Harry Potter

film 7 of 8

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt. 1

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 5, 2014

This one reminds me of The Empire Strikes Back. It feels interstitial. That’s acceptable, and you don’t blame anyone, but it still feels interstitial. I’m recalling that the book felt similar, which is to say that by this point the filmmakers are faithful, whatever JK might be doing.

There are tremendous things amid the scatter. We are morally obligated to express disapproval of the dubious Dobby episode. May we refer you yet again to Ginny’s endangerment in the second book. Once again they haven’t earned this, and you feel to resent their piling it on. Compare this assault with the shattering minimalism of the opening, in which Hermione quietly removes herself from her parents’ lives. The same goes with the graveyard sequence.

Peter Mullan! That long camping section is pretty brave. Stasis, even temps mort in a blockbuster. So these kids dance to Nick Cave, do they? How about the vaunted/abominated nude sequence, which was such a concern for so many parents. First of all, good for them. Worrying is a lot of what parents are for, and they have a right to it. As for this particular parent, I notice that this is actually an animated nude sequence. In other words, no young actors are actually exposed or objectified. Rather, an obvious technology is utilized to illustrate a very valid idea. Is this sequence unseemly? Well sort of, as such actual things can actually be. Or, it’s an acknowledgment of a reality that isn’t only awful or sinful. Maybe it’s appropriate for young people after all.

The Malfoys’ estate, as well as the Lovegood compound, reminds us of how tremendously designed this whole sequence of movies has been. One looks forward to the last episode, which will undoubtedly be just as all over the place. That is becoming decreasingly the point.