I have a partial bias for the opening scene of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” It feature one of my favorite actors Bill Nighy in extreme close up as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour addressing his staff. Here you can see the same commanding presence he puts on when he’s Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean, Billy Mack the rock star in Love Actually or Viktor the vampire lord in Underworld.
While there’s always some sort of criticism or complaint made for every film (except maybe for Prisoner of Azkaban) one can’t deny the superiority of craft put into each one especially in the arena of design, special effects and acting. With the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, David Thewlis, John Hurt, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Brendan Gleeson and Imelda Staunton—even when there’s a misgiving by a fan or critic about the story, you still can’t take your eyes off such talent and presence.
The first Harry Potter novel was published in 1997 and the world began its love affair with J. K. Rowling’s epic tale of the boy wizard. A look today at the website www.the-numbers.com puts the average worldwide gross for each film so far at $903 million dollars.
personally quite liked “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” The film on the whole got a very adult, serious and intelligent treatment. It has grown up along with its audience. There are a few elements reminiscent of Lord of the Rings—an amulet that defies destruction (just like the Ring of Power) and Arthurian Legend—finding a powerful sword that has to be dislodged from it’s hiding place. But all this is very well done.
There’s likewise beautiful animation as Xenophilius Lovegood (Rhys Ifans) narrates the tale of “The Three Brothers” which explains the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.
The word “horcrux” however keeps popping up throughout the film to refer to the amulet. For those who have not read the book or are certified fanboys and fangirls, things like that still have to be explained more thoroughly. I had to go online to find out more about them and was treated to a very fascinating set of little stories.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” directed by David Yates is a fine build up to the final film in the franchise. As a moviegoer, I’ve grown attached to seeing the characters return on screen over the last decade. Now begins the seven month wait for the bittersweet finale which hits the screen in July 2011.