2010 in film: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’

In honor of the films of 2010, I plan to examine, one at a time, what I believe to be the most worthy of discussion. Be it moving, cerebral or simply lame, this is 2010 in film.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

The “Harry Potter” films were doomed from the start. The lack of a proper foundation and commitment to the original material (from what I understand) set each film up for failure. It was self defeat. Rushed characterization, castrated story and plot, and overall mismanagement has led to seven films ranging from trash to mediocre.

Not to credit myself for not reading, I feel I, and those like me, am in a better position to judge these films, because I don’t see them as renditions. Having not read the books, I’m not supplementing the movies as they go, filling in all the empty spots and shoddy storytelling with things I know from the novels. I don’t pity the films, as many seem to do, because I’m purely motivated by the films and the films alone. In other words, the “Harry Potter” films are the epitome of bad adaptation.

This year’s entry was a tedious, albeit beautiful at times, rambling make-up call that fell far too little too late. Even films with the highest production values and technical quality can be sabotaged by a limp, directionless series of happenings, magic or not.

At this point, as set up by the six films before it, I have no feelings whatsoever about the people on screen. In fact, there are so many characters — some that weave between the films with little meaning, some that are only present for one of the films, and some that even now, this late into the series, are being introduced — that I almost prefer that their ranks are thinned in order to ease my mental cataloging.

While most hailed “Deathly Hollows: Part 1” as the emotional and captivating best of the series, I staunchly disagree. It may be the best of the series (although I don’t actually believe that either), but it surely was not deserving when compared to actually good movies. It suffered the same debilitating problems of its predecessors, and, although it contained some well-orchestrated magic duels and chase sequences and noticeably made an effort to humanize the series, had little more than pop culture appeal to offer.

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2 thoughts on “2010 in film: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’

  1. Hmm. Some of the things they do with magic… like teleporting, creating protection bubbles, healing each other with bottles of magical water… feels like ‘cheating’… but the relationships between the 3 main leads is good enough for me to be interested in these movies… and none of them are really all that bad.

    • Thanks so much for the comment. I agree that the relationship between the three main characters has grown and deepened over the series, reaching a somewhat satisfying level in “Deathly Hallows.” But like I said before, it feels more like make-up work, unable to repair the broken bond with the audience, a bond the powers that be should have built in the first films and added to as they went. That they realized something was wrong (probably starting with film number five) is admirable, but, as exhibited by “Deathly Hallows,” efforts this late in the game amount to boredom and frustration rather than real care.

      Thanks again.

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