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Review

Harry Potter generation connects film, books as series nears end

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December 2, 2010

At this point, a review for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is probably pretty unnecessary. If you live on Earth, you spent the weekend of Nov. 19th either laying on your sofa, vaguely aware of another Harry Potter movie coming out sometime soon, or standing outside a movie theater for several hours in a bathrobe with permanent marker scribbled on your forehead, while waving a stick, screaming gibberish at strangers.

For those of you concerned with the actual artistic merit of the film, here’s what I thought of it—which may or may not have anything to do with artistic merit.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” covers the first half of the seventh installment in the HP series. With the final good vs. evil showdown looming, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue on their quest to track down and destroy the splinters of Voldemort’s soul scattered around Great Britain.

Along the way, it is revealed that Voldemort is on a quest of his own, tracking down the three elements of the Deathly Hallows that will ensure his role as the most powerful wizard in the world. It’s a race against the clock for HP and the gang, as V-mort and his Death Eaters become more powerful by the day.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then perhaps the first thing you should be aware of, if considering to view this movie, is that you will be utterly and hopelessly bewildered by the plot if it’s your first experience with the world of Harry Potter.

For maximum enjoyment and minimal “WTF is going on?” you’re really going to need to have read all the previous books. I say read the books because my personal experience with the HP movies has been—in a word, disappointing.

With the possible exception of the third film, the entire series has felt very contrived to me; the movies have seemed more like a visual accompaniment to the books rather than standalone works with their own personality and unique experience.

So how does Part 1 stack up against the rest of the series? It’s a healthy step in the right direction.

I was a little rusty with some of the elements of the plot, since I admittedly lost touch with the HP universe in 2007.

But I was happily surprised by the quality of this movie.

Harry Potter has been a pretty big part of my life. He’s the reason I can tell people that I’ve read an 800-page book in one sitting, and he was probably one of the most influential characters of my childhood.

Not to mention that these books have whooped my imagination in ways no hallucinogen—so I speculate—could dream of.

This film will not be in the running for best picture, but it sure did remind me of why I used to wait outside the bookstore at 4 a.m.

HP fanatic or not, if you’re looking for an absorbing getaway from reality, or your imagination just needs a kick in the pants, go see this movie.

Anthony Orlando is a math major and physics minor. He runs for the UW-River Falls cross country team. He once met Dan Auerbach and is a minor celebrity in Malaysia.