Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Unlike everyone who beat everyone into watching the latest Harry Potter movie, my friends (Cris and Jenn) decided to watch this on its second week and on a week night. This had me dodging spoilers left and right, especially since many of my classmates love dissecting media theories to pieces.
I had two major observations while checking everyone’s Facebook status messages.
1: Those who were already adults when the books and the movies came out generally did not like Deathly Hallows 1’s pacing. They found it too slow and dragging and they’d always say that they’re just going through this first part as a means to get to the second part.
2: Those who grew up with the books and the movies thoroughly enjoyed Deathly Hallows 1. They found nothing wrong with the pacing and in fact said that all the other HP installations should have done this kind of pacing a long time ago. My sister, who loved the books, said that this is the only HP movie she appreciated. Cris, on the other hand, said that Goblet of Fire should have been treated this way.
As usual, I am the anomaly. I have never read the books. Even as a child, I never liked kiddie fiction — Nancy Drew being the youngest character I’ve ever read voraciously about. (Not counting the historical romance novels that had heroines aged 15-18.) My only exposure to Harry Potter are the movies, which I had never missed.
Not that I actually enjoyed them. In fact, I slept through three of them, which had my friends complaining that I kept wasting precious ticket money.
I was prepared to get bored with this latest installment but surprise surprise! Despite all the adults’ complaints about it being too long and dragging, I found myself wide awake and disturbing Cris with exasperating questions. Many of the scenes were so much fun, like the screen shot above. Observe Harry in the blue dress-like getup. That was scene hilarious!
For all the funny moments found in Deathly Hallows 1, the entire film itself is Harry Potter’s darkest. I held on to my seat, torn between wanting to pee and wanting to know how Harry, Hermione and Ron are going to deal with the most powerful dark magicians in this fantasy world.
There were also moments that really upset me — especially ones that involved Bellatrix (portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter) — which speaks a lot about how well this franchise has evolved. I felt every triumph and heartache in equal measures.
Despite my lack of screen shots for Hermione here, I think this is also where she shines the most. The film not only covers some great backgrounder for Harry, it also unearths the Nazi-like history of Hermione’s heritage. Or maybe it had been discussed in detail in previous HPs but I just wasn’t paying attention. In any case, Hermione is pivotal in Deathly Hallows. Without her brains, Harry and Ron would hardly have any hope of surviving.
Overall, I find Deathly Hallows 1 an engaging experience, even if I got unnerved by all the deaths (Rowling certainly learned to be more like the veteran fantasy writers, who love killing off adorable characters). I am definitely looking forward to the finale.