Synopsis: Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction-the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart. Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort’s Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter. The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort…alive. Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale-the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks. Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became “the Boy Who Lived.” No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort. (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Release Date: November 19, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure
Under the fantastic direction of David Yates and a screenplay that may be the closest adaptation to the book yet by Steve Kloves, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is a more than fine start to the finish of the epic story that is Harry Potter. The times have changed for Harry, Ron, and Hermione as the world has grown darker from the formidable presence and strength of the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Their lives are no longer protected by the elder wizards, and the comforting halls of Hogwarts are only a mere memory of their youth. The kids who first graced the screen over nine years ago have grown up only to become young-adults fully capable of protecting themselves, each other, and their world.
This film truly belongs to Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint). Left alone together for the majority it is a quest of the closest friends to destroy the greatest evil as they must find and destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes. The other characters we have come to grow fond of, from Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) and the entire Weasley family all make their fateful appearances but as the Death Eaters take control of the Ministry of Magic and Harry Potter becomes public enemy no. 1 there is no choice but for Harry, and his two most trusted friends, to break away on their own. The time has officially come for them to take a stand, braving the cold winters, lack of rest and food, foregoing the security of home and maneuvering through the treacherous wilderness and towns, to put an end to the Dark Lord. The confinement seen in the prior films is no longer applicable as the scenery has changed. Grimwold Place still exists, as does the Ministry of Magic, and the Weasley’s home, but it is the solitude that confines them in this installment, not stone or wood walls. Their magic keeps them hidden from their enemies but nothing is full proof when danger lurks around every corner and no one can be trusted.
Even in such dark times there remains the spark of childhood innocence in Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Their lives are no longer solely their own and their responsibility great but they can still find moments to jest with each other, feel the pangs of love, and even grab a dance to celebrate the holidays. This is a threesome that came to be out of necessity, the three odd-ball students at a school famous for family heritage. This film only secures fully the great bond of friendship they hold and how amongst even the most terrifying and horrific dealings they are a family who will do anything for each other.
When the final climactic moment comes at the end, where hope proves possible for Harry, Hermione, and Ron on their quest, just as evil grasps the ultimate powerful weapon, you are left with a bolt of excitement and inevitably begin counting down the days until the final installment of the franchise is released.
Creating magical spells and fierce battles is something out of special effects heaven. Although this film does not have any monumental battles it is full of plenty of magic, from both the good and the bad side. The fulfillment you seek from seeing the black fog of the death eaters shooting through the sky, or the face of Voldemort appearing out of the mist, and maybe the pure splendor that is the Ministry of Magic with it’s shifting elevators and toilet entrances, are realized perfectly. But the first part of the film, and the battles and races that ensue, fall a bit short for the sensitive eye. There is a blur effect and the focus between still frames and action sequences is not as polished as one may hope. It may make sense given the fast movement and pacing but I for one thought my eyes were failing me in the dark. Does this take away from the enjoyment of the effects? No. Is it relevant in the grand scope of the film? Not really. By the time the momentum picks up and you are fully entangled in the world of Harry Potter there is nothing that can break you out of the spell this film puts you under. Especially when you recall the stunning long shot of Voldemort’s face. I cannot remember ever seeing him close-up for such a long period of time as he is in the very beginning of the movie, while addressing all of the main Death Eaters. His part snake, part human face slithers each and every word out of his mouth so gracefully but full of vileness your eyes do not dare look away. Voldemort has always been more of a fearful presence than a full bodied reality in the prior films. In this one he is a force on screen and the effects utilized to give his appearance an authentic reality cannot be considered anything below superb.
Over the course of the prior six films in the franchise it has become more and more clear why Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint were cast as the most important characters in the legendary series of Harry Potter film adaptations: they are spectacular together on screen. This first part of the final film only secures the casting decision as the chemistry is immeasurable between the three as they portray Harry, Hermione, and Ron respectively. When they fight it may as well be your friends fighting, when one is injured or pained, the concern and fright on their faces holds no question as to how much they care for one another, and when faced with impossible choices between the three of them the weight of their decisions shows to be far greater than any selfish act as they do not make choices solely for themselves. These three are a unit and the film only works because of how they react, respond, and simply exist amongst one another.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): David Yates
- Producer(s): Steve Kloves
- Screenwriter(s): Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
- Story: Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
- Cast: Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort)Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore)Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour)Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy)Mark DayEduardo SerraStuart Craig
- Cinematographer: Alexandre Desplat
- Production Designer(s): Cinesite
- Costume Designer: Baseblack
- Casting Director(s): FramestoreIndustrial Light & MagicGradient Effects
- Music Score: Moving Picture Company (MPC)
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USAUK