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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Harry Potter returns on film

The year and a half of waiting has paid off — “”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″” was released today at 12:01 a.m.

Director David Yates had an enormous task in front of him in tackling the Deathly Hallows for the big screen, but Yates far exceeded expectations. The film, following Harry’s quest to defeat Lord Voldemort, is the most ambitious thus far and certainly the darkest.

“”Deathly Hallows”” takes place not within the safe halls of Hogwarts but in a frenetic combination of places — the Malfoys’ Manor, the Ministry of Magic, Godric’s

Hollow and throughout the English countryside. Yates juxtaposes the cold, intimidating interiors with the visually enticing exteriors, all the while developing an intense pressure on the psyche of the main characters.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) have been given a hugely daunting task — to discover and destroy fragments of Voldemort’s soul. The oppressive tension and darkness, however, is broken occasionally by the deep bond between the three main characters. In a few simple moments between the three protagonists, the audience is reminded of the triumphing friendship at the core of the Harry Potter series.

Yates also carefully chose new cast members to complement his craft. Memorable new faces include Rufus Scrimgeour, the new minister of magic. Played by Bill Nighy, he seems to have leapt directly out of J.K. Rowling’s imagination. Though he is not often onscreen, his presence is large and lingers after he disappears. Rhys Ifans plays Xenophilius Lovegood, the father of Harry’s friend Luna’s, who tells Harry, Ron and Hermione the legend of the Deathly Hallows. Lovegood, as well as the clumsy and cluttered home he is given, are bright and zany but distracted and ultimately conflicted.

The release of the seventh movie came with mixed emotions: excitement and regretful nostalgia that we are so near the end of the global hype that Rowling created.

Yates stretches his own creativity through the film; the retelling of the legend of the Deathly Hallows builds on the story in unexpected ways. From the very first scene, the tone is set as fast-paced and nerve-racking, keeping audiences gripped with anxious anticipation. It seems that in this final chapter, Yates is seizing all opportunities to surprise Harry Potter’s devoted audience.

 

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