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Rated 4.61 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Beginning of the End
by Betty Jo Tucker

Although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 might disappoint viewers who expect the colorful excitement of the first six Harry Potter movies, this seventh installment emphasizes courage, friendship and loyalty in a more mature manner than in the previous adventures. I admit missing those wondrous scenes set at Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry. However, Harry, Hermione and Ron are older now and on a very serious mission that takes place away from this magical institution during their next-to-last outing -- so we see no ever-moving staircases, no portraits that seem to be alive, no breathtaking dining hall sequences, etc. materializing on screen.

Also, unfortunately, some of our favorite characters appear only briefly in Part 1. For example, the snarky Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) has very little to do, which left me with an empty feeling. The same holds true for Professor Umbridge (Imelda Stanton), Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), and Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs).

Most of the action here centers around Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) -- as they try to destroy the Horcruxes -- and the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who is out to destroy Harry Potter. While dealing with the Horcruxes, the members of our heroic trio discover there are three powerful objects of wizardry, the Deathly Hallows, that are of vital importance to their task. In one of the film’s most artistic sequences, how these Deathly Hallows originated plays out on screen in dramatic silhouette form while Hermione reads the story to Harry and Ron.

Although friendship is important to Harry, Hermione and Ron, they do not always get along. In fact, a big rift occurs when Ron becomes jealous and feels left out after suffering an injury. As the result of his actions, Harry and Hermione are forced to draw closer together. They both feel sad about Ron’s behavior, but how can they resist dancing briefly with each other in the movie’s most amusing and delightful moment? Kudos to Radcliffe, Granger and Grint for delivering sensitive and believable performances as friends who understand they have to rely on each other in highly dangerous situations.    

Pursued by Voldemort and his minions with everything they have at their disposal, Harry, Hermione and Ron must soldier on -- with the help of loyal characters like Hagrid  (Robbie Coltrane), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Geeson)  and Dobby (voiced by Toby Jones) -- to make sure Good wins out over Evil. The last scene of Part 1 makes us realize that time is running out for them. Too bad we have to wait until July of 2011 for Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the last film of this remarkable fantasy franchise.    

(Released by Warner Bros. Pictures and rated “PG-13” for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.)

For more information about this film, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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