Thoughts on Harry Potter 7.1

Finally, I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part On today. After an agonizing wait that spanned my entire exam schedule, and a little after that, I eventually entered the cinema for the first part of an epic finale to one of my all-time favourite literary gems.

I was not disappointed.

I always maintain that the “intensity-factor” of a Harry Potter film can be judged by the look and feel of the Warner Brothers logo at the start of the film. And with Deathly Hallows, the opening was handled with a subtle thrill that I thought captured the very essence of what this closure to the series means. It was dark, gritty, intense.

Director David Yates’ decision to split the last chapter of the Potter saga into two parts was a genius decision in my opinion. It allowed for more character development, a more faithful approach to such dense and richly crafted source material, and the chance for us Potter fans to eek-out more of the franchise.

The abruptness of the ending left many moviegoers with an “empty” feeling; to me, it was perfect. Whilst I agree that it was quite sudden, it sets the scene for what will inevitably be an epic Part 2.

The dark cinematography, hinted at in Prisoner of Azkaban (movie 3, for you non-fanatic fans out there), and explored in great detail from Order of the Phoenix to Half-Blood Prince, serves the atmosphere of Potter 7.1 well. It wrenches these vulnerable characters from their comfort zone of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and out into the big, bad world where Death Eaters roam free, Dementors permeate the very institution meant to be protecting the wizarding community from them — the Ministry of Magic — and the forces of evil are indeed a force to be reckoned with. Mr Yates managed to capture the very core of conflict brought upon from a multitude of emotions emanating from the three leads, set against a breathtaking backdrop that is in stark contrast to the warmth of Hogwarts, to create a highly satisfying cinematic experience.

Alexandre Desplat’s sweeping, gripping score adds to this gloomy, murky, and dangerous atmosphere. The original Potter theme, first established in The Philospher’s Stone, is alluded to at the introduction, but makes way for a more edgy orchestration that aptly captures the pace of this film.

The darkness has been upped a notch. The frightening presence of He Who Must Not Be Names lurkes in every frame of the film. The characters we’ve loved and rooted for from the beginning are pushed to their limits. And that, for me, is what the finalé to what can only be described as the “movie event of a generation” should be about.

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