New Potter film produces mixed feelings

AMBER ROLLAND – Hoof Prints Staff

One of the most highly anticipated films of the year was released this month, and the Harry Potter fans turned out in droves to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” Fans had been waiting for over a year to see Harry begin his quest to destroy the Horcruxes and eventually Lord Voldemort himself. I was no exception.

I knew going into the theater that the film was supposed to cover over two-thirds of the book in only two and a half hours, so I wasn’t surprised by the fast paced scenes. If my knees hadn’t been so cramped from sitting in one of the front rows of the packed theater, I would’ve thought the movie had only lasted twenty minutes.

The movie followed the book’s plot points surprisingly well considering the amount of crucial information that had to be presented for the viewer to comprehend what was going on. However, I felt that at times it only stuck to the bare bones of the book with nothing special added. As soon as the basics of the point had been covered, it was on to a new scene.

When I had reached the middle of the film, I realized that I felt sinking disappointment in what I was seeing, something I couldn’t shake until almost the very end of the film. I’m not sure why I felt this way about this particular part of the film. It stuck to the book well enough. The middle of the book basically consists of Ron, Harry and Hermione traveling around without a plan, Ron leaving, Hermione and Harry traveling around without a plan, Ron coming back, and then some more of Ron, Harry, and Hermione travelling around without a plan. Such was the middle of the film as well.

The film cut off just as the action was building. I felt as if I had started reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and was forced to put it down just as the real action was beginning. Of course, the majority of my favorite parts happen in the later segment of the book. The end left me with a hollow feeling and made me want more, just as the filmmakers intended. No matter how I felt, the end of the movie set up well for the next leaving viewers feeling as if all hope for Harry Potter is lost.

I felt shorted by several scenes in the movie, especially by the lack of emotion shown by Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley while Hermione is being tortured. I was also looking forward to the point when Harry’s awful house elf Kreacher explains the origins of the real locket Horcrux and starts acting civilly toward Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But once again, as soon as the basics had been glossed over, we were on to the next scene.

I was impressed by the excellent acting in the film, particularly by two actresses and one CGI-created house elf. Helena Bonham Carter gives us the most twisted, evil, insane Bellatrix Lestrange yet. I found the way she tortures Hermione Granger to be one of the best moments in the film even though it deviates from what happens in the book. The particular method she uses is so Bellatrixesque I’m surprised that J.K. Rowling didn’t think to include it in the book herself.

Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, screams so convincingly during this scene that it made my stomach churn. Last but certainly not least is the free house elf Dobby. This creature voiced by Toby Jones definitely stole the whole movie. I found myself laughing every time he appeared on screen. These three made up for Rhys Ifans’s terribly disappointing portrayal of the loony Xenophilius Lovegood.

The special effects were stunning, to say the least. The Harry Potter films have come a long way since the first movie’s release in 2001. The action sequence at the beginning of the movie provides quite a thrill, but the most spectacular effects were used in the scene in which Ron Weasley destroys the locket Horcrux.

This movie left me with mixed feelings, and for a long time I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. After much deliberation, I decided I liked it. The majority of my misgivings about the movie dealt with the middle of the film which sagged a little plot-wise but only because it stuck to the book so well.

If you’re looking for an action-filled Potter flick, then I give this a “neigh.” That won’t come until July when the next movie, sure to be completely filled with action, is released. However, if you’re a devoted Harry Potter fan looking to see one of the movies follow the book as closely as the first in the series, then I give it a “yay!”