Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 1

The Flick: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, (Part 1)

The Peeps: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bill Nighy,Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, etc.

The Dealio: The end of this particular saga is almost upon us! Harry - along with Hermione and Ron- are well-clear of Hogwarts in this, the first of two parts endeavoring to bring the cycle of Harry to completion.
Instead of being on old, familiar turf, the entire wizarding world has been thrown completely topsy-turvy: acknowledged witches and sorcerers are being rounded up and tortured into spouting(usually false) testimony about families, friends- even their own pasts. Death Eaters and 'Snatchers' prowl about in packs seeking fresh victims to drag before Delores Umbridge and others of her persuasion. Voldemort's stock is on rise and growing more powerful by the day. It seems inevitable that a cataclysmic showdown between He Who Must Not Be Named and The Boy Who Lived is on the horizon. Beloved, familiar characters put in appearances, then, suddenly, without warning, disapperate. This is not a brave, new world- this is an exceedingly dark, threatening and grim one where evil appears to wield the upper hand. Oy.

The Grading Period: 4.899 pengies out of 5. This is a good, solid addition to the line-up, and the three key players have become highly nuanced and intuitive in their roles. Rupert Grint especially, gets an opportunity to do more than moon about looking fatuous or goofily uncomprehending. At which, he is rather gifted.
This is also supremely dark- more so, even than Prisoner or Chamber of Secrets. I saw people filing in with 2-4 year olds (thank God, they and I hadn't opted for 3D or the kids-and I- would have been scarred for life, IMHO). Yo! 'Rents, check out the rating, and use your melons, please! There are some scenes which are extremely graphic and terrifying. However, there are also some beautiful rendered sequences, too (one, during the recounting of a child's fairy tale, employs old fashioned shadowed silhouettes of very Indonesian looking cut-out puppets to tell the tale). The art direction throughout is superb.
The soundtrack is about what you would expect from past HP movies. However, there is a very sweet scene between Harry and Hermione which uses a musical background to spark a very moving little bit of business.
A nice job all around; could have used a tiny bit of pruning- for example, in the area of what's goin' down at Casa Malfoy, and the blogosphere is agog at certain edits which they feel went just a taddy bit too far. But I did not miss those and felt fully involved.

Lessons Learned: Never under-estimate the power of both the written word (the entire line of HP books) and word of mouth with regards to pumping up an audience for a movie. I sat in a capacity crowd auditorium with folks who began cheering and applauding with the very first scene, featuring Bill Nighy's eyes! And the empathetic reactions never stopped. It was at once heartening (these folks have all read these books!) and a bit distracting, if you must know.
Next: if someone you have just met only wants to speak to you in parsel-tongue, and you are not currently working at the Snake House of a zoo...get out of there pronto! If you can.
Finally: Magic can only get you so far in the muggle world. Out there, you are on your own to know how- and what - to order in a cafeteria, for example or where safe spots might exist that are not comfort-zones- or even known- by those who are both evil-wizardly and hot on your trail. For that, you're gonna need a Hermione.
OK, having said all that, let me say this: I am so totally ready for HPATDH Pt 2. Like, next weekend. K?

No comments:

Post a Comment