Harry Potter and the Penultimate Movie
My journey through the "Harry Potter" movies has been a slow one, it started back in 2001 when "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was released and I watched it on the big screen but as mentioned in my other reviews the franchise lost me when it changed from magical to dark too soon. But slowly it won me back and whilst I have never read one of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels these movies have tempted me to do so. So after many had long finished with the series I find myself at the penultimate movie "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and in all honesty I am looking forward to how all this plays out.
Following the death of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) things are very mixed up for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the world especially with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) ascending to power and taking over the ministry of magic when the Minister of Magic (Bill Nighy) is killed. Fortunately Harry has his allies and not just Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) as the Weasleys, Mad-Eye (Brendan Gleeson) and others group together to help protect Harry. But things get no better when their plans to help him go wrong leading to Harry, Hermione and Ron heading out on a quest to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes in order to make Voldermort vulnerable.
As I have come to expect "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is of a consistently high standard and to skip through what for many is obvious here goes. Visually it is great with not just good use of special effects but also a varied collection of locations as the story goes on the road. The performances are all first rate and are main trio of stars Daniel, Emma and Rupert are as tight as ever delivering their characters and evolving them whilst still bringing the touches of humour which we have watched through out the series. And the actual story itself is as fantastic as ever with a complexity to it which makes it interesting but not too complex that it becomes impossible to follow.
But this is where I actually have a problem with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" because as already mentioned I have not read the books and this feels like a movie made for those who already know the details. I admittedly had to watch the movie three times to get to grips with all the little bits of storyline which to those who have read the book will be so obvious. But it is a shame that even by splitting the final book in two they couldn't have done a better job of making the story a little bit easier for those who are not already in the know. Don't get me wrong as you can follow it but unless you know what happens at a certain point you may miss it happening in the movie.
And on the subject of splitting the final book in two, I'm glad they did because it allows for the story to flow which is something the previous couple of movies suffered from as they tried to condense too much in to a limited time. Plus it sets up a nice cliff hanger which makes you want to watch the final movie even more as you wonder what will happen, well that is if like me you haven't read the Harry Potter books.
What this all boils down to is that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is again a consistently good movie which delivers everything which has been so good about the series up till now. My only niggle is that it feels more than ever a movie which has been made for those who already know the story and for those who haven't read the books it isn't so much complex or unfollowable but requires a lot of attention and even multiple viewings to pick up on everything. But then having watched "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" more times than I care to admit it keeps on hitting me with new detail, both visually and when it comes to the story.