Posted by: popcouver | November 21, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

The day we had been waiting for, counting down to, and dreaming about has come and gone. Now we have another long 8 months to wait for HP7.2. However, we at Popcouver take comfort in that we can spend those 8 months analyzing, considering, evaluating, and re-watching HP7.1.

So here it is! The high-anticipated Popcouver review.

SPOILERS ALERT! DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM.

Perhaps for the first time ever, we left the midnight premiere without the slightest feeling of disappointment over changes made to the storyline. David Yates, Steve Kloves, and the team at Warner Brothers Studios finally hit HP on the exact right note. Kinda tragic, considering that this is the last novel to be adapted for the screen. However, we can rejoice in the fact that we will always have #7.1 (and 7.2!) to finish off our Harry Potter marathons.

Because of the nature of the first half of J.K. Rowling’s Deathly Hallows, the supporting actors had little or no role in this film. Favorites such as Neville Longbottom, Severus Snape, and Draco Malfoy had minimal presence, and some characters, such as Professor McGonagall and Seamus Finnigan, had literally no role at all.

However, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, in fact. The extreme focus on Harry, Ron, and Hermione gave the actors a chance to really stretch their legs. Emma Watson gave her most endearing and convincing performance to date, particularly the scene where she comes across the Snatchers and in the torture scene with Bellatrix. The part where Bellatrix was holding her down and threatening her for information was unbelievable! Her tears and emotion felt so real. I also loved Emma’s “Riddle-Hermione”. She was spooky and creepy and just evil enough. Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe both reach their maximum potential as well, especially with the constant stream of threats and battles. Daniel’s comedic timing became realistic and Rupert got a chance to be a bit more serious as well as a real asset to their trio. Seeing these actors away from the playful Hogwarts setting allowed a more raw feeling which translated well throughout the film.

Dobby finally got his proper role in a film as well! Not a single one of his contributions was sacrificed in the name of cutting the film into 2 hours. He got his glory and the death scene was heartbreaking. That scene was one of the most accurately done of the film, a proper way to finish it off.

The Bathilda Bagshot/Nagini Scene was also a huge moment for me. Ours hearts were racing in anticipation of the attack, and we were not disappointed! It was thrilling that WB managed to keep in each and every threat that the trio faces within the novel.

Of course, there were changes and cuts made to the story. Though there were a few we would like to have seen, we were happy with the decisions made. We would have appreciated the scene where Dudley shows his concern for Harry, and we would also have appreciated Hermione’s genius moment at the Lovegood’s, where she waits until the last moment, blows through the floor of the house, allows the Death Eaters to see Harry and then apparates. There was also the double sword topic- rather than having a fake sword and a real sword, Warner Brothers chose to leave it with just one. That was fine, but we would have enjoyed the moment where Griphook lies for Harry. The last element we missed was the positive relationship that the trio makes with Kreacher. We loved the idea of Kreacher cooking and cleaning and serving Harry, showing that everyone has good traits. But still, these are minor points which were were okay with leaving out. The one part that we were slightly sad about was the lacking back story about the Dumbledore family. However, perhaps this will come to terms in the next film, so we will give WB a free pass… for now.

We also loved The Tale of Three Brothers. We felt that the entire story was crucial to preparation for HP7.2 and the animated visual was appealing and entertaining, very different for the Harry Potter franchise.

All in all, this film had every aspect down. The timing and filming was perfect for the Refugee/On the run feel, and the comedic relief was just right to keep the audience from getting too depressed. We can’t wait for the Second Part! In the meantime, we’ll be at Scotiabank.

Only 236 days until the July 15 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2!

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