Sunday, May 22, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

2010, UK/US, directed by David Yates

Although I'm sure that the prospect of global profits played a major role - if not the determining role - in splitting the final Harry Potter book into two films, the result is actually a much improved product on the cinematic level, with the breathing space to slow the action down a little - not a small consideration where the plot requires the central characters to experience an extended period of soul-searching/retreat. The additional running time allows for at least some character development, too, rather than simply a recounting of J.K. Rowling's plot, while director of photography Eduardo Serra uses his colour palette to channel some of the grimmer spirit of films like Children of Men, lending this installment a much more obviously adult feel despite the wizardry, with several sequences - a scene on a beach near the conclusion - feeling appropriately bleak. Since the narrative would otherwise be one distressing event after another, there's a nice smattering of humour to leaven the tone. Rupert Grint is assigned most of the best lines, although a sequence where the parts of the central trio of friends are played by three older actors, including the usually fearsome David O'Hara, is very nicely played, each of the veterans catching the mannerisms of his or her younger counterpart quite acutely.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States