As an avid, uber, borderline insane fan of the Harry Potter franchise (books), I always pick apart each Potter film release once I finish watching and immediately begin to dismissÂ scenes that were not in the book or that were completely altered to almost unrecognizable proportionsÂ (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Though the movies have not followed the book, they do incorporate a lot of the events skipping what some fans call the âpaddingâ within the books giving us purely relevant scenes.
Needless to say, my knees were shaking and I could barely contain myself walking into the theatre. The line outside was discouraging but, thankfully, I had a job to do, literallyâŠand thankfully that job was watching Harry Potter. I skipped the line since we already had our seats, grabbed a nifty mini-poster from SOL 95, a local Spanish radio station and galloped up to my seat, which was perfect because I got the golden spot right in the center of the theater.
I am just going to try and pretend that I havenât read the books, but for those who have grown with âBookâ Harry, this film was ON POINT! So, the movie starts just like the others, on 4 Privet Drive except things are definitely leaning towards the dark side. The Dursleys, pale with fear, have all their things smashed into their tiny car. I am not sure where they are going but it is one hundred percent away from Harry Potter. Right now, he is public enemy number one to everyone but his closer friends and acquaintancesâŠeven the Ministry in all their âjustnessâÂ becomes corrupt and begins a campaign, with propaganda and all not unlike the Naziâs, against him. The Nazi factor comes to play when you see legions of people creating anti-mudblood (muggle/wizard mixes) flyers and posters and news headlines. It actually seems a lot more horrible than it was in the book, but it was a great scene nonetheless.
There was a very huge amount of adrenaline injected into some of this film. Like the other Potter movies, this one had action scenes but they seemed extra exhilarating. I am not sure if it was the fresh Harry Potter anxiety or the extreme amount of soda I drank before I sat that got me so wound up. These scenes were noticeably not consistent in the movie. Not to say the movie was ever boring; but they could have done a slightly better job of transitioning from one main scene to another.Â The trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) have as much chemistry on screen as everâŠand then some. Everyoneâs acting was perfect and reflected their charactersâ behaviors very accurately.
The road to Hogwarts takes a leap of faith into what some anal parents would dub âmature contentâ. Straight from imdb.com it tells us that the movie is ârated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.â Let me elaborate on this. The intense action would come from the two chase scenes, a few “jinx to the death” battles, and in the form of a neat little animated short. The short, for those who have read the book, tells the story of the three brothers in complete details in an animation style that I fell in love with.
I donât want to spoil it, but this tale refers to the main legend backing this installment of Potterâs adventures. The jinx battles occur like your common gun fight except with flying broomsticks, wands, and multi-colored and fatal electricityâŠoh and oddly named magic spells. The brief sensuality comes in the form of a âhorcruxâ (Evil Voldemort life piece) defense mechanism. If you are with children, this will be a very uncomfortable moment for you that much I will disclaim. Harry and Ginny also share their moment of lust for an odd length in the earlier part of the film, creating lesser of a reaction because this time Harry and his âkiss-partnerâ were not naked. Adding to the maturity is the actual fear the movie brings. There are sudden loud noises that startle you and pretty frightening images for our younger folks. Think of dark empty alleys, filled with giant snakes and the limp bodies of those tortured muggles and wizards that could not withstand the pain and youâll get the overall feel of the film.
With that said, I guarantee you that book readers will not have complaints about the film in relation to accuracy. (Of course someone is going to say otherwise eventually however, I disagree with them ahead of time) This is also a film where the prequels do not have to be seen to understand what exactly is happening in the main story because they go back and make several references to the past. Sadly, they donât elaborate much, leaving the viewer knowing only as much as they could gather from the different items and characters that they flashed back to. Kids younger than eight, I suggest you take them at your own discretion as it can result with a noisy brat forcing you to leave early which in this case, you will not want to do. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 was a heart-stopping broom ride that definitely belongs among the great Harry Potter collection.
[Editor's note: Sergio wanted six stars for this one, but you know my rule, no six stars til I have seen it too.]