Monday, November 29, 2010

The Deathly Hallows Part 1 – a review

On Friday after Thanksgiving I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows Part 1. Let me say that I haven't read the book. I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, though I've seen all the movies. Lynda liked the books, having read them after our son gave her several of them, she read them and loved them, and has since bought the others and read them.

I enjoyed all the previous movies. I found them entertaining, well made, with great cinematography, and great acting. The special effects were good, of course, but I'm not a movie-goer who needs great special effects to like a movie.

This one I found to have great acting, good cinematography, and good special effects. But it failed from a story/plot standpoint. I left the movie feeling "What did I learn?" So the three student wizards are not back at Hogwarts for their final year. So they are in a protect-Harry mode, hanging out in remote places, finding ways to sneak here and there in hopes of finding the horcruxes the Dark Lord has used to assure his immortality. Near the end of the movie they learn what the deathly hallows actually are, and in the last scene the Dark Lord finds the one of the three that he is missing.

Presumably all this is faithful to the book. My son said that Harry, Ron, and Hermione didn't learn about the deathly hallows and what they were until the middle of the book, which should approximately correspond to the end of this movie. I just left it with a "so what" feeling.

To me, story and plot trump execution, art, and craft. This is true in writing also. I'd much rather read a book with a great plot that has some less than stellar writing than a book that is a masterpiece of writing yet does not entertain. That was the problem with TDH Pt 1: it didn't entertain me. I suppose Part 2, due out next July, will entertain me. It is said to be an action film all the way.

I don't need an action film to be entertained, but I need something more than what I saw last Friday.

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