By Ryan Casey
Whatever your views about the Harry Potter franchise, there is no denying the popularity this brand possesses and the hysteria that accompanies the movie adaptations is supernatural. The films (in my opinion) have always been slightly disjointed, with only a couple touching on their full potential. For this reason I am always slightly sceptical about each new release, but somehow nothing suppresses my desire to see them.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine (Emma Watson) embark on their penultimate adventure. For the first time in the series they are removed from the familiar backdrop of Hogwarts School and are driven into hiding to escape the clutches of evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). It turns out there is only one way to destroy the slit nosed bean headed master of darkness, and so the three teleport on a desperate mission to seek out and destroy the Horcruxes (some odd paraphernalia that has bits of Voldemort's soul) in order to end his existence.
The trio encounter friends, foes and settings, old and new throughout this journey. Their desperate plight at times tests the fortifications of their friendship to the very limit of its resolve. Yet could it all be for nothing? Voldemort, though still consumed with the desire to rid the world of Harry Potter, has turned his attention to something else, an object that if obtained could ensure that his reign of villainy and terror may never be stopped.
At the beginning of the Harry Potter series the quality of acting from the core child stars (especially Emma Watson) was initially, nothing short of horrific. However, there is no denying that as the young cast have matured, their on-screen presence has undergone positive developments. In Deathly Hallows Part 1 their performances are no longer overshadowed by the older, more established members of the cast, in turn giving the movie a balance that was lacking in earlier adaptations.
I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for Rupert Grint who plays Ron Weasley, as he must have felt that an added perk to the job would have been at least a cheeky snog with the beautiful Emma Watson. No matter how strong the on-screen emotional and sexual (ok maybe not sexual) tension builds up between the two, nothing ever materialises, except a rather raunchy manifestation of Harry and Hermione kissing which Ron is forced to watch. Poor sod.
An issue I have with Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the volume of new characters that have either never featured or only appeared in one previous film in the series. It’s obvious the need to profile more ‘Deatheaters’ and ‘Order of Phoenix’ members to amplify the scale of the impending battle of light versus dark. However, certain characters seem to have been thrown in, simply to tie the movies narrative together, so to anyone who is unfamiliar with the books or is experiencing the Harry Potter universe for the first time may find this a touch overbearing. As someone who has followed the series through both the books and the movies, even I found myself thinking “Who the hell is that?”
If you went to see this film as a Potter virgin or if you’re only vaguely familiar with the source material, you will sit for approximately two hours thinking what the f**k? However, if you can get past this it’s still an enjoyable movie that whisks you away into the magical world of Harry and the gang. Pleased with the quantity of the original story it’s a better adaptation than the previous attempts. 3 stars out of 5.