In the UK (understandably) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released last week, which means that the vast majority of my friends at home with a Facebook account have made it very clear just how smug they are about this when I, and many other Potter crazed Brits, have had to wait an extra 5 or so days to watch it in Paris.
So the night before last my flatmate and I went to the cinema, over an hour early (mostly because I made her) to see Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort 1ere Partie. The early arrival was both necessary and worth it: perfectly central seats. Also, it was an “avant-premier”, well just a preview, so there were no trailers, straight in with Bill Nighy as the doomed Minister of Magic telling the magical media Churchill style that the Ministry would fight evil etc, well give it half an hour and it’s Voldemort 1 Ministry 0. One of my favourite things about the HarryPotter films is the calibre of the actors clamouring for bit parts, and for me all but the main three characters are perfectly cast, Harry Ron and Hermione however have had to earn my affection, but now that we have reached the beginning of the end I think that they may just have succeeded.
Snape remains my favourite character, despite a very brief appearance with the best poker face I’ve ever seen, Alan Rickman, I bow down before you. Voldemort – à la Ralph Fiennes was incredible as always, evil at it’s best.
The action sequences were fantastic and I quite enjoyed the effects of the snake-eating-the-audience on a couple of occasions. The camping, as in the book, dragged out a little, but then again to cut it out would have been ludicrous. Dobby’s death was powerful enough to make up for most of what has been missed out so far and Xenophelius Lovegood was brilliant.
The very ominous final scene which sees Voldemort smashing open Dumbledore’s grave and rather menacingly taking possession of the elder wand was both the obvious and probably the best point to stop for the winter.
So 1ere Partie, it was always going to be the lesser of the two final films but on most fronts, it delivered. The CGI was outstanding – the house elves were as realistic as I think it’s possible for them to be. Now I, and the rest of the world, are waiting on tenterhooks for the final installment, which hails with it the end of my childhood.