|Still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows|
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the latest installment in J.K. Rowland's massively popular adapted franchise and the third to be directed by David Yates. Although Fantasy isn't particularly a favoured genre of mine, even I was able to enjoy this one.
This first half of this final chapter has longtime Wizard friends Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) out to complete a deceased Dumbledore's mission and defeat the Dark Lord. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) now controls the Ministry of Magic and he is on a mission to kill Harry, who has managed to escape death time and again in previous installments. Overly-zealous Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helen Bonham Carter) however, is both ambitious and evil, wanting to earn the honour of being Harry's slayer all her own.
Harry must locate the Sword of Gryffindor which he has inherited through Dumbledore. He believes it is situated in his hometown of Godric's Hollow, where his Parents died also. The Death Eaters who report to the Ministry of Magic, locate Harry and lead him back to Lord Voldemort. Will Harry, Ron and Hermione be able to escape a doomed fate? And also, as the three of them journey away together, will unresolved issues in their ongoing Love Triangle prove self-destructive?
The ensemble of Grint, Watson and Radcliffe is wonderful, with Watson particularly attention-grabbing with her expressive eyes even where there is no dialogue. Bonham Carter is absolutely terrifying in her villainous goodness, putting on what might possibly be a performance stronger than her already excellent work in Oscar contender The King's Speech. And despite only doing Voice Work here, the impeccable Toby Jones as resourceful Elf Dobby, is wonderfully endearing and quite possibly tear-inducing. Riveting CGI and an engaging story line make the two-plus hours here go by quickly, serving as a perfect build-up to next summer's ultime Finale.
Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 has a bit of something for everyone and if you aren't really that big a Harry Potter fan like me, it's still not too late to start. The Film hits theatres November 19, 2010 and thank God, it's not in 3-D! Grade: A-