Until two weeks ago Harry Potter was a cultural figure that had very little influence in my life. However, with the first installment of its final chapter due out this month I knew I was going to have to immerse myself in this world to understand what was drawing everyone in.
Suffering through Chris Columbus’s first two films, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many adults were losing their minds over children’s stories. In the Prisoner of Azkaban I found myself enjoying where everything was heading, the dark and brooding nature of this epic was really starting to show itself. Three more films to watch and I couldn’t really tell you too much other than the children get older and every time they go to school they get stirred up in trouble, The Half-Blood Prince just being a two and a half hour play on teenage hormones.
Knowing that they could milk two movies out of the final book, Warner Bros decided to split this tale into two movies, probably one of the most intelligent moves in regards to storytelling this series so far. Honestly it has been a wonder how the fans have been tolerant of the trimmed down representations of these films so far.
Unfortunately of all the books to do this with, they choose the one where they stand around the woods and wondering what to do. If it hadn’t been for the six previous films to provide a stable foundation for this movie to settle, this film would have been downright “unwatchable”. Aside from that, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 is an intense climax-building cinematic event.
When sitting in the theaters you get reacquainted with characters, and actors, that you have watched evolve and grow throughout the last nine years, only to know it’s all coming to an end. In regards to the actors, all of them are in top form. Having worn the skins of these characters for years you get performances that you will never see anywhere else in cinema.
Something can be said for the consistency in the casting and directing. David Yates has directed the two preceding films in this series. Although not favorites to most, his familiarity with the talent and the property really shines in The Deathly Hallows. Without a doubt this is the finest film in the series and a large part of that has to do with David Yates staying on as the creative vision of this series.
After grueling hours of having to watch the series, I have found myself in a place that I didn’t think I would end up…as a fan. Not so much of the stories, although if these books would have existed when I was a kid I probably would have, but more so of this series and what the creative teams were able to create over these many years. Honestly I am glad to watch this final story unfold on the big screen.
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.