Dir: David Yates Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Felton
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Dir: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Felton
What's it about: It's the end for Potter. He's come a long way and his final face-off with Voldemort takes place in two parts. Part One ends with Harry destroying another horcrux (an object holding evil souls) as the Dark Lord starts preparing for the grand finale by getting hold of Dumbledore's elder wand.u00a0 Yates cuts to the chase with a spectacular chase scene where Hagrid tries to whisk Harry away under the eyes of Death Eaters pursuing him through tunnels and alleys of London. Despite the glorious beginning, the middle and the end are quite bleak. Part 1 mostly revolves around Harry, Hermione and Ron camping out in the woods, finding clues and reading books to figure out how to destroy the next horcrux.
What's hot: There is ample fodder for diehard fans to chew onu00a0-- be it Harry, Ron and Hermione's disguise act while getting into the Ministry of Magic or Dobby the elf's tragic demise, Yates stays true to his material. Special effects and sets are spectacularly larger than life and impress with attention to detail. Performances are stellar, especially Emma Watson who plays Hermione with a certain grace signifying coming of age. Rupert Grint gets to shine in a few scenesu00a0-- notably his bickering with Harry over making others carry his burden. Ralph Fiennes is a treat to watch. Even though his appearance in the first part is more of a tease, he creates the right amount of anxiety to make us wait for the mother of all showdowns in the finale next July. While the franchise mainly works because of the visuals and SFX, this one makes the effort to delve into the psyches of the characters. Ron's insecurity about Harry's closeness to Hermione is well-depicted and so is a magical animation that narrates the story of the Deathly Hallows. Everything is done on an elaborate scale even if it has to extend the timeline of the film.
What's not: Don't expect much action. The broomsticks don't come out too often and the wands don't spell out too many charms. Yates pays more attention to creating the right atmosphere so you will want to watch the next part. The scenes in the woods could've been trimmed, though. Harry and Hermoine breaking into an impromptu dance or long-drawn dialogues between the three somehow dampen the pace. The 150-odd minutes of running time is a tad too much for a film that doesn't really have that much ammo in terms of the big fireworks. That makes us wonder if making the finale a two-part event was important or just a ploy to bring bigger bucks to a franchise on its last legs. The air is so dark that even rare occasions of silly humour bring relief.
What's that! For those thinking HP is still a kiddie flick, the topless scene of Hermione and Harry making out under the cover of mist, will dispel any such notions.
What to do: Hardcore fans will eat up everything about Deathly Hallows but others might want to wait till the second part to figure out what the hype is all about.