Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Leann and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. I can remember when the book came out. We went to Smith's around 11 pm and stood in line until midnight. I bought the book and we immediately went home. I read for a while and then I prudently went to bed—even though I wasn't tired, yet. The next day (a Saturday), I got up and read until I finished the book sometime in the afternoon.[1]

There is a scene, much hyped in the press before the movie actually premiered, that features Harry and Hermione nude. This was followed by statements from the actors and the filmmakers that the press coverage was overblown and that the scene was actually quite mild. In my opinion, the scene was somewhere in between.[2] While the context is understandable (Ron is destroying a horcrux and it is trying to defend itself against him), I felt that having Harry and Hermione kissing was sufficient; there was no need to have them both shirtless.

Sometimes the camerawork as a little too jittery and the editing a little too fast-paced to really grasp what was going on in a scene. While they conveyed the frenetic pace of a chase, they failed to convey the terror of it. The movie ended at what was probably the best midpoint for a two-part installation. But still it felt like it didn't really wrap up like a movie should. I guess it really won't be complete until they release Part II in eight months. Even so, I wouldn't be surprised if Warner Bros. packages this one up and sells it as a stand-alone movie.

My verdict: I enjoyed the film but it's hard to pass a final judgment since I feel like I've only seen half the movie.


[1] An aside: I wish that J. K. Rowling had found some way to make the Philosopher's Stone one of the Deathly Hallows, instead of inventing a new Resurrection Stone. This would've made the narrative as a whole a little tighter.

[2] Both appear nude from the waist up, locked in a tight embrace. We see Hermione's bare back and shoulders and the top of her chest.

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