Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1

Last night I attended the midnight premier of the latest Harry Potter movie. My fiance being a huge fan of the series actually bought our tickets over a month in advance. we even arrived nearly four hours early. Around three hours before show time, they began letting patrons into the theater. There were many people dressed for the occasion. I saw people in shirts and sweaters displaying the colors of Gryffindor house, I myself wore a Slytherin t-shirt and my fiance wore a Hogwarts hoodie over a shirt proudly displaying the word "Muggle"There were even people in full regalia of wizard robes. One young girl was wearing what appeared to be the robes of Ravenclaw, though truthfully It was quite dark and I could not tell. As the fans shuffled in there was a mixture of false British accents and overjoyed shouts all around.
Close to an hour before showtime the patrons were treated to a different kind of performance when a fan stood and shouted, "Mudbloods aren't welcome here," so that the entire theater could here him. Another young man on the opposite side of the row stood and challenged him. In sight of the entire congregation, the two would-be wizards squared off at the foot of the screen. Neither in wizard robes, but both with wands. The Pure-blood on one side and the Muggle-born on the other.
With a flick of his wand the pure-blood shouted "Stupify!" and the Muggle-born flew backward into a pile of empty boxes. Though slightly disoriented, the Muggle-born stood and retaliated with his own spell, "Sectumsempre!" But the pure-blood reacted quickly.
"Protego!" and the spell was deflected into the screen. Almost simultaneously the duelists fired their next spells.
"Petrificus Totalis and Avarda Kedavra" were shouted in such close proximity that no one could tell who shouted what. There was a flash of green and the Pure-blood sank into the floor staring up to the ceiling with lifeless eyes. When the smoke cleared there was a thunderous roar of applause from the theater as the Muggle-born was hailed as a champion.
Finally it was midnight. The lights dimmed and the screen came to life; the familiar Warner Brothers logo appeared in the clouds and there was a shriek of joy from every corner of the theater. At long last after nearly a decade, the end of the saga had begun.
The movie, being split into two parts had more time to draw out scenes. Unlike the others which seemed to be rushed, this one could take a more steady pace. Which I feel really helped the foreboding feeling it was trying to make. There was more scope in the cinematography, showing depth in the world as Harry and his friends journey. Having the movie at a slower pace is not detrimental in the slightest. It gives the viewer a chance to see the world as it changes around the characters, as well as give ample time for character development and little moments, that fans of the books will enjoy just as much as the average movie-goer. Everything builds up to the climactic conclusion in part 2. Not to say that part 1 is without climax, there are several climactic moments which leave the audience on the edge of their seat and leave them wanting more.
While there are moments from the book not present in the movie, it leaves room for original ideas, which, while mentioned in the book, never actually are seen (read.) What is left in, only works for the better, character-wise and story-wise.
If anything this movie has a theme of Loss. Harry and his friends are still feeling the effects of the events from Half-Blood Prince. They are cut-off from everything they have come to know and love in the last six years at Hogwarts. They are on the run without a clue as to what they are supposed to be doing in carrying out Dumbleore's wishes. Once again, their friendship and resolve will be tested. Do they have what it takes to save the world? Are they on the right path? These are but a few of the questions swimming in their weary minds.
In the end, we have a look at what's to come. What will be in store for our heroes in part 2 with what has happened to them so far in part 1. You definitely get the sense of foreboding and loss while watching part 1.
The visuals as, always are beautiful and stunning, the characters are spot on, and the dialogue is straight out of the book. So far, this is possibly the closest book to movie transition ever made, and part 2 is still months away. J K Rowling's world has truly come to life and with nearly a decade of work, Hollywood has finally gotten something right. I thoroughly recommend seeing this movie, not only if you are a fan of the books or movies, but if you love movies, and love the pure escapism. You will be hard-pressed to find a more immersed movie-going experience.

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