Okay, I must confess. I’m a rather ignorant muggle when it comes to the Harry Potter franchise. I haven’t read the books, and I don’t think I’ve seen all the movies. But I don’t live under a pop culture rock, so I can definitely understand and appreciate their appeal. And I can attest – with a certain amount of confidence – that the penultimate Potter flick, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One will satisfy most if not all of the HP fans, young and old, and leave ‘em wanting (and waiting) for more. Unfortunately, they’ll have to wait eight friggin’ months! Part Two doesn’t hit theaters until July. And therein lies the movie’s only real flaw. HPATDH Part One draws you in from the very first frame, cruises along at a steady clip, and ends – abruptly. No fair! What am I supposed to do now? Read the book!?
In some ways, HPATDH Part One is a chick flick wrapped in an action adventure fantasy blockbuster. That’s because the main characters, like the actors who play them, have grown and matured (a lot) over the past ten years. The movie focuses a great deal on the relationship between those three amigos of wizardry – Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) – as they embark on a perilous journey to find and destroy the “horcruxes” – fragments of the evil lord Voldemort’s dark soul that are key to his attaining immortality. Let’s just say, the whole experience puts a strain on the trio’s friendship, not to mention the budding romance between Hermione and Ron.
HPATDH Part One is alternately dark, light, sweet, scary, funny, poignant and sad. The performances are all solid and the cinematography is gorgeous. Author J.K. Rowling tapped into a pretty magical formula with her books, and Hollywood has done a rather remarkable job bringing them to life on the big-screen. It’ll be sad to see ‘em all go. I just hope good defeats evil in the end! But really – July?!