Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Dir. David Yates
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: M
Running Time: 140mins

Two thirds through the seventh film in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) tries to explain why he’s soaking wet and holding a legendary sword that will help him destroy ancient artefacts: “It’s a long story.” And boy is it ever!

Read the rest at Trespass

It was difficult to write about this penultimate film in the Harry Potter franchise. I liked it well enough, but almost everything that is singular and unique to this film, and thus more demanding of attention, fell closer to the negative side of things for me. I tried to steer it closer to the "generally positive" view that I have of the movie, but I'm not going to spend an entire paragraph talking about Stuart Craig's (yet again) spectacular production design since I've been saying that since at least film number 3 in the series (the first two were so bad that I don't remember a single thing about them other than indeed how bad they were).

Speaking of which, as happy as I am for the actors - especially Emma Watson, who I want to see go on to have a career that will allow her to not simply be known as the girl that played Hermione Granger - to nearly be done with the films, they've all been given the chance to pursue other projects (Rupert Grint is on screen in Aussie cinemas right now in Wild Target with Emily Blunt and his Deathly Hallows co-star Bill Nighy), I'll be happiest most of all for Stuart Craig, the utterly fantastic production designer who has done absolutely nothing but Harry Potter films since 2001.

His work has constantly been stellar - my favourites would be Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, he clearly had a great time designing the interiors or Delores Umbrage's pink den - and it will be good to finally see him return to other fare. Let's not forget that Craig had won three Academy Awards before taking on the monstrous Harry Potter duties. He won for Gandhi, Dangerous Liaisons and The English Patient, plus nominations for The Elephant Man, The Mission and Chaplin (as well as Philosopher's Stone and Goblet of Fire), so it's obvious that this man is too talented to be held down by just one franchise.

Similarly, Jany Temime has more or less been stuck doing the costume design for the series since Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. While she's been able to work outside the series - most notably In Bruges and Children of Men - maybe now she can finally use her magic (no pun intended) on something else that's really deserving of her talents and strengths as a costumer designer.

The final film arrives in July 2011 and I suppose others out there in the land of the internet will be revisiting the films a lot throughout the next seven months. You won't hear much out of me until then, however, at which point I'll be celebrating that it's finally come to an end. No matter how great Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is, it will be time to hang up the wand and the invisibility cloke and move on. 'til then...


caroline said...

Now, now, you can't really think that the Potter fans' love for the books will evaporate upon the conclusion of the films, do you? The movies are just an excuse for us to criticize the movies and agree about how much superior the books are.

Glenn Dunks said...

Pardon? I didn't think that's what I was saying.