the muggles (non-magic folk) to have nothing to do with the wonders of magic and the other half would like for things to stay the same. That is filled with peace and allowing whomever desires it to try their hand at magic without of course revealing their secret magical society to the rest of the world.
Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has reassembled his crew of Death Eaters and his main agenda is the destruction of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). He feels in order to reclaim his place as the most feared wizard in history is to once and for all do away with “the boy who lived”. On the other side of things, Harry’s friends, Hermione and Ron (Emma Watson & Rupert Grin) and Professors from Hogwarts have placed strategies in motion in an attempt to keep him safe. Of course being the kind of wizard that he is, he decides to rejoin his mission that he stated at the end of the previous film, Half-Blood Prince. That is to find the horcruxes (a wizard can place different parts of himself in random objects and then hide them in order to make it difficult to kill him; these objects are called Horcruxes) and destroy them all. He is convinced that this is the only way to defeat Voldemort. His friends tag along and their new adventure and task begins.
Laced with special effects, new flying broomstick stunts and plenty awkward teenage moments, this film was pulled straight from the pages of its book counterpart. The screenplay was written by Steve Kloves of course taken from J.K. Rowling’s original story. Rowling also produced the film which was directed by David Yates.
As I expected, it had its’ somewhat boring parts as did the book. These come about during the trio’s search for the horcruxes and quest to find solutions to many unanswered questions. Another visit inside the Ministry of Magic provided more glimpses at the very different world of wizards. Flushing one’s self down a toilet to gain access into the Ministry of Magic’s building and riding fast elevators that go not only up and down but back and forth as well were just a few.
As usual the visual effects did not disappoint. Stunning green screen technology combined with animatronics brought the magical world of Harry Potter to life. This film also didn’t shirk on the wand usage now that the young wizards are almost masters of their magical powers, Hermione being the smartest one and saving her friends lives quite often as usual. I for one looked forward to the wand play and was satisfied with the duels that transpired in this film. I still think the best one that ever took place was at the end of Order of the Phoenix between Dumbledore and Voldermort.
The adaptation of the main characters’ personalities as they continue to get older couldn’t have been an easy challenge but the cast seems to make pretty good work of it. Each character matures in their own way and deals with their own worries and issues. Love stories can be seen developing and continuing from the previous film between certain characters. It is certainly not lacking in its’ humor as well. The theater audience seemed to enjoy plenty of the joke filled moments throughout the film despite its’ dark and serious demeanor.
Despite might having read the books, the audience can view this film, as well as the others, as its’ own entity. It would be difficult to prevent yourself from comparing the two but you could if you wanted to and sit and watch this movie as if there was no book written. But since there is, as always, the book stands on top. It’s just more entertaining to read certain vivid descriptions of scenes and environments and characters’ emotions than it is see them unfold on screen.
Part 2 to this last portion of the Harry Potter story is due out next summer and guess what? It’s in 3D. Wow, what a fricking surprise. Enjoying this film, I give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows “4 reasons to be sure to catch the conclusion next year out of 5”.
“What about Hermione?…we wouldn’t last two days without her…don’t tell her I said that”