Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – A Review
The third Harry Potter film is not only the best of the series, but it’s also one of the most sensitive to children. Alfonso Cuaron – who previously showed his visual flair in ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ – was an ideal director for this ‘Potter’ with its darker, gritty tone.
Daniel Radcliffe gives an incredible performance as Harry. He’s more than just a pretty face; he’s an intelligent and resourceful young wizard with an impressive vocabulary. Daniel can convey all the different emotions Harry experiences throughout the course of his wizardry education – from awe and fear at what he discovers to anger and frustration when people try to stop him from succeeding.
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint make an ideal Hermione and Ron, their on-screen chemistry being evident from the get-go. Their interaction with one another as well as that of Hermione’s classmates at Hogwarts serves to demonstrate that much of the magic in the story revolves around humans rather than just wizardry.
They all experience growing up and discovering who they are, what they want to become and how to get there. This is an encouraging message for children to learn; one which should be celebrated throughout their childhood years.
Despite the darker tone, this movie offers some stunning visuals – otherworldly creatures, magic duels, rides through London skies and Hogwarts castle itself. There’s plenty to enjoy here for everyone; I’m sure even adults will find something they enjoy in this film.
However, there are some shortcomings in the story and it can be over-narrated at times. This may prove difficult for younger children, so perhaps not the best time to discuss some of these topics with your kids during the movie’s closing scenes.
One could argue that Harry is being too convenient by ‘blowing up’ Aunt Marge even though she’s in a precarious situation and the wizard government is sympathetic to her situation. Additionally, one could easily see how a child might learn the wrong lesson from this scene; furthermore, it doesn’t offer much moral redemption compared to other Harry Potter films.
Another problem is Harry’s hesitation to reveal who he really is when Draco Malfoy gets attacked. This subtle revelation doesn’t quite fit with the overall plotline, yet Harry must do it anyway. Why can’t he just say “I’m Harry” and be done with it? It seems like an awful lot of effort for someone who has only recently started school to have to figure out their identity.