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.

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2 thoughts on “Another Unsolicited Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

  1. I’m anxious to see it too. I read all the books over last winter and I’m also glad they split the last one into 2 movies. They just had to, in order to do it justice.

    Of course, I also want them to release the 2nd part no more than a week after I see the first part.

    Since I read all the other books AFTER I’d seen the movies, this one will be the first that I have the book’s foreknowlege. So we’ll see how that goes, but as it stands, I’m not too worried. I know I’m going to love it.

  2. So, today I *finally* got to see this film – albeit on our home TV. Not quite the same as the theater but darn close.

    Anyway, I agree with you wholeheartedly. This was easily the best movie of the franchise and it was because they didn’t have to rush and condense things they way they did with the previous 6 movies. In the same breath, they were able to do away with all the things Rowling could have used a more ruthless editor on. I very much enjoyed the scene at the beginning with Hermione and her parents – short but so poignant and not included in the book in that fashion. Also, the loss of Hedwig and the way she protected Harry made me tear up. I was upset when she died in the book but the movie brought it all back again.

    I’m very excited to see the final film. I will see that one in the theatre even if I have to go all by myself!

    (PS – Yes, I went looking for this post after watching the movie today. I remembered that you had written about it and I wanted to re-read it.)

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