I love Harry Potter, I think the movie franchise has been handled very well. The actors who were selected have been amazing from children to the adults. Sure there were some bumps when it came to changing directors but they landed with the perfect man for the job. David Yates has propelled the franchise into something special. Here the first part of the final installment is hands down the best Harry Potter film yet. Everything is on the line, the audience knows this from the first second the film starting rolling. What benefits Deathly Hollows is the fact that it has been split in to two parts. Here the film gets to spread it’s leg, doesn’t have to cram everything into two hours. The audience gets the benefit by allowing us to actually sit and watch our beloved characters play out. This film makes it clear that there is no Hogwarts this time around, no dancing frog candies or silly stuff to distract you. A war has started, and the bad guys are winning, and winning easily. One of the first scenes we find ourselves at a dinner table with Voldemort and his followers. They have essentially already won the war, the final piece is finding the “chosen one” which is Harry Potter. The film makes no mistake in making it clear that Voldemort’s plan is to kill anyone who is not “pure blood”. We witness him murder a pro “mud blood” teacher and he executes her and then feeds the body to a snake.

The main story follows our leads hunting down Horcruxes which are pieces of Voldemort’s soul. While the mystery surrounding these remaining pieces still to be found is compelling on a certain level, I found myself more intrigued by the ever-changing relationship between our leads. It is a love triangle to the truest form, Ron becomes jealous of how close Harry and Hermione become, but it’s slightly unclear who he is jealous of, he seems to believe the love of his life and his best friend are pulling away from him. The mission itself wears down on all of them, especially Ron who is clearly the weakest of the group. Everything has changed, yet as they hide out and try to find Horcruxes and destroy them, they find themselves mainly hiding the entire time. It wears down Ron and he lashes out at the two people he’s closest to. Many might find these scenes “boring” but I loved them, since it allowed our leads to actually act, not use magic or respond to CGI monsters, they got to show true emotions. As a film it’s very well balanced, the first act is action packed and filled with magic. One scene reminds me of a shoot out in John Woo movie, just replace the guns with magic wands. The second act is the strongest because of the acting behind it. The third act though is what works, the movie creates more mysteries then it solves and ends with a huge one two punch, a death, and then the rise of power by the villains. Once the screen goes black to the credits you instantly want to see the next segment, the summer can’t come soon enough.

Rating: 9/10

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