Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sexuality
Profanity: Some British swear words
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Constant intense fantasy peril and violence, some graphic injuries, major characters injured and killed
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Date Released to Theaters: November 18, 2010
Date Released to DVD: April 12, 2011
Amazon.com ASIN: B001UV4XHY

Harry, Hermione, and Ron have to grow up quite literally in the gripping second-to-last installment of the “Harry Potter” movie series, based on the first half of the seventh and final book.  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) take a swig of polyjuice potion to impersonate three nondescript middle-aged people so they can infiltrate the Ministry.  Afterward, they shed the older personas like giant overcoats. But they know they must stay in the adult world in this powerful story that sets up the final confrontation between the boy who did not die and he who must not be named.

No more Hogwarts school for young wizards and witches. No more Quidditch, no more short-term Defense Against the Dark Arts professors or visits to Hagrid’s creatures or OWL exams or excursions to Hogsmeade for a cozy chat over butterbear at The Three Broomsticks. Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is dead. Hermione has had to erase her parents memories so that not even a photograph remains as evidence that they once had a child.  The dreadful Dursleys have fled 4 Privet Drive.  Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is stronger.  The Ministry is under the control of his Death Eaters, who despise muggles (humans) and want to eradicate any witches or wizards with muggle blood.

Everything is on the line. Within the first 15 minutes of the film, an important character is seriously wounded and another is killed. Deeper, direr losses are ahead. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are out in the cold as they race from one remote, chilly location to another and try to figure out how to locate the seven places where Voldemort has hidden pieces of his soul.

Director David Yates and writer Steve Kloves return, again showing a deep appreciation for the material, especially in the way the vast, bleak settings reflect the overwhelming task facing the three friends. The book is not an easy one to adapt and like its source material the movie sometimes seems to lack direction as its heroic trio often has no idea what to do next. But its young stars have grown into able performers who hold up well next to what sometimes seems like a battalion of classically trained British actors. The scene of Hermione erasing her parents memory is very brief, but Watson makes it sharply poignant. Radcliffe’s quiet dignity shows us how Harry has matured. And Grint, too often relegated to comic relief, gets a chance to show us his pain as a piece of Voldemort’s soul begins to infect him with jealousy and mistrust. A tender moment between Harry and Hermione lends a sweet gravity that does as much to add urgency to our anticipation for the next chapter as the prospect of the final battle.Parents should know that this film includes extensive fantasy action violence with characters in peril, injured and killed and some graphic and disturbing images. It also has some British strong language, teen kisses and a brief fantasy image of nude teenage couple (nothing shown). Family discussion: Why didn’t Harry want to use magic when he had to dig a grave? What objects have people left to people in your family that are especially meaningful?If you like this, try: The first six Harry Potter movies and the books by J.K. Rowling

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Action/Adventure Based on a book Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Fantasy Series/Sequel

12 Replies to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”

  1. The book was so good that I have very little interest in the movie. I just might re-read the books. Great job jk

  2. I’m glad you liked this, Nell. So far the reviews I’ve read have been very positive and appreciative (I’ve got my ticket for Sunday at noon).
    The movies are amazing, source of miracles, so I hope you will reconsider. They are deliciously rich in atmosphere (very Victorian/Edwardian), lovingly created, brilliantly cast. I haven’t been disappointed by any of the movies, and in some cases, they have cut certain sections of the books that didn’t really add much to the story.
    Happy Friday, everyone!

  3. I have never been one to listen to the reviews of others when it comes to a movie that I have not yet seen for myself. I have read all of the books, EXCELLENT! Have them in my home library. Have all of the movies so far as well in my DVD home collection. My 10-year-old daughter and I are eagerly waiting to see the Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows!
    Thank you J.K. Rowling ~ Corinne & Emilyanna Constable

  4. Are you kidding me?! The Bible warns us of calling evil “good” and good “evil”. When did Harry Potter, the whole witches/warlock thing, chanting and the “dark side” become good? Did I miss something or do we (that is, those of us who are called by His Name) not base our judgements on righteous judgement any more (the only righteous judgement is based on scripture)?
    God opened the door for me to receive my degree in marketing, advertising & promotions in 1982. Now, I see why. We have allowed ourselves to be deceived by media, advertisment and Hollywood moguls until we don’t even know how to protect our children! How many of us saw Stephen King’s (the infamous horror movie writer/producer) interview in which he admitted he would not allow his own children to see his movies!!
    God bless you, but please — ask for His discernment.

  5. Yikes Thomasena, it’s a movie….. Besides, if I remember correctly from my early days in church, the Bible is chock full of evil, “magic” and horrendous violence, all because your “God” is vengeful if not followed. Sounds a lot like Voldemort to me!!
    That being said, my daughter and I have tickets to the 415 showing today and will be in the D-BOX motion seats!! Can’t wait, should be a really fun day. And lighten up Thomasena, enjoy life and the creativity there is in the world.
    Cheers everyone!!

  6. Thomasena, Harry Potter is not on the dark side. He is fighting the dark side. Harry and his friends demonstrate the virtues of courage, loyalty, humility, and honor.
    As you can see in my review, I do not recommend this film for children under middle school age. And Steven King’s movies are not intended for children but are widely appreciated by adults.
    It seems as though you have not seen the Potter films or read the books. They may not be of interest to you, but if you have not seen them you should be careful about judging their appropriateness for others.

  7. Thomasens, your post reads like a hysterical warning. The main theme of the Harry Potter books and films is that love can defeat the strongest of evils. The second theme of the books is that evil must always be fought and never tolerated because you would like an easy life. Before condemning the books, you should try reading one. Ignorance is the Satan’s best friend and fear is his hardest working servant.

  8. Also, one last comment on Thomasena’s post…
    Eliza I liked your comments. I think a third very strong theme would be one of teaching tolerance. Voldemort and his gang are out to destroy a specific group of people (muggles and mudbloods) simply because of their “heritage” and Harry is trying to stop the prejudice and bigotry.

  9. Thank you Parkersmomma. I do dislike it when someone condemns something without knowing it is exactly what they are condemning. I did think about saying something about how bigotry and intolerance is demonstrated as evil, but thought it better to try and keep the answer short. I don’t think Thomasena will ever read one of the books and that is a pity because she is missing out on a wonderful story of how love redeems and how the more you love without judging, the stronger you are. I can’t say anymore just in case someone is reading this who does not know how the story ends for all the characters, but I will say this. JK Rowling understands how redemption works.

  10. I feel like I am “piling on” if I also address Thomasena’s comment. However, I’m sure (if she was come to come back to this board) that Thomasena has seen the Disney movie with the cat named “Thomasena,” in which one character is taken for a witch.
    The wizardry of the Potterverse is a metaphor for coming into one’s own identity and learning how to be responsible, and how to use power responsibly. I can’t imagine anyone less connected with the occult than J.K. Rowling.
    I saw the movie yesterday, and thought it was fairly faithful adaptation of the book, though I did miss Dudley’s speech at the beginning. Emma Watson gave her best performance in any of the Potter films, in my opinion. The movie ended exactly where I thought they would end it (though the written previews did sort of telegraph many of the major events so maybe my guess wasn’t that good after all) and I thought they caught the highlights very well. It was very fast paced. There were no slouches – the acting was terrific. I will see it again soon, and can’t wait for Part 2. And – Alan Rickman continues to be one of the sexiest men on the planet, in addition to being a terrific actor.

  11. I was roughly as disappointed as I was expecting to be. Not because the film is bad, but because once again it’s incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t read the books. I can’t believe we’re halfway through and we still haven’t been told about Hufflepuff’s Cup, or Nagini, both of which were in book 6.
    Also, I have to complain about the filmmakers destroying two major characters arcs. First they include Scrimgeour and don’t have it end in Harry calling him out over his methods. (Understandable, since those scenes were cut from Half-Blood Prince, but then why include him here?) Then they include Dobby after ignoring him in 4, 5 and 6 but act like those scenes happened anyway (he mentions having met Ron before). Also, why isn’t he wearing his outft from the books? He’s supposed to be free now!
    This is in no way a condemnation of the actors, the director, the cinematography, the production design, etc. But this series has failed at storytelling in a big way.
    Incidentally, I loved the bit where the barrista was distracted by her headphones in spite of the battle destroying hte coffee shop – I believe David Yate used that joke in State of Play.

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