When it was announced that the final book in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was to be split into two films, it was met with a mixed reaction.
Some were sceptical as to the necessity of it, some were relieved that the hefty storyline would not have to be cut down too much to fit one film, and some were simply glad to be able to prolong the Potter experience just a little more.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One arrived in 2010. The first of the films not to be set primarily at Hogwarts, it features the beginning of Harry’s quest to uncover and destroy the Horcruxes containing parts of Voldemort’s soul, so that the Dark Lord may finally be defeated.
Voldemort’s powers are raging stronger by the day, and the wizarding and Muggle words alike are suffering.
Harry, Ron and Hermione know that for them, a seventh year at Hogwarts is not an option; the Ministry cannot be trusted, and the school is under the control of the Death Eaters. The Order of the Phoenix help Harry to escape from Privet Drive, but not without casualty. It’s a dark start which very much sets the tone for the remainder of the film; Harry’s world has become dangerous and deadly, and there is so much at stake.
The trio set off on their mission to find the Horcruxes, but the going is never easy as they face obstacle after obstacle. On their journey, Harry learns the story of the Deathly Hallows – three legendary objects of immense power from old wizarding lore. The Hallows consist of the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. Legend has it that he or she who owns all three Hallows shall become the Master of Death – and thus it becomes apparent to Harry that this is the power Voldemort seeks. He must destroy the Horcruxes, but he must also stop Voldemort from possessing the three Hallows.
Finding the Horcruxes is one thing, but destroying them is another. Friendships and loyalties are tested, and when the trio are captured and dragged to Malfoy Manor, it is Dobby who saves the day – though at a cost.
The first installment of the Deathly Hallows story ends on the ominous image of Voldemort finding the Elder Wand. To be continued…
This film has one of the strongest opening scenes in terms of setting mood, partially when we see Hermione turn her wand on her parents to wipe their memories of any knowledge of her for their own protection. Emma Watson’s expression is heartbreaking as Hermione watches the images of her younger self disappear from all her parents’ photos without a trace.
The scene in which Harry and Hermione dance in their tent together has always struck me as one of the most emotional scenes in the films – their heartache at having lost Ron to jealousy caused by the Horcrux is touching, as is the comfort they find in each other’s friendship.
The scene in which Ron returns to them is lovely, and as he addresses Hermione it feels as though he slow burn of his relationship with her throughout the series, from constant bickering to tender touches to this, has really reached an important point.
Another interesting relationship in the series has always been Harry and Draco Malfoy’s bitter dislike of each other. When Harry, disguised by a jinx, is brought before Draco so that Draco can confirm that it is indeed Harry Potter and thus call Voldemort, Draco – whose family have been struggling and appear to be on the verge of breakdown under Voldemort’s power – cannot bring himself to betray Harry. It’s not a redemption, as such, but it’s a great moment in terms of character development; for all that they have been enemies since they began Hogwarts together, Draco knows that if he turns Harry in, Harry will die – and even though his own family will be lauded for bringing him before Voldemort, he struggles to do it.
‘Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him.’ The last words that Dumbledore said to Kingsley and Remus.
‘With the whole wide world of ear-related humour before you, you go for ‘holey’?’ The Weasley twins make everything better. Even when one of them is missing an ear.
‘You complete arse, Ronald Weasley!’ Okay, so given Ron and Hermione’s relationship, this could technically have been from any of the films, but still, it’s great.
‘The deluminator. It doesn’t just turn off lights.. I heard it. A voice. Your voice, Hermione. You said my name. Just my name. Like a whisper. So I took it, clicked it and this tiny ball of light appeared. And I knew. It flew towards me, the ball of light, right through my chest and straight through me. Right here. And I knew it was going to take me where I needed to go.’ The closest thing to an ‘I love you’ that we have heard so far from Ron Weasley’s lips.
‘Dobby never meant to kill! Dobby only meant to maim, or seriously injure!’ Honestly, Dobby should have got his own spin-off series.
Did you know?
Director David Hayman stated that originally the plans for the film would have made it 5.5 hours long, justifying the decision to split it into two films.
Jason Isaacs considered not returning in his role as Lucius Malfoy as he feared little screen time after Lucius was arrested in the fifth book/film. It was only when JK Rowling informed him that Lucius is released and appears in the very first chapter that he signed on for the films.
This is the only film in the franchise in which Maggie Smith’s McGonagall and David Bradley’s Filch do not appear.
JK Rowling worked as a producer on it.
Evanna Lynch designed a lot of Luna’s costumes and jewellery herself, along with creating Luna’s weird and wonderful dance moves at the wedding.
Filming the ‘seven Harrys’ was incredibly complicated and took a long, long time; Daniel Radcliffe counted over 90 takes of a single shot.
When Emma Watson saw the set for Hermione’s bedroom, she felt that Hermione would own more books – which the set designers happily accommodated.
The report: A
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is bursting with drama, tension and angst; the plot is solid and utterly absorbing, and the cast are, by the time you get to this film, so familiar and so settled in their roles that you feel as though you know them personally.
I do miss Hogwarts when I watch this film, but that can’t be helped – there’s some great cinematography to make up for it, especially in the forest scenes which are beautiful.
Whilst splitting the story into two gives the films time to do the complicated plot justice, it’s understandable that some elements can be frustrating – having the final dramatic showdown in the second film means that this film does a lot of ‘building up’ without being able to deliver on any consequences, which did feel a little frustrating when it came out and there was a year’s wait before Part Two.
Still, it provides some fantastic tension and anticipation for the final film.
What’s your favourite moment in the movie? Let us know below…