The second to last installment of the Harry Potter films marks the end of a long lasting and equally loved series. The question remains, not as to whether or not people enjoy the movie on account of it being Harry Potter or if they like it because of the overall quality. Like most worldwide popular culture phenomena, seeing Harry Potter approaching its finish comes across as being somewhat daunting, many people having grown up with both the actors and the characters themselves.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is everything we have come to expect from the Harry Potter franchise and maybe even a little more. While managing to successfully stand above the previous films, Deathly Hallows doesn’t necessarily translate into being a good movie in comparison to other films. ‘Bad’ would not be the way I would describe Deathly Hallows, because it isn’t, but the credibility the movie has is a direct result of being better than the other Harry Potter movies and not main stream films as a whole, which ought to speak volumes about the film itself.

The movie picks up right where the last left off, and right at the beginning a foreboding air surrounds the story. Harry and friends have prepared themselves mentally and emotionally for the trials and dangers that lay ahead, none of them particularly happy with terrible tasks waiting completion. The introduction wastes no time with formalities, jumping right in and letting the story unfold at a rapid pace. In the first ten minutes, we’re already privy to a fairly entertaining magical slugfest, though as faithful fan will be prone to remember, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows deals primairly with camping and lots of it.

Like this, only with magic and having to fight for your life.

The movie’s darkness offers an elevated tone of looming and sense of dread. The stakes are clearly raised, as Voldemort and company go about torturing their victims, Herminoe included, an act that has not been seen in prior Harry Potter films. Similar to the characters who have been forced to grow up, Deathly Hallows is obviously for more mature audiences; the themes of loss and death constantly surrounding our heroes

For the first time since the beginning of the series, the walls of Hogwarts no longer offer protection towards Harry, Ron, and Hermione; rather they must venture out into the world, a place devoid of warmth and protection, as the trio find themselves continually on the run from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, all the while attempting to find and destroy the dark lord’s horocruxes. The outward journey forces the three friends to examine their relationships, as ties become strained and allegiances questioned.

One of Deathly Hallows’ refreshing aspects lies in allowing the character of Hermione (Emma Watson) to finally shine. While always having been a member of the “team”, she’s come off as the smart one and nothing more. Here, her character becomes fleshed out, as we watch her take care of Harry and Ron, acting perhaps more of a leader than Harry Potter himself. Harry of course, refuses to shed the mantle of the gloomy one, continually haunted by the death of his parents, a fact that has become a ridiculous trope, as the audience no longer cares about this anymore.Daniel Radcliffe always brings a charmingly broody characterization to Harry Potter and has come to utterly embody the role. Honestly, there’s probably no one else who could have taken the part, molding it into more than just a “character” like he has been able to.

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley also remains one of the series’ joys. His Ron adds a wonderful element to the franchise as a whole, his steady devotion, underappreciated bravery, and steadfast loyalty are all traits exercised to their maximum effect and Grint makes the movies all the more interesting/entertaining.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, while obviously not the best movie option out there, and even somewhat mediocre in the pantheon of film itself, provides a satisfying vision to the coming closing of a much appreciated series. The lack of action found within Deathly Hallows Part 1 only serves as to whet the audience’s appetite, for the next movie is the one we’re all waiting for, supplying eagerly awaited magically charged battles as the final battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort reaches its highly anticipated conclusion.

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