Eight out of tent for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If you like camping then this is the film for you. No, but seriously, there is so much tent action in the latest instalment of the Harry Potter franchise that you may mistake it for a magical Millets advert.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is, as the name suggests, part one of the two-part finale. The trio (Radcliffe, Grint and Watson) have been left a task by Dumbledore to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes so that Harry can finally defeat Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes). Sounds easy, right? As the trio discover it’s actually a little more difficult than expected.

The film takes the cast away from the comforting surroundings of Hogwarts to the harsh winter countryside of Great Britain – hence the camping. The trio are then left to stay in hiding away from the snatchers and hunt down the horcruxes, the first being a cursed locket.

The teenage angst brought on by the cursed horcrux can get a little annoying at times and as expected Ron eventually throws his toys out of the pram leaving Harry and Hermione to travel the countryside alone. A few tears and a strange dancing scene later Ron returns with the help of a ball of light, awww.


The trio are left to fend for themselves as the magical world crumbles around them. Photo: Warner Brothers

When the three eventually reform they begin to find out about the Deathly Hallows, it is what the film’s called after all. At this point Hermione reads the children’s story of the Deathly Hallows. The film then turns into a 2D animated demonstration of the story.

The animation was a great option, it gave you something to watch other than a character reading, and the 2D animation reinforced the idea that this is a children’s story. When hearing the story however, you begin to realise it may well have hooks in the real magical world.

There are a few deaths in this film, and if you’ve read the books then you may be a little more moved than if you’ve only watched the films. This seems to be the case with the whole film, there are hints to things that will only be relevant if you’re familiar with the books. The film still manages to hold its own though.

It’s also important to remember that there are more cast members than the trio. You begin to feel for Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) with his five o’clock shadow and quite clearly less confident and in fear of Voldermort.

There are also a few moments that tug on your heart strings in between all the magical action. Hermione wiping her parents memories for example or Harry visiting the grave of his parents. It’s these moments that make this film seem a lot more grown up that the previous six.

The film ended in the right place, about half way through the book. There was a narrative arc, but it seems that as you really get into the film they are wrapping up the first half of the story. This lack of completion is a little annoying, but it may be the fact that we have to wait until the summer for part two.

At the end of the day it is Harry Potter, fans of the books and films have been waiting years for the finale to be filmed and it’s bound to break box office records. It’s an impressive and, on the whole, convincing piece of film making and is well worth a watch.

8/10

What did you think?

One Response to Eight out of tent for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  1. I agree with this review! I defend this version of the film. There are details that are taken straight from the book (!!-SPOILER ALERT-!!)…The entire Ministry scene is almost exactly how I pictured it, the finding of the sword of Gryffindor was dead-on. I can deal with the awkward dancing scene and the soft-core embrace of two of the leads (I’m glad they did it all in CG so Daniel and Emma wouldn’t have the embarassment of really embracing naked!)…at least there was no BURNING OF THE BURROW MISTAKE like in the last film.

    Most critics don’t understand this film because they haven’t read and been captivated by the book. Of course they’re in the woods most of the time, that’s how the book goes, duh! Excellent to split it into two films, although I did picture shell cottage on more of a cliff, but maybe I need to see it again for that image.

    I can’t wait till part II…

    V.D.