Another Unsolicited Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

I’ve heard some critics complain about the fact that Warner Bros. decided to split the final Harry Potter book adaptation into two parts.

I get the idea from their snarky remarks that their inner cynics are getting the best of them. Is Warner Bros. in for a giant payday times two? Hell, yeah. Are they being manipulative of the fans?

This fan says, “NO.”

Look, I will pick a book over a movie any day. But I have really enjoyed the Harry Potter movies. It has been fun to see the actors grow up onscreen (especially hotties Rupert Grint and Tom Felton — I feel dirty even admitting that); it is fun to dissect the way the movies differ from the books; and going to see the movie versions has been something my husband and I make a point of doing together. (No, he STILL has not read the books, something I chide him for often. Honey, take a break from the Scrubs reruns!) (And I think we missed HP & the Goblet of Fire in the theaters. I know we missed one.)

Although in general, I think the screenwriters have done a good job of adapting the dense books for the screen, I was critical of the last movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I had some concerns that they were going to have to stray far afield in these last two movies in order to cover the bases.

I am happy to report that my fears from that last review are unfounded if Part I is any indication. By splitting the last book into two movies, they can fit in more of the story in without rushing along. Part I did away with extraneous (to a movie) details such as having Harry Potter disguised as a Weasley cousin for Bill and Fleur’s wedding, for instance, and still covered ground up until… well, I’ll let you see for yourself. I thought the movie was going to end sooner than it did. I’m glad I was wrong.

As we were filing out of the theater, Dan joked, “Uplifting as always”, and I understand his point. The books and movies have gotten progressively darker, and Part I is no exception. If he had read the books, he would know the payoff, but he hasn’t, and he probably won’t. From a guy who LOVES The Lord of the Rings (“three movies about walking”), and which have some pretty damn dark elements to them, I would think Harry Potter would get a bit more of a pass. (XOXO, honey!)

Anyhoo, if you are enjoying the Harry Potter franchise, this movie will not disappoint. I had to give Dan a couple of clues as to what certain things meant (notably the sliver of mirror Harry carries with him), so non-readers may have a harder time sussing out everything going on. Having read the books, I know what’s going to happen, but I admit that it’s fun to see it up on the big screen.

Can’t wait until July, and Part II.