This superior motion picture is an excellent example for what could have been regarding the storied Harry Potter film series—what could have been all near-perfect individual adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s timeless saga if the filmmakers and studio executives had possessed the foresight and courage to make all seven of the movies into two-part (or more!) adventures. That’s certainly not to say that each of the mentioned big-screen ‘boy wizard’ efforts aren’t each classics in their own right… but the jump from just ‘good’ to flat-out stratospheric that Deathly Hallows Part 1—and the forthcoming Part 2, simply due to anticipatory association—has made is longingly noticeable.
Of course, hindsight (and perhaps hasty greed?) is always 20/20… so the above argument is irrelevant. Instead, the truly magical conclusion that the Hogwarts faithful have been treated to here is one that won’t soon be forgotten, and third-time-around series director David Yates has indeed done justice to what future generations will indeed refer to, in Rowling’s original stories, as masterpieces of world literature. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson’s performances are all award worthy, and the impressively still-intact extended cast—even after a full decade of life and work—all shine brilliantly.
The tense and yet smoothly flowing storyline—no doubt freed-up to develop naturally by said decision to split this final chapter into two full-length films—is indeed a thing of beauty to behold, and the audience will be dually wowed and chilled by Yates’ now trademark moody camera work and the cinematography that has since Order of the Phoenix carried Potter and friends to a new level of cinematic legitimacy. Composer Alexandre Desplat’s continued evolutionary score work on John William’s original theme is likewise epic, and the resulting combined final product is a moving silver screen delight for the senses.
This one also lives up to the book’s mature themes in several instances, and the only caution to be offered is for parents who might be considering taking their young children along for the ride—see it for yourselves first and then make an informed decision. Otherwise, there is nothing else for me to praise about Deathly Hallows, so go see this film… it will remind you of that otherwise foregone Hollywood magic that used to make going to the local theater such a sheer delight for kids and grown-ups alike.
Reviewer’s rating: 4 ½ out of 5 stars