Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

The posters say “nowhere is safe”. Hogwarts is under the control of Voldemort, so is the Ministry of Magic, so is the general world of Harry Potter. It’s been said before because each book/movie keeps getting progressively darker, but it’s true, this one is the darkest one yet. Bleak in fact at times.

This time ’round, Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione are on the run ousted from their normal lives, hunted by death eaters, and searching for the illusive Horcruxes, the items they need to destroy in order to defeat the Dark Lord. And that’s pretty much the story line. By now, everyone knows where this is going so I’ll just say it starts and ends with that theme and move on.

The pacing of the movie was interesting as it starts off pretty intensely, continues with plenty of tension but then eases up a bit and gets further into character development, more than we’ve seen in some of the more recent films. They’ve all had character development as everyone gets older, but this one gets a bit deeper inside more people’s heads other than Harry. I really enjoyed the compelling storyline and the director’s visual style which complement each other well.

JK Rowlings continues with the good guy killings as more characters bite the bullet. You’ll have to see it to find out who gets taken down this time as the body count continues to add up. I have to admit that her tendency to kill so many characters kind of pisses me off; but then again in every war there are casualties.

The performances of the actors are spot on as always. This is a terrific ensemble and never fails to deliver. Director David Yates keeps everyone on their toes and it shows. The usual cast is here: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ralph Fiennes (I always thought he’s a superb casting choice for Voldemort). John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, and Bill Nighy join this excellent cast.

Go see it in the theater, it’s Harry Potter and there’s only one more left. Dammit.

reviewed by Sean McKnight