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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) - Film Review

Updated on May 12, 2011

A milestone from its predecessor The Half-Blood Prince, the 7th film in the series delivers plenty of action, excitement, and emotion. However, it does not effectively balance these three to make it an evenly paced film. This is definitely not the type of film for anyone coming in new to the Harry Potter franchise. It picks up quickly where the previous film left off, and character development seems to be at a standstill until well into the end of the film. This is because fans who are well familiar of the relationship issues and character’s motivations don’t need to be reminded of these details and need more of the plot growth. So if you are completely new to the series or simply don’t remember much of the previous films, make sure you read a couple of plot summaries or actually watch the films again to refresh yourself. You’ll enjoy it much more.

Now to the average Potter fan or moviegoer, Deathly Hallows Part 1 starts off with a very strong pace, there are battles, key characters are killed, interesting plot twists take place, but then it kind of settles down and never fully picks up again. It becomes a film of adolescent troubles and simple annoyances that partake of the average 17 or 18 year old. While this effectively shows the audience key emotional issues that have been hidden well inside the characters since the series began, it does little to well forward the plot of the particular film.

There really is no satisfying beginning or end in this film. It’s simply jumping onto a moving train of fun and magical events that are significant because they established in earlier films, and will be explained in the next film. This strays from the first four films that introduced and ended an interesting subplot of a Goblet of Fire, or Chamber of Secrets, or Philosopher’s Stone, and tied in it to the main plot of the series. You're therefore getting exactly what the film advertises: Part 1 of the film. Many of the scenes in the film as you will see could have been excluded, and still would have enabled the story to move effectively and entertainingly. This is simply an attempt to stretch out the story into 2 parts to prolong the inevitable conclusion.

For parents considering taking their younger children (12-under), the film is considerably more mature than its prequels. Sexuality, violence, and horror, while on the mild side for an adult audience, will be too much for the younger sort. There is a lot more blood, frightening images of death and scenes of uncomfortable intimacy for children.

As a final note, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 delivers the new developments and plot points that diehard and average fans alike have been waiting for. For the average moviegoer wanting to catch a weekend flick and have no or little knowledge of the Harry Potter universe, it would be too confusing and a waste of time. Overall I’d suggest simply renting this one on dvd as in preparation to see part 2 or in a Harry Potter marathon, but not at all on its own.


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