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Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows
Part 1
Reviewer: Ricardo Barberini
Director: David Yates
Bill Nighy, Emma Watson, Richard Griffiths, Harry Melling, Daniel Radcliffe, Julie Walters

Sadly, we are coming to the end of the wonderful series of fantasy movies based on J.K. Rowling's fertile sub-conscious imagination.  I sometime wish that the stories were true.  But, then again may be they are! 

This movie is part one of the last of the series.  From the opening scene we find Harry Potter in mortal danger.  The Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), is gaining new allies and is almost in control of the magical world.   Now, it is up to Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Gint) to try to defeat Voldemort.  They have little hope of success.  Dumbledore is dead.  The dynamic trio need to find Valdemort's Horcuxes and destroy it. Horcuxes is the magic that can keep a magician, such as Voldemort, alive forever.  Things are made more difficult by Snape who finally joins Voldemort.  Even the Ministry of Magic falls into Voldemort's hands.  Throughout this movie, Harry, Hermione and Ron are pursued by the Death Eaters and Snatcher and manage to stay just one step ahead of them.  Voldemort murders Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies teacher from Hogwarts, and feeds her body to his snake Nagini.  Then he sinks so low that he robs the grave of Dumbledore to steal his magic Elder Wand.  By the way, a Muggle is a person, like Hermione, who was not born into a magic family.  

If you are not a book reader and have not been following Harry's escapades in J.K Rowling's books, then just sit back and enjoy the movie.  You will have to see the movie twice to make any sense of it and that is a fact. If you are a fan, then you would probably follow every frame of the movie to find discrepancies.  There a so many wonderful character actors that appear in this movie.  Most of them are on the screen for a very short time.  For example, the combined screen time of Alan Rickman as Snape and Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix LeStrange is less than five minutes. However, Ralph Fiennes is given plenty of room and latitude in his portrayal of the malevolent Voldemort.   

The movie is bit long and somewhat more surrealistic than the previous five movies.  Daniel Radcliffe as Harry is a bit fatter and has a mini double-chin.  He looks so much like the silent movie star Harold Lloyd, especially with his deadpan expressions. He is not a great actor or even a re-actor.  He has become Harry Potter and can waltz through the movie, without even trying.  Rupert Grint as Ron seems suddenly too aged for his character.  He has bags under his eyes and looks haggard.  Emma Watson is the only cast member who has hardly changed.  She is still the same lovely serious magician. 

Given the story line and the special effects and the gathering of so many British actors, I think that you will enjoy this movie.  Three stars.