‘Hallow’ Victory for Harry Potter

Agnes Constante

Most 17-year-old wizards would be preparing to finish their final year of school. But for the Boy Who Lived, becoming of age is a completely different story.

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” directed by David Yates (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” 2009), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” 2007) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” 2004), don’t attend what would be their final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, instead they prepare for the battle against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, “Schindler’s List,” 1993).

As Harry nears his 17th birthday, he comes closer to reaching the age of maturity in the wizarding world and losing the protection from dark forces he receives by calling 4 Privet Drive his home. In light of this, the Order of the Phoenix moves him out of the Dursleys’ house before he turns 17.

The order believes Voldemort has invaded the Ministry of Magic, and because Harry is at this point still an underage wizard, the ministry possesses the ability to track his whereabouts. To avoid being hunted down by the dark lord, the Order has six others take on Harry’s physical appearance by ingesting Polyjuice Potion. The Order hopes this will confuse Voldemort incase Harry is tracked down while he is being transported from Privet Drive.

The Order’s precautionary measures prove useful as Death Eaters, Voldemort’s followers, end up trailing behind and launching attacks at the group. In the process, a member of the Order is killed.

Ron’s brother Bill comes home to wed former Tri-Wizard contestant and Beauxbatons student Fleur Delacour. During the reception of the couple’s wedding, Death Eaters attack again. At this point Harry, Ron and Hermione disapparate and embark on their search for the remaining horcruxes – the artifacts needed to destroy Voldemort.

Along the way, the three encounter the father of Hogwarts student Luna Lovegood, Xenophilius Lovegood, who helps them understand that three objects comprise the Deathly Hallows, and that the wizard that reunites the three will become the Master of Death. Harry realizes that Voldemort is after one of these objects, and this makes him even more determined to stop the Dark Lord.

To account for the length of the final book in the popular series by J.K. Rowling, it has been split into two movies. Part I concludes in a well thought-out cliffhanger that is sure to leave fans eager for the final film.

Harry’s search for the remaining pieces of Voldemort’s soul, embodied in the horcruxes, takes up much of the screen time in this film, and while he and his best friends manage to find and one of the seven during this time, what’s also notable are the emotional struggles each of the three endure.

In figuring out how to eliminate the horcrux, Harry, Ron and Hermione take turns wearing the object around their necks to keep it safe. The longer each of them wears the horcrux, the more sinister each of them becomes, which in turn causes emotional strain on the three best friends.

Radcliffe, Grint and Watson effectively deliver the internal conflicts their respective characters experience throughout the film, making the strain and tension among the three teenagers plausible. Compared to their acting in earlier films, the stars of the Harry Potter franchise have remarkably improved and grown alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione.

As in the previous Harry Potter films, music is an important element that adds an important element that added to the drama and suspense of the plot.

The locations selected for Harry’s journey throughout the movie are interesting choices, including a beach, unseen in the previous films. They provide fresh visuals that enhance the respective scenes.

Part one of the Deathly Hallows is sure to captivate audiences’ attention and satisfy Harry Potter fans.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is rated PG-13 for scenes of action violence and frightening images. Runtime is 146 minutes.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.