Movies: Deathly Hallows Part I

Much of the reaction to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has fallen into two broad camps:

  • How great to see the cast together again in this, the final chapter.  Those kids sure have grown up!  And oh, it’s dark and scary…
  • This movie is too long and unfocused.  It’s an exercise in box-office economics.  I never really liked HP to begin with…

You could probably support both arguments, though you’ll never get me to agree with the camp than never liked HP to begin with.  That argument, I just don’t understand…  Anyway, it is a pleasure to watch those young actors who brought HP to the big screen years ago.  And yes, the tone of the final two-part film installment, like the book, is decidedly bleak and dark and threatening.

This is, after all, JK Rowling’s version of the final showdown.  They aren’t just uncovering old mysteries at Hogwarts anymore, dodging the attempts of the Big V’s minions.  No, this is Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort – as sinister a cinematic villain as you could hope for in this, the age of varying shades of evil.  This is the Ministry overrun by Voldemort’s forces, Harry and friends scattered into hiding, and a new twist on the quest to destroy the horcruxes that safeguard the big V’s immortality. Continue reading