A chapter of students’ adolescent lives is one step closer to ending as Harry Potter goes on his most far-reaching and perhaps darkest journey yet.
In a desperate search to find the terribly evil Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) travel the wizarding world as they are pursued by a slew of aggressive villains.
The often comforting and always mystical Hogwarts school takes a back seat for the first time in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise, adding a level of intensity as Potter and his friends move from one location to the next, never in the same place for long as the looming threat of Lord Voldemort and his shady Death Eaters draws ever nearer.
Since 2001’s first film adaptation of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” audiences have watched not simply the characters, but the actors, grow up over the last nine years.
Whether it be Rupert Grint’s strong emotional performance as Ronald Weasley, dealing with his love for Hermione and his growing feelings of hopelessness over destroying all the Horcruxes, to Emma Watson’s constantly changing hipster wardrobe, it becomes obvious in “Deathly Hallows” that these are no longer the children once worried about making it to the next Potions class.
In fact, “Deathly Hallows” is hardly the children’s story many who have not read the books would believe it to be.
Director David Yates takes the saga to a new level, offering a darkly colorful atmosphere to his film, best represented in the opening scene of the movie.
It begins when Lord Voldemort offers his beloved pet snake, Nagini, the professor of muggle studies at Hogwarts as a light snack. CGI blends well in the world of “Deathly Hallows,” Nagini’s slithering strides across a massive table to feast, giving a chilling and unsettling effect sure to stay with audience members throughout the film.
While most of “Deathly Hallows” is a fast paced, emotionally driven ride, there are moments that lag.
For example, a scene in which Harry, Ron and Hermione drink polyjuice potions and invade the Ministry of Magic offers an edge-of-your-seat nail biter, but some of the intensity is lost in the fumbling humor of Harry and crew donning different faces and bodies.
Other scenes offer a forced sense of thrill, close-up shaky camera angles on the faces of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they rush through the woods, pursued by villainous wizards seeking to turn them in, quickly becomes reminiscent of a scene from the always subpar “Twilight” series.
Slow parts within the film, though present, are few and far between.
While it always helps to have read the novel before going into the movie, fans and critics alike will be unable to deny the many heart-wrenching moments present within “Deathly Hallows,” and a large handful of viewers will undoubtedly walk out of the theater with tear-stained cheeks.
It’s really no spoiler to say that people die in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and each death is as poignant in the movie as it is in the book. With “Part 1” ending in a climactic cliff-hanger, “Part 2” is sure to include the majority of witch and wizard deaths.
The Battle of Hogwarts is about to begin, and in “Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” audiences get a taste of the many Avada Kedavra curses to come.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Sebastian Murdock at Sebastian.firstname.lastname@example.org.