February 04, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 81, Issue 5

Review: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One'

Neither can live while the other survives.

Harry Potter fans are likely to be more than pleased with part one of the epic series finale. Many people were disappointed with director David Yates after the preceding film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, when he seemed to completely miss the boat in his adaptation of the sixth book “ but don't give up on him just yet.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is cinematic perfection. Yates  implements his own creativity while still remaining true to J.K. Rowling's original work.  

As an avid Harry Potter fan myself, I went into the film with high expectations and an extensive knowledge of the plot. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and very happy with the outcome.

The film opens with the meeting between Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters “ his loyal followers “ to discuss their plan for world domination, the eradication of anything muggle-related and, of course, killing Harry Potter once and for all.

Everything about the scene is done brilliantly “ from the atmosphere, to the acting, to the radiant flash of green light that signifies the first killing curse of the film and effectively ends the scene. Avada Kedavra!

The majority of the film follows Harry, Ron and Hermione to their various locations while they actively search for horcruxes and attempt to stay out of harm's way.

Some key plot points were left out, such as the fact that Voldemort had put a taboo on his name to help him and the Death Eaters easily locate any traitors or opponents. A few minor details were left out, too, including those during the meeting with Xenophilius Lovegood. Audience members who were not familiar with the books may have had trouble following everything that was going on, but other Harry Potter nerds like myself were surely able to predict scene after scene and detail after detail as the story unfolded.

Overall, I would give this film a 9 out of 10. There were very few things wrong and even the minor upsets would probably be considered nit picking. The film did exactly what it needed to do in terms of portraying the first half of the final book and setting up the second film of the two-part finale, which promises a lot more action and emotional distress. After seeing the success of part one, I can say with confidence that part two will be worth the 8-month wait.

Spoiler Alert!

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the anticipation of the debut of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One was this: Where are they going to end it?

For those of you who haven't had time to see the film yet and are dying to know how it ends, here's your answer.

Just after the dramatic, action-packed scene in Malfoy Manor, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dobby the House Elf make an incredible “ and very narrow “ escape. As the four are disapparating,

Bellatrix Lestrange, easily the most cunning Death Eater, throws a knife at them out of rage, in hopes of killing at least one more opponent of Lord Voldemort.

Unfortunately, she succeeds.

Dobby is struck with the knife and dies in Harry's arms shortly after arriving at their destination. It is a tearful goodbye as Harry and the others give the elf a proper burial.

Dobby's unnecessary and untimely death invokes feelings of sadness and anger in his friends and the audience, creating an even stronger will among Harry Potter, his friends and supporters to defeat Voldemort.

The scene then cuts to Voldemort lying face-to-face with Dumbledore's corpse. His new knowledge that the Elder Wand was buried with his rival drives him to dig up Dumbledore's grave, locate the desired wand, and claim it as his own, bringing him one step closer to becoming the master of death.

Voldemort then casts a spell into the air with his new wand, triumphant and optimistic about his primary task at hand “ finding and killing Harry Potter.

The screen goes black, the familiar score begins to play, and the audience is left craving more.

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