Friday, November 19, 2010

First impressions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Last night, Mitch, Alan, Lily, Mitch's friend, and I all went to Rosedale for the midnight premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

 At Perkins before heading to the theater.

Hyped up on Red Bull, playing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone trivia.

I can't speak for Mitch's friend, but the rest of us have been Harry Potter fans since the books first started coming out in the U.S. more than a decade ago.  We've grown up with the books (and the movies).  The release of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was the first nail in the coffin of our childhood.

 I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE the Italian cover.  I heart Snape and Lily.

The release of part 1 of the Deathly Hallows movie means the coffin is almost nailed shut.  It's pretty depressing to think about, ya know?

Anyway, here are my first impressions of the film.
  • The film moves fast.  I anticipate people who've read the entire Harry Potter series, more than any other group (even those who've read a few, but not all, of the books), will be able to appreciate this film.  That isn't to say that people who haven't read the books won't enjoy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, only that I'm guessing it'll be a trial keeping up.  There is no - I repeat, no - re-introduction of any of the terms, characters, or events.  Don't know what a Horcrux is?  What about the importance of the locket?  Who is Kreacher, Mad Eye Moody, and Fleur Delacour?  Don't know?  Then maybe you should get crackin' on the books or Wiki the hell outta that shit.
 HORCRUX (click only if you're prepared for spoilers) D:
  • Holy crap, Nazi imagery.  People have been saying the Second Wizarding War (essentially, the plot of the entire series) resembles World War II (or, in the very least, that the Dark Witches and Wizards resemble the Nazis) since the books originally came out.  But Director David Yates took this resemblance to the extreme in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, dressing corrupt Ministry officials in uniforms and red armbands, and designing propaganda like it's straight out of the 1940s.  The script, too, stays true to the books, in that Dark Witches and Wizards often speak of needing to keep the "magical bloodline" pure, etc.  Rather than coming off annoying and too in-your-face, this imagery adds to the film in a lot of ways.
 These are Nazis.  OK, not exactly, but pretty much.  Note the sculpture in the background: It's motto is "magic is might," and it's of Muggles being crushed under a witch and a wizard sitting on a throne.
  • This is not a movie made for kids.  I've said the same thing about the last four movies, but I mean it more every time.  The longest reprieve between scary/violent images is probably no more than a few minutes.  There is a lot of blood, a lot of death, a lot of corruption, and a little bit of sexy time.  It is a very mature film.  Don't let the fact that the main characters are supposed to be only seventeen-years-old fool you.
 Hermione casting enchantments with bloody hands.  She'd just finished healing Ron's wounds (he had chunks of his arm tore out during an Apparating accident).  

In general, I'd say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was scripted and directed with a well-read audience in mind.  It won't be impossible for people who've never read the books/children to enjoy the film, but it might be harder than it has been with previous installments like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


1 comment:

Edna said...

Be sure to catch this soon! I couldn't agree more, the Italian cover is lovely.