The most compelling installment yet! In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows David Yates, the director, continues the bleak and dismal stage set in the end of The Half-Blood Prince and continues it through the end of Part 1 to set the stage for the final movie installment of the series.The movie is set a couple of months after the conclusion of The Half-Blood Prince which ended with the murder of Dumbledore by Snape, a person he insisted on trusting in the past 5 movies. Couple that with the first scene of the new installment where Mad-eye and Hedwig die and George loses an ear in order to get Harry to a new location. The darkness only seems to intensify as the movie progresses with ruined weddings, the murder of the Minister of Magic, attacks against muggles, strive amongst friends and more. Yet the movie is not just a continuous series of bad events.
Before considering the plot or accuracy of the movie any more, I must acknowledge the tremendous growth and skill of the cast. Harry and Hermione seem more confident in their roles than ever and deliver there scenes very artistically, a gigantic step from where they were just a few years ago. Further, apart from a few scenes (read as: Ron’s speech after returning to Harry and Hermione), the dialogue is extremely well written. And finally one can not but appreciate the excellent camera work which made even absurd chase seems feel smooth and fluid. Yet there are still some flaws.
Purists about book-movie accuracy will certainly be upset with a few of the twists of the film. It is clearly a necessity to trim down parts of the book to have it fit in this two part set, yet some of the steps they took I think were in poor taste. Two of my greatest qualms with these decisions are the scene where Wormtail dies and the way in which they treated-rather ignored-the dynamics between Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands. Though some of the scenes were quite comical-Ron’s returning speech to Hermione-as well as creative, and given the enormous task of trying to be accessible and enjoyable to those who haven’t read the books as well as those who grew up with them it would be hard not to come up with a few criticism. But, on the whole, the movie was accurate enough to convincingly portray the story a la Rowling while not managing to feel like it is dragging on or constantly concerned with recapitulating earlier themes. But, back to the story itself.
After the loss of Mad-eye and Hedwig on the way to the Burrow we are reminded of the most pertinent and equally monumental task, finding and destroying the Horcruxes. This is the driving machinery of the movie and the movie makes one feel frustrated by the slow progress-as the book does-that Harry, Ron and Hermione make in finding Horcruxes. But, in order to prevent overwhelming us with their slow progress, a second theme is introduced: The Deathly Hallows. This story is foreshadowed first by Dumbledore’s book willed to Hermione, later through a reappearing symbol and a grave at Godric’s Hollow, and finally being explained in entirety by Xenophilius Lovegood. As it unfolds we hear of three magical items that let one evade death, a powerful invisibility cloak, a ring that brings back the dead, and an unbeatable wand. This explains a series of seemingly disconnected visions that Harry has of Voldemort looking for “something,” we now know that something to be the wand of power.
After a number of close calls we are inevitably led to the conclusion of the movie, along with the unfortunate death of the endearing house-elf Dobby. With Harry, Ron and Hermione teleported to safety, having only destroyed one Horcrux and located no others we wonder what chance they have to ever defeat Voldemort. Further, after learning that Dumbledore had the wand of power, we see Voldemort go to his grave and take the wand from it. Then the credits come leaving us with the question of how the protagonists can possibly locate the Horcruxes and defeat Voldemort before they lose the things they care about or they themselves are destroyed.
This conclusion truly shows the dark, dismal and desperate theme that began in the last movie and will capitulate in part 2!