Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 Review – Some Magic but Only for the Faithful

Thank God, we watched the previous Harry Potter film (Half-Blood Prince) last night on DVD and spent some time on WiKi before heading out to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 that released in the U.S. and India today.

For those watching the latest Harry Potter film without reading the books or seeing the previous films in the series, it’s safe to say they would feel completely lost.

Familiar Faces
For crying out loud, it’s a Harry Potter film and, of course, there are the familiar faces of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), his friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), his enemies Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter ) and an assorted bunch of others including Nagini, the deadly snake.

The plot, if you are curious, tasks Harry and buddies with finding the Horcruxes and, naturlich, destroying them. And the purpose of destroying the Horcruxes is to take them one step closer to destroying Lord Voldemort.

Not so easy. It’s a drawn-out process that takes nearly 2-hours and 15-minutes and leads Harry and his two dearest friends into clear and omnipresent danger, disagreements, flights of fancy, flights into the air, infiltration into the Ministry of Magic, which is now an enemy camp, and all at a budget of at least a couple of hundred million dollars.

Since it’s a high profile Hollywood film of some pedigree, the movie was expectedly slick and the graphics quite well done.

But still we wouldn’t say the movie completely held our attention, particularly given the needless detours it takes into such things as a marriage ceremony, a dance, characters standing on desolate shores and staring into the far beyond et al.

Despite all the ‘magic,’ the pace of the movie is not what you’d call frenetic but somewhere between slow and sedate.

On the acting front, Daniel Radcliffe seemed too stiff, his face often devoid of the appropriate emotion even in high adrenalin situations. The rest of the crew were alright.

Part 2 of Deathly Hallows is expected to show up in July 2011, ending the grand adventure of young Harry Potter that has bewitched tens of millions of teens and likely some grownups as well throughout the world.

Good Opening
At a theater in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., the opening midnight show of Deathly Hallows Part 1 attracted a large crowd of adults and the movie was playing in multiple halls. The crowds were bigger and the number of cars in the parking lot way higher than for the last Twilight movie.

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