Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (Part I)

C+ (5.1)

(Warning - may contain spoilers)

Today we are talking about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as we anticipate the grand finale for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 7 months. But let me tell you something else: Kids.

When I walked into the theatre, at matinee daylight every seatwas taken by kids so young as 10 and teenagers so old as 18. I myself was one of the age majority of the audience and for once I wanted to walk out not because the movie was bad but because of the audience mucking around.

But anyway that was my short rant of how I feel about kids and movies these days and here's the full review.

After the death of Dumbledore the rest of the world (including the Muggles (non-wizards)) are threatened by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his death eaters. But the one threatened is obviously Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) who had just turned 17 where he is allowed to conduct spells anytime he want to. (well he has too so he can defend himself from Lord Voldemort's minions himself). But when two people had died, Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) must find Horcruxes (personal possessions of Lord Voldemort) and destroy them so he can get ready for the FINAL BATTLE!

The Harry Potter films. They never polarized people, but this movie polarized me. The five movies were fantastic. They had heaps of time for the main characters to develop and had brought fun into our lives with magical fantasies and a huge interest of Harry Potter, the character himself. (read: milking the cow)

But the last two movies all directed by David Yates and written by Steve Kloves had turned more darker as usual. The Order of the Phoenix was ok, but they left out important bits out of the novel. As well as the Half Blood Prince it reduced its dark tone, but replaced the bits with unwanted humour and a huge subplot of Harry, Hermione and Ron's hormones raging upon girls. This left the last two seemed joyless.

The Deathly Hallows however went about too far. The tone goes too dark despite Kloves followed half of the book into his screenplay which is like copying from an instruction manual.

The lighting and the cinematography is brilliant. But the tone has its cons. As the Harry Potter franchise aims at a mass audience (readers and non readers alike), it's shot like if it were a horror film. There are too many close ups of a snake as if it was shot in 3D in which the studio had abandoned these plans. Then there's a scene where Emma Watson get tortured. And I was wondering this scene was appropriate for kids as there were many kids in the audience.

There was a great animated scene where it look like it had been left out from a Henry Selleck movie or a Neil Gaiman novel. That was the great thing about this film. The action scenes were pro as it is handled so well and there was a car chase and foot chase. But I was wondering why do they need a car sequence with cars crashing.

Klove's screenplay goes to great length into getting everything from the novel ion. However for non readers, the dialogue gets so complicated as we know little detail of what's was there. For instance there are five Horcruxes. It doesn't tell you what is a Horcrux and you have to wait to find out all of the Horcruxes. Even the plot can get so confusing it's not like watching Inception.

Emma Watson was most seen in the movie as if she was a current sex symbol. Even though Hermione was the most interesting character of the trio, each shot with only her seems sentimental as she plays a Sally Sobstory. A scene featuring a naked Daniel Radcliffe and Watson even a dance sequence look laughable and cheap. Rupert Grint looks like he's not enjoying himself while Radcliffe never gets the chance of being developed.

There's a great cameo of Bill Nighy and a cast of British veterans are nice including a seemingly splendid yet sinister act from Imelda Stauton who plays Dolores Umbridge from the Order of the Phoenix.

Why do you need to bring in Dobby. He's only there for cheap laughs because of his speech similar to Elmo.

I thought that bringing two volumes of the movie is an excuse for profiting studios (that's what people felt when they were watching Kill Bill). So I might have to wait until Part II comes out on July... in 3D!

The Deathly Hallows is an improvement from the Half Blood Prince. Unfortunately it is still a disappointment and watching the first part and onto the next one where it feels like watching The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions all over again. But everything about The Matrix is parallel to the two part instalment where Harry Potter is the One.

But as a fan who read all of the books, I hope this can improve. But else like many other franchises, every film especially this one is strictly for fans to enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! You write and organize your thoughts very well. I saw this last night. Though I agree with you on most of your points (especially when you said non-readers-- like me-- would have a hard time following), I still thought this was a decent movie. I wasn't blown away, but it kept me entertained. But I would say that this is the worst of the Harry Potter movies. It's excessively dark and it really didn't allow much character development like the other ones. And I LIKED The Half Blood Prince. It was a little mushy, but it had a better story.