Name: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Running Time (minutes): 146
Description: Voldemort’s power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore’s work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the trio and the rest of the wizarding world, so everything they do must go as planned.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
I really liked it this time! Way better than how I remembered it. Quite intense, fast-paced and mostly well-acted. A few issues remain, however: Radcliffe really sucks. Apparently he doesn’t only have the same expression on his face throughout the entire film (thank you for that observation, mother), he mostly sounds the same as well: moody and bitter. No matter where they are, no matter what they’re doing, he’s always sulking! If you don’t like playing Harry anymore, just stop playing Harry! Also, Yates implies so much but tells us so little: Mundungus Fletcher isn’t handled properly, Dumbledore’s backstory is a complete mess (but maybe that was a deliberate decision), same goes for Harry’s animosity towards Kreacher and Scrimgeour (but then again, he hates everyone, so…) And if Harry hears all the Horcruxes in the final two films, why not in Chamber of Secrets? Did he go and see an ear doctor in the meantime? When the Weasleys are preparing the wedding, you clearly hear dialogue from HP5 and why is it so important to name the two Death Eaters who attack them in the café? Hermione mispronounces ‘Muffliato’, but her overall performance, as usual, is fantastic.
Desplat’s score really impressed me this time. Not only did he bring back the magic, he created lots of memorable themes, though their meaning isn’t always clear to me. Even Hermione has a theme in this score. Only the synthetic bass makes my head ache, my room vibrate and my housemates ask what the hell is going on. I still don’t like the thematic break with the previous scores either: Dobby already has a theme, use it. This is a particular problem here because so much of the score actually sounds like John Williams music. Yates also still doesn’t really know how to handle music (Ron Splinched, Hermione crying over Ron’s departure etc. are unscored, which totally kills the scenes for me, but maybe the images speak for themselves). There can’t be a reason why Yates decided to strip the music playing when the trio are on their way to Lovegood of all its magic, though. It just sounds terrible now.
The surround sound is glorious in this film. Every channel is used to its full extent. It must be pointed out, however, that the entire movie suffers from extremely dynamic range, which might scare you to death in a cinema and certainly isn’t nice when you’re at home. Some of the great music is also barely audible.
The audio description was good, but Di Langford explains too much: I know Hagrid is a giant, that Pettigrew’s nickname is Wormtail and that a Thestral is a winged horse (and is Voldemort really The Dark Lord?) At other times, she didn’t explain unclear sounds. They also repeatedly muted background dialogue during the narration, which I didn’t really like.