Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Dir: David Yates
As you read this review, you are aware that there are hundreds just like it. In every major newspaper, website and magazine, there is some critic discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, the seventh film in the series. These reviews will give a basic plot summary, compare the film to other entries in the series and then either extol or admonish the people behind it. Let me you ask something, do you really need another Harry Potter review that is just a variation on the same theme?
I could crack a wry joke, call it Harry Potter and the Deathly Borrows, complain about how the two and a half hour film felt interminably longer. I could comment on the former childhood stars and how much they’ve grown. I could speculate, since I have not read the books, about how Lord Voldemort’s nose lost its structure. But then this would become just another pedestrian review of a movie everyone is going to see whether or not the reviewer liked it or not.
Before the movie started, they played a preview for the upcoming Red Riding Hood, another sexualized teenage fairytale cum Twilight where good looking youngsters stare at one another in repressed longing while some evil beastie stalks the hillsides. Harry Potter turned into something very similar: the magic has given way to hormones. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger simper at one another in chaste mutual appreciation. Of course, there is an element of jealousy. We’ve been here before.
In a hypersexual world, the people who run the major studios are still trying to ram sex-less love down our throats. They want us to buy into the same Pre-Code symbolism that once flooded the screen and here we have the same thing, complete with wands and the vaginal symbol for the deathly hallows. Of course, this triangle is made up of three gifts straight from Death himself.
Vampires and werewolves and magicians have always had a hold on our imagination but rather than go for the jugular and make them scary or pitiable like the best films do, the film studios and publishing houses have taken a page straight from Anne Rice and sexualized these beasties. Unlike Rice, sucking blood is no longer a metaphor for sucking dick, but merely necking, mind you. And don’t forget to get my daughter back home before ten o’clock.
J.K. Rowling’s influences, from Lord of the Rings to Nazi Germany strut rank and file across this film. For the folks who complained that Peter Jackson’s trilogy was a boring slog of people walking and walking and walking, watch out for Deathly Hallows.
There was one scene, however, that perked me up. Alone in a tent, Hermione and Harry suddenly begin dancing to Nick Cave’s “O Children,” a song that happens to be about one generation handing the keys of the gulag, or our enslaved society, they created to the next. Cave hopes the next generation will clean up the mess of the prior one. As Hermione and Harry twirl and spin, the song’s meaning is lost on the audience and the dancers. If we continue to pay for stuff like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the studios will keep doling it out. Your parents paid to see the same crap and so will your kids.
by David Harris