On Monday, November 15th I was lucky enough to be able to go to a screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I before the premiere that night. It has been really hard holding my tongue until today, but as per WB’s online embargo I’ve had to hold my review until today, the 19th. So first things first, this review will have major spoilers and these are my own thoughts about the film (they are a bit jumbled and random, so bear with me).
This film is definitely my favorite of all seven Potter movies so far. It is so emotional and the cinematography is perfect! I experienced so many different emotions while watching the film, which in my book is what makes the perfect movie. I laughed, cried, was terrified, angry and so much more.
The film starts out a lot differently from the earlier films. It starts with the WB logo, which is rusting and breaking and then we have total darkness. The first actual photo we see is Scrimgeor’s eyes and he is making an announcement to the Wizarding World. Then we see each member of the trio and their departing from their families (apart from Ron since that’s later). After that the Deathly Hallows logo comes in and the film starts.
Probably the most emotional scene for me was Dobby’s death, I cried when I read that part of the book at 4 in the morning on July 21st and was nervous that the movie wouldn’t bring about the same emotions, but thankfully the movie did his death justice. This is probably the most heart wrenching moment in the series to date, I’m not sure there were any dry eyes in the theater. I was one of the few people who openly wept (my hands were covered in tears), which for me is a rare occurrence, but I have no shame because that just means they did the scene properly. Steve Kloves did an amazing job writing this scene and Daniel, Evanna and the rest of the cast involved in the scene were perfect.
There are some added and modified scenes in the film, but as Steve Kloves said when we interviewed him at the premiere there are two different narratives now; the film narrative and the book narrative. Some things in the books don’t make sense for the films and some things need to be added to show how dire the situations in the wizarding world.
One such added scene occurs after Ron leaves Harry and Hermione; Hermione is very upset and they have added an adorable scene where Harry and Hermione dance. Some people think this scene is dumb and unnecessary, but I think that it shows how important and strong Harry and Hermione’s friendship is when he tries to cheer her up. For a moment they get to escape the real world and have a little fun, sadly they have to return to the world where they are on the run and trying to destroy Voldemort, but they at least have a moment where they can be young again.
Another moment that I really enjoyed was how they showed The Tale of the Three Brothers. Instead of showing a live-action portrayal or having Hermione read the story with nothing else going on we get to see an animated short. It is in a shadow style animation and it is amazing. As a graphic designer I really appreciate the artistry that went into making the short, definitely a good choice by the Potter film makers. (I think they should make a whole mini-movie with all the Tales of Beedle the Bard and do animations like this with different styles for each one, I think you’ll agree when you see this part of the film.)
I struggled to find something I didn’t like about the film and there were only two things and one of those isn’t because they did something wrong. One scene is the infamous scene where Nagini comes out of Bathilda Bagshot. This scene was quite disturbing, the audeince can sense something is wrong when there are flies flying around the house, and just before Nagini reveals herself Hermione finds Bathida’s room which has blood splattered all over it, and then we see Bathilda morph into Nagini. It is a very grotesque scene, but that is how it should have been done. So like I said, I only disliked this scene because it disgusted me, but once again David and the rest of the crew did a great job putting this scene into film.
The only thing that I was upset about them cutting was the Kreacher plot line. In the film they go straight to Kreacher saying Mundungus stole the locket without the Regulus back story. Doing this scene would have added more time to the film, but it would have been nice. I personally thought that the storyline was really important because it showed Harry that Kreacher really was helpful and kind if you showed kindness toward him in return. The story of how Voldemort used him would also add a lot more information about what Voldemort was willing to do and how Regulus redeemed himself. But things need to be cut, so I understand. I do hope they have it in deleted scenes or something.
So ends my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. I would say more but I don’t want to spoil too much for you all. The movie is non-stop action and emotion so make sure you don’t have to leave the theater for any reason, because you won’t want to get up. And make sure if you are the crying type, or even if you aren’t, that you bring some tissues! I am hungry for more, but then again I don’t want July to come because that means its the end of the Harry Potter movies.