Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

What it's about:

Harry, Ron and Hermione have lost the safe haven that was once Hogwarts and have to set out on their own to find and destroy that which defines Voldemort's existence and will bring about his annihilation – the Horcruxes.

What we thought:

The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is unlike any Harry Potter movie you've seen before. There's no Hogwarts feast, no Christmas jumpers from Mrs Weasley and no Dumbledore. There's darkness, despair, dischord and devastating danger. The list of missing wizards and witches is growing. The Death Eaters have taken over the Ministry of Magic and all of Voldemort's subjects are on the hunt for Harry.

This is not one for the kids.

It's not about flying cars, spectacular displays of destruction or weird and wonderful creatures. This movie focuses more on telling the story than describing the magic.

Director David Yates doesn't pussyfoot around the fact that the wizarding world is in a state of emergency. The unwarranted interrogations and sad radio announcements paint a picture of film representations of the Holocaust.

No one is feeling secure, not even the audience. Good people have lost their lives – Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore – and Harry couldn't stop it. There's no guarantee that some of your favourite characters will make it to Part 2.

There's an odd reference to The Lord of The Rings in this film. Harry, Ron and Hermione must guard the Horcrux – a pendant – until they can destroy it. However, when any one of them wears it, they become jealous, angry and deluded. Poor Ron's fears of Hermione choosing Harry over him take a twisted and rather sexual turn when the Horcrux is finally opened. Considering our heroes are only 17 years old, seeing Harry and Hermione get it on in silver body paint is a little creepy.

The scariest parts of this film don't necessarily involve Voldemort. It's the trials that threaten to separate our three musketeers that are most troubling. Over the last seven years we've watched them grow, like we've almost nursed their bond. Their tangible chemistry is our reward. Daniel, Emma and Rupert are so comfortable with each other. Even though the tone is dark, they manage to elicit laughs with their hilarious, emotive facial expressions.

The costumes and make-up are outstanding. Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) looks terribly haggard and stressed as he desperately tries to regain favour with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). I've even forgotten what Ralph Fiennes looks like with a nose. I'm also especially glad that Harry, Ron and Hermione look and sound as old as Daniel, Rupert and Emma. You might be quite surprised by Ron's new gruff voice.

It's hard to judge this film in its entirety because we're still waiting for it to end. However, it hasn't just merely set up questions that we're waiting to be answered. Certain issues and plot lines have been resolved in this instalment. That said, if you decide to wait until July next year to see Part 1 and 2 together, I wouldn't blame you. The suspense is killing me!

Deathly Hallows: Part 1 may not be the most spectacular Harry Potter movie, but it is certainly the most intelligent.

* Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 opens at Nu Metro cinemas countrywide on Wednesday 24 November and everywhere else on Friday 26 November.

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