The
Deathly
Hallows

The Deathly Hallows is the end! It's the final installment of a massive world-wide phenomenon...or is it? Although there's been some speculation about J.K. Rowling continuing her great saga (via the children of the current crop of characters) it is, sadly, probably unlikely.

In the first of these final movies we find Harry, Hermione and Ron "on the road", as it were, trying to find and destroy the horcruxes that Voldemort has imbued with his evil spirit and hidden in different locations. The first part of the story is a little slow going as all the dramatic elements are set up for the dénouement  in the concluding part of the book. Here's a little video about Deathly Hallows Part 1...


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Many fans of the Harry Potter book series didn't like the fact that the Deathly Hallows movie was split into two films. They saw it as a cynical attempt to wring more dollars from an adoring public. That may be so, but I actually liked the fact that the movie was "split in two" for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there was so much material contained in the book that it would have felt rushed if they tried to fit it all into one movie. Another reason I liked the split is because I had to wait. Yes, that's right! In today's fast-paced world where we want everything NOW, I think it's great that people, especially children, learn to "delay their gratification". It's because it is so much more satisfying when you do. In doing that, I was able to really enjoy the build up and anticipation to the fullest. It was also a little like putting off death. You know it's eventually going to come but you want to delay it as much as possible. The same with the end of Harry Potter :)) But back to the beginning. 

In the movie version from the moment you see Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour – Minister of Magic), in that close up shot where he's having involuntary movements of his eye nerves, you know it's going to be a close-run and dramatic film. Actually, that close-up is a brilliant filmic technique that forces you to focus on the drama and be confronted with the danger and problems at hand. Additionally, you know Scrimgeour is perhaps brave, but you see right through the facade of himself and his ministry "staying strong"and you just know you're in for a "bumpy ride."

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A lot of the scenes in this film are very believable and life-like. The special effects have improved over the ten year period of making the films to the point where the first two films at least are starting to look a little dated. If you doubt what I'm saying take another look at the Quidditch game in the first movie after watching the Deathly Hallows and you'll see what I mean.

This is not a criticism by the way. I'm just acknowledging the fact that times have moved on in movie making. It's like your computer becoming obsolete after about 18 months – it just can't be avoided!

But back to the Deathly Hallows. There are some great ideas which translate to great effects in the movie from the first to the last. The ones that stick out in my mind are the destruction of the horcrux with the sword of Gryffindor, the "Seven Harry's" scene, Nagini's attack in Godric's Hollow involving Bathilda Bagshot (there's that damned alliteration again!), and when Voldemort steals the elder wand from Dumbledore's tomb. It was such a great effect to have him hovering above Dumbledore's face making sure he really is dead and wasn't about to hit him with a spell.

That scene was a great place to leave the action "hanging", as it were. Because I grew up in the 60's and 70's I saw a lot of this technique in shows such as Lost In Space, whose music incidentally, was written by one Johnny Williams –composer of the original Harry Potter music! In that show you'd often get to a final scene and there would be a dramatic series of chords... 

"Dah, Dah, Daaahhh!" 

And then the words would slide in on screen... 

"Continued Next Week! Same time, Same Channel".

That was exciting and you couldn't wait until next week's episode. You'd be talking about it with your friends at school, all predicting what may happen next. Well we all know what happened in the Deathly Hallows Part 2 but did you notice how much discussion it generated world-wide, especially on the web? You betcha! Warner Bros loved it and I think in the end, it was the right decision. By the time we get to Deathly Hallows Part 2 we're "chomping at the bit" to get on with the action but sad at the fact that it'll be all over soon. What conflicted tension!!!

And if you felt like that, imagine what it was like for J.K. Rowling and the cast members. It must have been like a death in the family. In fact, I think Rowling admits in the Oprah video above that she did go through a process of mourning for her beloved characters. I'm sure it's quite a common occurrence among writers and actors everywhere.

Overall, I think the Deathly Hallows book and two films were very satisfying and well worth the read and to go and watch. I know I'll be reading and watching both over many years to come.

To see the Deathly Hallows trailer go here...

To see more on D.H. Part 1 go here...