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Arts in Review

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The day has finally come, the end is finally near: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was released last week and millions of adoring fans attended the midnight premiere and millions more flocked to the theatres over the weekend. If you haven’t seen it you’re missing out. I had originally planned, in this review, to compare the book and the film, the film and previous films etc. As a Harry Potter fan myself I felt I could adequately judge the film. And I will eventually, but the truth is this film is so much more than just another movie. I assume every other Harry Potter fan (be it a fair-weathered or a Harry Potter scholar) can agree that the film represents years of devotion and love for a series. For many of us these books were the biggest part of our childhoods, and these films are our dreams brought to life. And while there has been much criticism towards the films (and for good reasons) fans still count down the days, hours, and minutes until they’re released. We love Harry Potter. And we’re all devastated that it’s coming to an end. Thankfully, that’s not until next year.

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by Brittany Wiesner (Staff Writer) 
Email: cascade.arts[at]ufv.ca

The day has finally come, the end is finally near: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was released last week and millions of adoring fans attended the midnight premiere and millions more flocked to the theatres over the weekend. If you haven’t seen it you’re missing out. I had originally planned, in this review, to compare the book and the film, the film and previous films etc. As a Harry Potter fan myself I felt I could adequately judge the film. And I will eventually, but the truth is this film is so much more than just another movie. I assume every other Harry Potter fan (be it a fair-weathered or a Harry Potter scholar) can agree that the film represents years of devotion and love for a series. For many of us these books were the biggest part of our childhoods, and these films are our dreams brought to life. And while there has been much criticism towards the films (and for good reasons) fans still count down the days, hours, and minutes until they’re released. We love Harry Potter. And we’re all devastated that it’s coming to an end. Thankfully, that’s not until next year.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is surprisingly excellent. If you don’t know the plot, (I’m curious as to what rock you’ve been living under) the story revolves around young Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger who live in the wizarding world. For the past 6 films they’ve been going to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, taking classes, making friends, making enemies, and battling dark forces. If you haven’t seen the past six films you’ll be quite lost watching the seventh film. So it’s time to do your homework.

The films star Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson plus a handful of other famous British actors (like Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith). The acting is much better than it has been in past films. It feels like Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have stepped up their game, after seven films they are finally believable in their roles. Emma Watson is finally able to convey more than two emotions, and the chemistry between the three of them is brilliant.

The director, David Yates, also directed the 5th and 6th films of the Harry Potter franchise and will also be directing part 2 of the seventh film. His style is instantly recognizable. The films, since he took over, have become visually darker. Not to mention the plots of the films have been twisted and warped compared to the plots of the books.

This film was made to appease the fans of the novels, and I think it did a good job. It didn’t stray far from the books, doing each important scene as it was written and only adding a few establishing scenes beforehand. They seemed to screw themselves before this film by cutting out essential scenes and characters in previous films. In this instalment they had to make a last minute attempt to inform the viewers who is who, for example introducing Bill Weasley out of the blue, or the rushed romance of Lupin and Tonks. If you have only watched the movies, there will be parts you will be confused about in this new film, but it’s still very good.

Overall it’s an excellent film – as it should be. After nine years of watching Harry Potter and his world we have almost come to the end. It’s funny, heart-warming, and it will make you cry. The ending is a great cliff-hanger to lead up to part 2, and honestly, you don’t want to miss this film considering people will be talking about it for the rest of the holiday season.

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