Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I is a wonderful piece of moviemaking. More than any of the previous installments in the series, this last movie stays as faithful to the original story as possible in the two-and-a-half-hour time frame. Bucking the trend of major movies made by big-name American studios, it has a calm pace that allows the viewer to absorb the tale. In these two respects, it is reminiscent of the best qualities of the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Overall the acting was excellent. Even Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson gave credible performances. This means that the directing was careful and on target.
There is a subdued, pervasive beauty about the cinematography and the effects are purely in the service of the story, never specious. The scriptwriters, art directors, and the director took a bold chance and it paid off. The final installment should be a winner.
I was struck by an aspect of the story I had not considered as carefully before: it is up to the young people, just moving into adulthood, to save their society from its worst impulses. They are forced to decide what to accept and what to reject from the adult world they were brought up in. This choice determines their actions and leads them into mortal danger. They are willing to face that danger, but never willing to throw away their lives needlessly or because they think they can't cope. Rather they are willing to risk all for the higher good of everyone.
Will our young people in the very scary real world be up to the same task? Will they change the world in a good way? Clearly we "grownups" are not going to.
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