Sunday, 23 February 2014

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1 (2010)

"You're not still mad at him, are you?"

"I'm always mad at him!"

No more do we get to see any wondrously imaginative and charming scenes of life at Hogwarts: the seriousness has fully taken over, it's war stations from the off, and not everyone will survive. Oh yes, and DOBBIE DIES!!!!!!

This is all very Lord of the Rings, right down to the suspiciously One Ring-like effect of the Horcrux on relations between Harry, Hermione and Ron and, while good, just doesn't feel much like a Harry Potter film. Still, I have to deal with the film as it is and, while I'd have preferred something less grim and gritty, I can't say that it isn't a good film, though by no means a great one.

The stakes are high, as is proclaimed by the very dark visual style of the film. Voldemort, Sauron-like, is about to take over everything and there are so many magical MacGuffins in play here that it's hard to keep track of them, much like the absurd number of acting luminaries that are in this film. One of the more notable is recent birthday boy Alan Rickman, of course; Snape seems pretty unambiguously to be a baddie here, right?

Possibly the second most heartbreaking thing in the film (I don't need to say what the first is, right?) is Hermione's decision to make her parents forget her; she is now an orphan, and homeless. And she now has to fight in a war. It's a terrible burden for one so young.

She, of course, is a "mudblood", and it is a sign of whether one is a goodie or a baddie as to whether one approves of this or insists on racial "purity". This is the nearest the film comes to being "about " anything, really, but the ride is an exciting one, with all of our characters being put through the emotional wringer. Harry, certainly, doesn't have the greatest of seventeenth birthdays.

Snape, now headmaster at Hogwarts, institutes a severe regime, and our heroes are all off to Mordor, or wherever. It's all strangely dark for a children's film, with bleak landscapes and a muted colour palette, although it's nice to see an emphasis on a book of wonderfully childlike fairy tales with stylised animation, the highlight of the film.

Harry's invisibility cloak has never reminded me more of Bilbo's, and Voldemort's attacking forces seem very much like Ringwraiths. But there the Tolkien comparisons end as things get very dark, and very complicated, as various MacGuffins are fought over and poor Hermione  has "mudblood" etched into her arm. How will it all end?

It's a good film, yes. Well made and acted, yes. And yes, I enjoyed it. But the tone is surely a little too dark for a children's film? Still, I can't deny I'm excited about the ending.

No comments:

Post a Comment