Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

Without a doubt, the most highly anticipated movie this year in our household has got to be "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I".  All three of my daughters are intoxicated with all things Harry Potter, having read and re-read each book in the series a number of times, watched and re-watched the movies, - and they keep up with all the latest blogs such as the Leaky Cauldron, Official JK Rowling site, and the Very Potter Musicals on YouTube.  They are all thrilled that Darren Criss (lead from the Very Potter Musicals) is part of the Glee ensemble now.  And yes, we've already been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando - what a hit that was!

But now, about the MOVIE.  From all accounts, from our 19-year old who saw it with her college Quidditch team at the San Jose Tech Museum midnight show, to my 12 and 15 year-old children, it was the best of the movies in the series thus far.  The seventh book is also one of their favorites.  With that in mind, the movie could have been a big disappointment with so much riding on it.  But the movie stayed pretty much true to the book.  But where it veered from the storyline, such as the opening where Hermoine is preparing to leave her parents, and a dance scene with Harry and Hermione when they are on the run, both added to the thread of the story and enhanced rather than detracted from the plot.

All three of the main actors, Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, have grown up before our eyes in the ten years they have been playing the parts of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  Their acting and credibility have matured and this is probably their best work yet.  The story is also more intense which gives their acting range more to work with. 

And was this a money-making decision to take the last book and break it into TWO films?  Our family all agrees that to give the book full justice, it had to be broken into two films.  The story is so detailed in the pursuit of the remaining horcruxes and the arc of the story where Harry and Voldemort meet for the last time, that it was truly a decision all fans could appreciate.  If anything, they wish they did that with the other books in the series as some felt rushed and left out details fans wish were kept in the films.

This film is a MUST SEE for all Harry Potter fans.  There is some gore and a few scary moments that we feel make this a 10 (years old) and above to view this film.  If parents have approved this book for their younger children, it will make for a great dinner conversation with the innuendos to religion, war, love, and friendship.

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