Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (2010)



One has to face it; it’s not that hard to carry a franchise like this. The books are best-sellers, and teenagers are among some of the resistant hardcore fans for whatever pop phenomena they choose to embrace. The books hit a sweet corner of contemporary souls: the lack of magic in the way they conduct their lives, driven by a vision of the world that has been excluding the power of mysticism, true mysticism, born from the most basic connections between humans and their environment, humans and themselves. The books revolve around bits of old mythologies, and deliver them with a fashionable package, filled with visual and metaphorical elements that ring a bell in our western collective consciousness. Phoenixes, wands, potions, spells…

But i only care for the series because they were made into films, these books don’t appeal to me, the films may appeal. And the main option in the building of the 8 (which after all will be 9) films that translate the books was that they would evolve like their main characters, which were at the beginning children. So we started as children’s films, evolved to adolescent “highschool” films, and know the films have been mapped onto a kind of a hybrid genre, oscillating between the detective story and the action film. This 8th installment falls on this category, as the previous one had. I guess the last one will get closer to the “return of the king”: epic and visceral.

Apart from that evolution of the films, in some of them we have cinematic concepts that get explored, with more or less success. This is where things get interesting to me. The 3rd film was the best to me: it dealt with an coupling of time and space (that the story of the book supported) and cleverly relied on one of the best explorers of space (through camera) we have today to direct it. So we have the deepest shots in the series, the best Hogwarts, the most magic environment of the series. The Half-blood prince relied on similar principles, but instead of exploring the space, the architecture was cleverly staged, it depended on point of view, framing and mise-en-scéne. It was clever and the best film of the series post- Columbus.

This gets us here, to this film, which represents a radical shift in what has been done before. Again, the story provides the clues for the visual materialization of the film: our main characters are stranded, wandering between multiple worlds, multiple realities, all of them devoid of human elements to anchor the action: snow, woods, rocks. So the rug is pulled on us, and the relatively frantic rhythm of the movie has to do with us failing to anchor our eyes on the expected sets that do Not show: we don’t get to see Hogwarts. That may have been a somewhat risky decision, but i believe that at this moment, the fans only want to see the illustration on-screen of the facts they know will happen, so these guys can almost literally do anything they want.

Again, as in the previous film, i appreciated the visual hint: linear time, but rootless sets. But the sets are just not interesting enough, and the effect fades with the multiplication of sets.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb



1 Response to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)”

  1. 1 wufrudel January 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    You gave this a better rating then Les Ventres? Your cloned opinion is worthless.

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