Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Perhaps more than any other entry in the series thus far, Harry Potter 7a is completely entwined in the story of the other films. As a stand-alone movie, this one would be terrible, but then again it is not intended to stand alone. When one looks at the series so far David Yates is coming off like a directorial genius. Chris Columbus did a good job of setting up the universe and telling the first two stories for the child-like introduction that they were. Alfonso Cuaron helped the series grow up a lot and refined the look for a more serious tone, but nearly ruined the whole thing with his insistence that a more cinematic take on the story required cutting away a lot of the side plots and what at the time must have seemed like a lot of “fluff.” Mike Newell ran with Cuaron’s ideas and slaughtered the fourth entry, but then Yates stepped in and captured the best take on the series overall.

Part 7a picks up where the last one left off. The world we have come to know and love is gone. Evil has gained the upper hand and all the magical wonder has been replaced with danger fear and despair. This feeling is sustained pretty much unrelentingly throughout this film and we are left in the end with a perfect set up for the show down of all show downs.

The predictions made here on NonModern turned out to be spot on, but that is no great accomplishment. It proved to be the only way of doing things really. It is great to see the five hour hopes fulfilled. This is a tough view, though. We last saw one of the hardest to swallow setbacks in the whole series. Our opening scenes in this chapter have us witnessing Hermione perform a spell that we only hear about in the book, and it is heart breaking. From that point on until the predicted ending point we face more and more suffering and hardships for the characters we have grown to love.

Our anticipation for the final battle is completely whetted by this film, and Yates is well on his way to having a trilogy of films (in parts 5, 6, and 7a/b) knock some of NonModern’s top ten out of their slots.


  1. More thoughts!!! I always look forward to your reviews, but this one was a bit short. Tell me you are going to write more?

  2. Wow. Thanks, Deanna. Now that I look back at what I wrote, you're right. I think part of the problem is that I'm really only halfway through the film. I will definitely do a more in depth critique when I have seen the whole thing. (This part 1 part 2 is the way they should have done every film from 4 on, but it sure does leave one hanging for a few months!) Be prepared. You know "the end" is coming if you read my predictions a few months ago, but the credits still come as a shock!

  3. Yes! I thought the opening scenes were genius! and the one with Hermione IS heartbreaking.
    And the trio have grown into such good actors- I think that's due to Yates, also!
    I hated that we only heard Hedwig's theme in that opening second, but I guess that's to be you think we might hear it again? Your dad thinks they might not do the epilogue, but surely they will, don't you think?
    Oh, I LOVED this movie!

  4. Oh, the way the Deathly Hallows was done- genius! I wonder if that was Yates' or Kloves'idea.

  5. They apparently HAVE filmed the epilogue. They used the same actors and digitally aged them.


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