Deathly Hallows is a tome of a children’s novel. Lots of walking, camping and exposition coming out of the wazoo. It’s also supremely dull for the first third and has one of the worse epilogues known to humanity.
In fact, no. The worst epilogue ever belongs to Stephen King’s Dark Tower serial.
No, Stephen, just because you warn us that the last chapter is not very good doesn’t make it okay. Seriously, it took you 20 years to write that… THAT! Where the hell do you get off? You dick.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that with a book so weighty, how do you turn it into a summer friendly film? Well, you could go Peter Jackson’s route and trim off some of the Tom Bombadil sized fat and give us a 2 hours plus popcorn fest. However, if you’re Warner Brothers, what you actually do is split the book into two and release them over the course of six months, therefore financially raping the very fans they should be appeasing.
Does it work? Well, on the basis of Part 1, no it fucking doesn’t.
Part 1’s problem is that it’s the grumpy teenager of the film series. It really wants to be seen as a grown up. It walks around in dark clothes and tuts at obvious humour. It pouts, emotes and shuffles along at a snail pace. It thinks its amazing because it swears and finds symbolism in Nick Cave lyrics that others ‘wouldn’t understand’.
Ah, yes. The Nick Cave bit. With Ron having left the trio, Hermione and Harry sit in silence working out their next move. From Hermione’s radio we hear the beginning chords of the Bad Seeds’s fantastic ballad ‘O Children’. Harry stands up and, taking her hand, dances with Hermione in a scene whose underlying message is that one can find joy in the darkest moments. THAT is what it’s supposed to be.
THIS is how it came out:
What is that look on Harry’s face? The Boy Who Lived… reduced to looking like someone dancing whilst trying to hide a massive erection.
So, yeah. There is a lot wrong with this film. Direction be damned. For whilst it is impressive, its dragged down by incompetent acting and sheer bloody morbidness. Obviously, the old WB want to save the best till last and Part 2 is destined to bring us the final fight at Hogwarts, but having to wait close to three hours and six months to get there seems to be pushing it…
Time will tell.