Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Out Now On-Demand

Part one of the climactic finale of the Harry Potter series (JK Rowling's last book, The Deathy Hallows, has been split in two for the movies).

Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction – the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart.

The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort…alive. Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale – the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks. Now Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort.

Joining the cast is Rhys Ifans (as Xenophilius Lovegood), Ciaran Hinds (as Aberforth Dumbledore) and Bill Nighy (as Rufus Scrimgeour).

We are finally, kind of, at the end of the Potter series, and what distinguishes the penultimate episode from the first is just how much has changed. These are dark times indeed. There’s no visit to Hogwarts, nor any Enid Blyton-esque boarding school joviality; all has been overshadowed by a gloomy cloud of despair.

As a disclaimer: this reviewer finds J.K. Rowling’s The Deathly Hallows novel to be a weaker entry, an ungainly conclusion to what began as light-hearted fun. Chapter after chapter passes without incident, a seemingly never-ending camping excursion across Blighty where the central trio sit around mulling over what to do next.

The film adaptation doesn’t really fix those issues. Part one is still the least interesting, the bit that continues the exposition from The Half-Blood Prince and teases us even further with the promise of an explosive finale that will finally, actually, literally conclude the series.

The good news is that a lack of momentum allows The Deathly Hallows: Part I to revel in atmospheric tension. This really is a more grown-up affair, and very scary, whether with the Dark Lord’s manipulation of his minions in Malfoy Manor, or in Bathilda Bagshot’s reptilian stare. Most frightening of all might be the sight of two lead characters in a naked embrace, pashing.

Director David Yates (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince) continues to stretch the series. Alexandre Desplat’s brooding score shifts the tone, the acting is much stronger (Peter Mullan’s Death Eater Yaxley is awesome), and a clever animated section retelling the Tale of the Three Brothers is a creative touch.

But despite the strengths of this handsome, unsettling entry, a slavish devotion to the source material will alienate Potter newbies (although one might assume it doesn’t matter by now). The film’s final stretch waffles on about wands and wand makers, characters appear out of nowhere, a trip to Harry’s birthplace is bafflingly pointless, and then it just… ends. As is tradition for these films, it’s a good fifteen minutes too long.

Fans will likely forgive the slow pace and the lack of drive. What we all really want is Harry vs Voldemort and we’ve still got eight months to wait.

Empire (UK)

press

The first and third acts are over-busy; the middle one moves like an arthritic house-elf. Still, a decent smattering of magic moments and tension's pumped up sky-high. Bring on Part 2.

Guardian (UK)

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Try as I might, I can't shake the suspicion that these films are too obviously built for purpose and too lacking in wit, warmth and humanity to survive much beyond the moment.

Hollywood Reporter

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This grim beginning-of-the-end odyssey has a very different feel from any of its predecessors -- a development slightly more disconcerting than it is welcome.

Otago Daily Times (Christine Powley)

press

Wizard stuff...

Stuff (Bridget Jones)

press

There is no way Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is going to flop, writes Bridget Jones.

Total Film (UK)

press

The thunder before the lightning; the rumble on the tracks... Passable and occasionally potent, but a towering great tease that has no right to exist in isolation from the latter - better - part of the story.

Variety (USA)

press

Director David Yates spins the series' most expansive, structurally free-form chapter yet -- lumbering and gripping by turns, and suffused with a profound sense of solitude and loss.

Boring part of the book out of the way

I enjoyed the other movies except for the god awful fifth movie. This movie was ok but seemed to be too slow. I've read the book and know that the next movie is going to be much better.

dhtbrowne

Dan

user


Love these films!

I'm so in love with the Harry Potter films. These are the films that made me want to be a film maker! They are so beautiful, magical, emotional, colourful, fun and humorous. And from a film making point of view... I think the cinematography is AMAZING, so beautiful! And this in particular film was very interesting. I did miss Hogwarts a bit... But it was nice in the 'real world'. Kinda made the whole thing more real feeling I guess.


Will we see it through?

Was a good movie. Being a new HP fan and watching the whole lot in a row, this movie didn't disappoint. Will be waiting for the next one. :)


Faithful to the book!

I am the hugest Harry Potter fan, but even I was skeptical when I heard they were going to chop Deathly Hallows into two parts. Turns out it was a brilliant idea, because they were able to be very faithful to the book, and develop the character relationships in such an interesting way. And gosh, was Dobby the star of the film! :D A great lead up to Part II!


Nearly done

One of the better Harry Potter films, this is a solid lead up to what will likely be a grand finale.

100WordReviews

Liam

user


Recommended

Patient, intense, beautiful, Part 1 is easily the most powerful of the series and my personal favourite. Bring on Part 2.


not awsome

i love the harry potter series i watched harry potter and the half blood prince i thought that ruiend it than i watched harry potter and the deathly hallows part 1 and i wasss this close to falling asleep on the cinima chair not worth to watch

Fantastic

user


Fantastic

It's Harry Potter what more need anyone say

Saw it for the second time...

user


Saw it for the second time...

I still really enjoyed it. The pacing is a little bit slow, but you do get used to it. It is a well crafted film, but would work much better with the continuation of the nest film...

Extremely black and boring

user


Extremely black and boring

Something for the diehard Harry Potter fans. Typical American “let’s get as much money out of them as we can” could easily be cut down to 35 min.