It seems like a lifetime ago when the last Harry Potter movie came out (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), so there was quite a bit of excitement when I lined up with a bunch of teen-aged nerds, anxiously awaiting to moment that the theater doors would open for our 12:01 am show. As I took my seat, I noticed one girl (donning a Gryffindor scarf) crying tears of absolute bliss. I knew I was in good company, despite the childish comments and boos as each trailer came on the screen.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was, in a word, excellent. It blended the comedic elements that we have all grown to love, along with some pretty insane visual mind-fucks, courtesy of Ros Weasley’s (Rupert Grint) psyche. There are also quite a few lonely camping sequences that are one Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy away from being Old Joy + witchcraft.
Essentially, the film was packed with an enormous range of emotions. These actors have been committed to these roles for almost a decade, and in that time defined every nuance that makes each character unique and memorable. These kids have gone through some heavy shit, and you can tell.
In a nod to the tech crew on HP7A, the visual effects are outstanding, especially when the witches apparate. You really get the sense that something astonishing is happening. Also, the house-elves (Dobby and Kreature) looked far more realistic (for house-elves) than they have in the past. The sound design was also spectacular. Each time a spell was cast, you could feel it in the theater, moving through your body. Truly a full experience.
It is also note-worthy that there was an intention to release this film in 3D, which would have probably been a huge mistake. These movies are such a spectacle that including another dimension would have been a huge distraction. And let me take this opportunity to express my hope that the final installment in the series will remain 2-dimensional.
That all being said, go see this movie. Immediately.
WARNING: Do not see this movie if you are not caught up with the other films in the series. You will be totally lost.