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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 yesterday one week after its local release.  It wasn't my intention to miss the opening weekend but I got sick so I wasn't I able to go to the movie house.  One of the advantages of watching it late though is the crowd has relatively thinned and there's no need to fall in line just to get to tickets.

This is of course the second to the last movie about the boy who lived, based on the final book in the Harry Potter series.  Although I was excited to see how the movie treated the original material, I deliberately downgraded my expectations this time because I was disappointed in the last two installments.  That is why I am glad to find out that among the 6 movies produced so far, this one stayed closest to the book.  Nevertheless, there were still some materials that were left out, although it was referred to in passing.

In Deathly Hallows Part 1, we follow Harry's search for the remaining horcruxes and witness the return to power of Voldemort and his death eaters.  It began with an ominous statement from the Minister of Magic himself and this set the tone of the whole movie.  We see the three young protagonists dealing with more adult problems now, including the possibility of death.  In fact, somebody close to them died in the early part of the story and another one died in the end.  The final scene seems to be a warning to everyone that the next chapter will be even darker.

Some of my friends who obviously did not read the book asked me why there were so many new characters in this movie.  I explained that these characters will be, hopefully, explained more in the second part.  Others pointed out that the middle part, when Harry, Hermione and Ron went into exile, dragged and slowed down the movie. I also wondered why the director decided to stretch this part when there were other parts of the book that were interesting, including the family background of Dumbledore.  

I read somewhere that the entire series took 10 years to complete.  No wonder some of the characters already looked too old.  Alan Rickman looked so old in the few scenes he was in.  The three main characters, especially Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry Potter, already looked old to be 17 years old.

Nevertheless I truly enjoyed the movie.  For one, the special effects in this one are far more superior than in the earlier films.  This installment already covered almost two-thirds of the book.  If the next one will also stay close to the original material, then it will be even more exciting.  There will be a half blind dragon, a return to Hogwarts and a battle scene that will include centaurs, house elves, giants and lots of wizards and witches.  It would be fun and I can't wait.

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