With a wave of the wand, the long-awaited finale of Harry Potter has finally arrived, and it’s more spell binding and suspenseful than ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, the beginning of the end of this dark, grueling tale, takes us along on the dangerous journey that Harry and his friends must take in search of the Horcruxes, for “neither can live while the other survives.”
From start to finish, the movie is drenched in suspense. Day by day the Death Eaters are taking control of the Wizarding world and there is not much that can be done to stop them. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds himself racing time to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes — objects that contain hidden parts of a dark wizard’s soul in order to gain immortality — and finally defeat his foe, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). His two best friends, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), tag along on what seems to be a hopeless cause. The journey they take was never meant to be easy; it tests the three friends’ character and friendship.
In his will, Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) left the three friends gifts to assist them on this quest. Harry begins to uncover secrets of Dumbledore’s past life. Was he the wizard he thought him to be? Throughout the film they risk their lives and apparate or transport themselves to get to places, one being the Ministry of Magic, where they discovered one of the Horcruxes, a necklace. Ron destroys it using the sword of Gryffindor.
At some point in the story they find themselves visiting Xenophilius Lovegood (Rhys Ifans), Luna’s father, a most unique, peculiar wizard but their friend nonetheless. He tells them the story of three brothers who wished to cheat death and were given three gifts: an invisiblity cloak, a stone that resurrects the dead and the Elder Wand, which makes a wizard more powerful than any other. Harry has his visions of Lord Voldemort along their journey and he then realizes that what Lord Voldemort was in search of was in fact the Elder Wand. In the end, when everything seems to be going uphill, the movie ends with Voldemort finding the Elder Wand in Dumbledore’s grave, making him the most powerful and dangerous wizard of all.
The film also takes the audience on an emotional journey where many characters from previous movies return, yet die in order to protect Harry, the Chosen One. Dobby, the warm-hearted and innocent house elf who desired only to protect his friend Harry Potter, was perhaps the heaviest loss. A heart-wrenching moment is when Hermione makes the difficult choice and erases her parent’s memories in order to protect them; it was as if she was never born. Also, the emotional strain between Harry and his friends that seemed to threaten their bond was difficult to watch at times.
Though most of the movie is filled with dark, gloomy drama, there are parts where light shines through and brings brief moments of happiness. At one point, in a scene added by director David Yates, Harry attempts to cheer Hermione up after Ron’s departure. The pair dances awkwardly as the romantic tension builds.
This movie may not have been the most action packed of the series, but the action scenes were strategically placed and well-executed, namely when Harry is being moved to the Burrow by members of the Order of the Phoenix and the group is ambushed by Death Eaters. The director cleverly chose the right amount of detail. There was enough to remain true to the book and the most important and crucial parts stood out.
The only disappointment was that the Yates chose to cut out the beginning scene where Harry and his cousin Dudley (Harry Melling) have a tender “heart to heart” moment where they have finally come to understand each other. Dudley tells Harry he’s not a “waste of space” and they shake hands like two friends would and then part ways. The Dursleys must go into hiding so that the Death Eaters would not find them.
Thus far the best of all the films, Deathy Hallows: Part One is a must see for all Harry Potter fans.