15 November 2010 | neji107
A big improvement in the series!
In my mind, the Deathly Hallows Part 1 captured the feeling of exactly what the Harry Potter movies should have been all along: gritty, emotional, and cinematic. I haven't been a huge fan of any of the HP movies to date, but I was pleased with the Deathly Hallows because it took a big step up in maturity from the "children's fantasy" genre and focused on themes very central to the seventh book: hopelessness and desperation.
After the death of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, the magical world falls into disarray as Voldemort gains power over the Ministry of Magic and hunts tirelessly after his mortal enemy and our continuing protagonist, Harry Potter. While keeping a low cover, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine decide to track down and destroy Voldemort's soul contained in hidden "horcruxes" but have difficulties deciding what to do and where to start.
The Deathly Hallows very successfully portrays the despair-filled journey of the wizarding trio. With dark undertones running through the cinematography, Part 1 of the Harry Potter finale is the film that deals more with the emotional stagnation of the characters and spends less time with action scenes and major plot points. Since Rowling's seventh book is separated into two movies, Part 1 boasts a much slower pace than earlier HP films and is not so focused on cramming as many subplots and side-stories from the book as possible into the movie's runtime, which tends to clutter up the storyline and make the whole thing feel rushed.
But where the slow pacing makes this film stand out in the series, it also may be its downfall. The Deathly Hallows continually feeds us a feeling of desolation as Harry, Ron and Hermoine fail to discover a way to destroy the horcruxes; they seem to be making no progress towards defeating the Dark Lord, but as an effect the movie seems to be making no progress towards an ending. Storyline lags intensely towards the middle of the film and is dragged out until the conclusion (which ends abruptly). You'll be left in your seats feeling like this is going nowhere- but that's the point: Harry, Ron, and Hermoine are getting nowhere. So I liked this movie because the pace was slow, but I also didn't like this movie because the pace was slow. See what I'm getting at? Aside from that, I can't complain much. Performances were fine, effects were impressive, and best of all, nothing dastardly was done to J.K. Rowling's story.
The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a nice improvement and a fine addition to the Harry Potter series and should serve as a solid emotional base for Part 2 to take off with next year. If you've enjoyed the HP movies so far, this should be a satisfying experience at least. If not, let the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 redeem your faith in the series. 7/10
P.S. Keep on the lookout for the scene about the deathly hallows story. It has some of the most beautiful and artistic animation I have ever seen in a movie.