Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Blu-ray)

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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Blu-ray)

The first instalment of the two-film adaptation of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Herm...

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Review of "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Blu-ray)"

published 31/03/2017 | Secre
Member since : 23/04/2003
Reviews : 502
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About me :
Apologies, I've been busy as hell... I will now endevour to catch up with all the rates I have missed.
Super
Pro Atmospheric and darkly magical film
Cons All of the real action is in Part 2!
exceptional
Did you enjoy it?
Story
Characters / Performances
Special Effects
Soundtrack

"Everything Keeps on Getting Darker..."

Atmospheric

Atmospheric

Please be warned, I cannot prevent giving major spoilers for the previous films as the film is impossible to review without context. If you have not seen or read the previous Harry Potter instalments and have any plans to, please stop here.

I started reviewing all of the Harry Potter films in memorium of Alan Rickman… I then got distracted and wandered off to review other shiny things that were closer to hand. It is therefore over a year since Alan Rickman sadly passed away and I still have not finished this collection of reviews. Heaven knows how long it will take me to get to Dogma, Love Actually and so many other wonderful films…

Fair warning, it tastes like goblin piss.
Have lots of experience with that, do you, Mad-Eye?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for well over a decade, you will be aware that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Part 1 is a film of a book of the same name…although the book was only one book and therefore didn’t have part 1 and part 2. Having learnt he is a wizard, Harry has since learnt that being a wizard isn’t a very safe thing to be. He’s nearly been killed a minimum of ten times by the start of this film and he’s only just coming of age! And I am missing out many other dangerous escapades like dodging a dragons flame and having the potential to fall off a flying invisible horse.

These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today. But I say this to our citizenry: We, ever your servants, will continue to defend your liberty and repel the forces that seek to take it from you! Your Ministry remains, strong.

We start the film with the Minister of Magic announcing to the wizarding populace that the Ministry will stand strong amidst the darkness and not fall. Against an exceptionally grim backdrop of murder, treachery and infiltration however, this is not particularly reassuring. Harry, Ron and Hermione are making plans to run away on a hunt for the pieces of Voldemoldie’s soul rather than going back to Hogwarts…which is a good job because Hogwarts is now run by Death Eaters in light of Dumbledore’s fall from a very high tower after being hit by a bolt of green. Harry leaves Privet Drive surrounded by Polyjuiced mini-me’s but Moldyvoldie has been forewarned and the first deaths of many happen just before the Ministry, rather unsurprisingly, falls.

Dobby never meant to kill, Dobby only meant to maim or seriously injure.

By this point in the filmography, we are entering a state of all out war and it is no real surprise that this film is the darkest yet; in themes, in violence and even in how the action is portrayed on the screen. There are a lot of blacks, greys and dark colours which fits the whole, on the run from the world, trying to scavenge hunt for seven unknown small objects in a whole country whilst evading the Snatchers and the Death Eaters… With Albus dead, the Order of the Phoenix is headless and without a leader. With Snape in charge of Hogwarts, things there are only going to get darker and darker. But what can three teenage idiots do on their own?

Just keep talking about that little ball of light touching your heart, and she'll come 'round.

Well…they can row, strop, storm off in temper tantrums, infiltrate the Ministry, nearly get caught by the Ministry, get a few people fired, rescue a few other people, run away from Dementors, destroy the Fidelius charm and ah, what else? Well, there’s lots and lots of walking around in the wilderness with teenage squabbling and a complete lack of any semi-reasonable plan because Dumbledore, the great leader, neglected to tell the Boy Who Lived what he was meant to be doing other than some cryptic hints before departing this mortal realm. And we wonder why the wizarding world is so far behind in technology…

This is mental.
Completely mental.
The world's mental.

This is a very different film to the previous instalments in the series and it seriously feels it; not only because it is so much darker in just about everything, but also because it loses the structure of Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione are wandering around in the wilderness or figuring things out at Grimmauld Place, getting friendly with house elves and generally trying to solve what seems to be an impossible mystery. There are no classes, no timetable, no structure. It is three teenagers wandering around trying to figure out what to do next with some limited help from adults who happen to be around at the time. And that makes it a very different film indeed.

You may be the Chosen One, mate, but this is a whole lot bigger than that.

You can also see the culmination of all of the appalling ministry decisions over the last three years coming to a fore here; from trying to hide Moldywarts return under the carpet, to an insistent witch hunt for an innocent who never had a trial, to the policies of dissent, fear and hatred… it all comes bubbling to the front of the screen here. The Ministry itself is shown to be a darker and more malicious place now that it is virtually run by Death Eaters or sympathisers; people can be fired or far worse for the smallest of transgressions and the bigotry against muggleborn reaches new heights. There’s an atmosphere of tension that has been building since the forth film but is now unescapable.

Come, Daddy. Harry doesn't wanna talk to us right now. He's just too polite to say so.

It works though, although it does feel like the prelude that it is; all of the real nitty gritty action happens in the next film and this is effectively several hours of plot building and scene setting. There are some harrowing moments, there are some utterly heart-rending moments and there are definitely enough near misses to keep you on your toes… It isn’t a boring film, and yet you know that the real action is still yet to come. Part of me has to wonder if two films was really necessary, however I would be a hypocrite beyond compare if I didn’t point out that if they’d put it all into one film then I would have moaned the house down about how much of the book was missing!! They can’t really win therefore.

Come on! Babitty Rabbity... No?

The different settings really give this a sensation of something new, innovative and different as well. Rather than spending the bulk of the film in Hogwarts or at The Burrow or Privet Drive or Grimmauld Place, there are small sections in all but Hogwarts but lots and lots of new locations. From wilderness scenes in the woods along with a load of other far more natural scenes than the films have been able to play with before, to Malfoy Manor and the bowels of the Ministry among others. If you were perhaps getting bored with the same old, same old, then this will be a welcome relief.

You... complete arse, Ronald Weasley! You show up here after weeks, and you say 'Hey'?

In terms of the acting, due to the nature of the film being three adolescents on a wild goose chase in the middle of nowhere, much of the film revolves around Harry played by Daniel Radcliffe, Ron played by Rupert Grint and Hermione played by Emma Watson. The three have most definitely grown up since they graced our screens as chubby faced eleven year olds and their acting carries the tension and the confusion of what is going on well. At the same time they still show snippets of adolescence which is cleverly done and reminds you of their actual age. Draco Malfoy played by Tom Felton makes a brief reappearance and again, that boy can’t half act. He pulls off the tormented youngster making impossible choices well.

Yaxley: Cattermole! It's still raining inside my office!
Ron Weasley: [trying to disguise his voice] Uh... have you tried an umbrella?

Adult actors flit in and out and aren’t seen anywhere near as often, however it is worth noting that Helena Bonham Carter still makes a wonderfully insane Bellatrix Lestrange, Bill Nighy plays the Minister of Magic Scimegeour well and looks very much the part, Imelda Staunton keeps in role with Doleres Umbridge brilliantly and you still want to thump her and of course Alan Rickman shines even when he only has a really minor part as Severus in this film. Finally, the character of Xenophilius Lovegood is played well by Rhys Ifans and he gets the eccentric desperation of the man excellently.

Together, they make the Deathly Hallows. Together, they make one master of death.

In terms of video quality, this is stunning although admittedly dark and bleak which is quite clearly deliberate. Colour, detail and skintones are impeccable and the different layers of dark are well done so that even though it’s all dark, it’s not all samey. Audio on the Blu-Ray is likewise thoroughly impressive and puts the series to the test with attacks and special effects being portrayed wonderfully and dialogue being crisp and clear. My version comes with one DVD disc, two Blu-Ray discs and a digital copy of the film that was valid for one year after release. There are the typical bonus features which I always ignore, however they include additional scenes missed from the movie, a behind the soundtrack thing, a promotional trailer and a random competition between the teenagers. The only thing worth watching is the additional scenes.
Do I Recommend?

Yes, this is a gripping penultimate episode in the Harry Potter saga and certainly comes with some moments to really tug on your heart strings. I liked the fact that the house elves are given somewhat more of a role in this one as well as it allowed them to have personalities better developed, particularly as the films have ignored many of Dobby’s previous contributions! Less has been missed out from the novel which is unsurprising considering that they have got two movies out of it in reality!!

Picture of case is picture 4 as per alphabet rules however, picture 5 is worth looking at. It is every frame condensed into one picture from all of the movies and shows what I mean about the darkness ratio.


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Comments on this review

  • mumsymary published 16/04/2017
    E.
  • IzzyS published 13/04/2017
    Thoroughly reviewed. I've never been keen on Harry Potter myself but it does seem to appeal to a lot to people.
  • justarube published 06/04/2017
    Great review
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Product Information : Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Blu-ray)

Manufacturer's product description

The first instalment of the two-film adaptation of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they search for the pieces of Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) soul that he extracted from his being and hid in obscure locations both far and wide. DEATHLY HALLOWS is a far cry from its predecessors where kindly magicians and fantastical shops exist in a seemingly utopian community. Harry’s world evolves into a more realistic picture of a world that, while enchanted, carries its own share of bigotry, greed, and political corruption. Traces of wide-eyed innocence are gone from Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson). They are isolated from the world; frustrated at their lack of progress; doubtful, for the first time, of the task they were entrusted with by Dumbledore; and trying, not always successfully, to keep despair at bay.<BR><BR>For if the trio are unable to locate and destroy each piece of Voldermort’s soul, he will remain forever immortal. Despite their long friendship, a combination of dark forces, romantic tensions, and long-held secrets threaten to sabotage the mission. As the story of the Deathly Hallows unfolds, chronicling the tale of three brothers whose run-in with Death itself brought about consequences that would reverberate for many years afterward, the cliff-hanger ending leaves will undoubtedly leave fans in eager anticipation of a second act that will continue on as beautifully as the first. David Yates once again helms a stellar cast featuring some of the finest performers of their generations.

Release Details

DVD Region: Blu-ray

Studio(s): WARNER HOME VIDEO; CINRAM LOGISTICS

Languages

Main Language: English

Subtitle Language: Arabic, Castilian Spanish, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Slovak, Swedish

Technical Information

Special Features: Includes DVD And Digital Copy, Maximum Movie Mode, Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Promotional Trailer , Additional Scenes, Behind the Soundtrack

Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Stereo, Mono

Professional Reviews

Review: The action romps along, spurred by some impressive special effects. We have watched these three growing up and their performances have never been better… (Daily Telegraph, 2011-01-26)<br><br>An unfamiliar new setting does little to diminish the humour, heart and excitement of the Harry Potter franchise on form. (Film 4, 2011-10-12)<br><br>An unfamiliar new setting does little to diminish the humour, heart and excitement of the Harry Potter franchise on form. (Film4, 2011-01-26)<br><br>Deathly Hallows: Part 1 finds notes of anxious suspense and grave emotion to send its characters, and its fans, into the last round. (New York Times, 2011-01-26)<br><br>[S]tunning set pieces and a beautifully animated segment. (Radio Times, 2011-01-26)<br><br>

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