Movie Review: Part I – Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I’m at a distinct disadvantage, compared to my daughter, never having read any of the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling.  I once attempted to listen to the first book as an audio book. While entertaining, it still didn’t appeal because I am not the intended audience.  Perhaps forty years ago I would have liked it, but not at this stage in my life.

Before venturing to the theatre, and parting with the outrageous price of a ticket these days, I read reviews by well known film critics.  Since I also subscribe to Netflix, I use this method as an aid to deciding whether to wait for the DVD release or not.  Yesterday’s USA Today review by Claudia Puig proved very informative and helpful.  And, after watching the film yesterday evening, I agree with her assessment.

Terry mentioned afterward he missed the action.  I had forgotten to warn him this was a darker more intense movie than the previous Potter releases.

I liked the film for providing powerful character growth among the three principal protagonists: Harry, Hermione and Ron.   Hermione’s courage and sacrifice threaded through the film, revealing her poignant grief and resilience.  Ron surprised me the most with a turn from adolescent flippancy to steadfast fierce young man.  Harry tries, but fails to astound me.  Although, I glimpse the end and see the telegraphed but twisted triumph foreshadowed in the tale of the Three Brothers and the Deathly Hallows and hope he can avoid miring himself in martyrdom.

I give the movie four stars out of five.  It feels like the middle dark misfit installment of a trilogy, leaving you feeling dread that darkness has the upperhand, but, wait, it is always darkest before the dawn.