Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 [Blu-Ray] David Yates

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 [Blu-Ray] David Yates
Whether to capitalize financially on a widely successful film franchise or, as reported, to delve into a text with more thematic and narrative heft than entries prior, the decision to divide the final Harry Potter chapter into two films has allowed for an ominous, contemplative tone not present in the previous films. The Half-Blood Prince came closest, having a solemn darkness and washed-out aesthetic that represented the coming-of-age disappointment and worldly isolation felt by Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), as they dove into tumultuous young adulthood. But, like its predecessors, the sheer weight of the plot points and narrative necessities extracted from the novels left quiet moments of character contemplation and directorial stylization at a minimum, limited to shot composition, score and art direction. With the Deathly Hallows, care is taken to explore sparse cinematography and landscape, juxtaposing a vast, empty world with characters near their breaking point, running from Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and everyone else in the magic world now that Potter and all Muggles and Mudbloods – a thinly veiled metaphor for Nazism and the fear of miscegenation – are the target of hate crimes. Meanwhile, their quest to find the Horcruxes (an object or amulet containing the souls of the darkest wizards) leaves them running in circles, gradually losing their drive until they stumble onto knowledge of the Deathly Hallows: three of the most powerful objects in the world of wizardry. Unfortunately, Voldemort is way ahead of them, seeking out the elder wand, which he hopes to use against Potter in their final showdown. The decidedly slower pace of this outing adds a sense of gravitas to the impending events, generating heightened characterization and emotional connection amidst the trio of friends, who each have their own demons. Ron struggles with feeling like an outsider, having feelings for Hermione, who seemingly has more vested in the self-involved Harry. Their interactions aren't exactly reinventing the wheel, but these identifiable teen plights do provide a grounding context to the extensive metaphoric density of the text. While somewhat depressing, this seventh entry into the Harry Potter franchise marks yet another step in the direction of mirroring cinematic maturity with that of the characters presented. The Blu-Ray comes with an extremely informative and well-positioned "Maximum Movie Mode," which interrupts the film every once in a while to interject about the visual effects or storylines from previous films to provide some context. There are also an abundance of mini-supplements on make-up, shooting the action scenes, which are often quite intense, played out with little to no music and muscular composition, and the relationships built amongst the cast over the last ten years. (Warner)