“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” Premieres in London

By Hanako M. Ricks

HollywoodNews.com: The world premiere for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” took place in London yesterday, and the critics have begun to sound off on what is easily one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010.

Early reviews of the film – which is the first in a two-part franchise finale – seem to be mixed, with critics praising the darker and more mature elements of the film while acknowledging that some of the lengthier aspects of the film (the “never ending camping trip” – as book readers have called the trio’s time on the run) could have been shortened just a bit. Reviewers from the Harry Potter fandom praise the adaptation as probably the most faithful to the series since the first two movies, Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets.

Here are snippets of some of the reviews that have been posted thus far:

Reuters UK: “More than even the most faithful of the earlier episodes, this film feels devoted above all to reproducing the novel onscreen as closely as possible, an impulse that drags it toward ponderousness at times and rather sorely tests the abilities of the young actors to hold the screen entirely on their own, without being propped up by the ever-fabulous array of character actors the series offers.”

Variety: “Yates’ film at times seems to falter under the weight of its exposition. Tasked with finding and destroying the remaining Horcruxes (accursed objects containing fragments of Voldemort’s soul), the central trio must track elusive leads, decode arcane symbols and research unfamiliar names in the wizarding world, all rattled off so quickly at times that even those familiar with the text may be in need of a flow chart. Still, the filmmakers are to be applauded for not pandering to the few Potter virgins who may be in the audience, and for pushing the series ahead into unapologetically darker realms.

“But the emotional centerpiece of “Deathly Hallows” is a relatively static stretch during which our heroes seek refuge in the woods, and the tight bond of Harry and Ron’s friendship begins to fray as they grapple with frustration, uncertainty and jealousy over Hermione’s perceived affections. It’s a parched, depressive interlude, marked by a strong feeling of isolation (and beautifully shot at Blighty’s Burnham Beeches) that may bore some viewers, but as the major turning point for the saga’s foundational relationships, it affords Radcliffe, Grint and Watson some of their finest moments.”

Snitchseeker (Harry Potter fan site): “Overall, in terms of the film as an adaptation, I’d say that the bits that are there, far outweigh what isn’t – the film-makers struck a good balance between keeping all the key plot points in while also ensuring a smooth and consistent pace. It’s no secret that I cried my way through the book (it began with the dedications, seriously); I did pretty much the same with the film. Although by the end, I was struggling to keep myself from sobbing noisily…I’ll leave you to figure out why. So if you’re the crying type, for Merlin’s sake, TAKE TISSUES!!!”

Mugglenet (Harry Potter fan site): “There were a few quick moments where things not covered in previous films (that were in previous books) were added to Part 1 for clarification. Can we give this film a definite review yet? No. The reality is we cannot decide how good Part 1 is until we see Part 2. Overall, the film has a very raw feel. It’s gory, it feels real, and it feels like the emotion in the book.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 will premiere in the States on Monday, November 15, and be released in theaters on Friday, November 19.

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