Magazine article The Spectator

Deathly Dull

Magazine article The Spectator

Deathly Dull

Article excerpt

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

12A, Nationwide

By the time a film franchise arrives at its seventh and penultimate instalment, you probably know if it is something you enjoy or not, or at least I would hope so. Generally, Harry Potter is not something I've enjoyed over the years so, by the same logic, I shouldn't have bothered with this but, having skipped the last one, I was curious. Have the characters grown up, and has the franchise grown up with it? To save you having to skim to the end for an answer, I will give it to you now:

no. This film is the same as all the other films, which is fine if you like this sort of film, and not if you don't and now here we are, back at the beginning. But by this stage in the game, there may not be anything else to say. This review is probably pointless, but that's OK.

I'm at ease with being pointless. It's fine.

And now I will carry on, pointlessly.

Actually, this is probably a good film of this type (if you like this type of film). The art direction and cinematography are wondrous, as are the special effects and attention to detail. I love Dobby, the elf. He's so cute. There's a five-minute shadow-play animation about death part-way through that is as beautiful as it is sinister. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, with his terrifying no-nose, pushes at the edge at what is acceptably frightening for younger audiences, which is marvellous. (I'm all for terrorising children.

They have it too easy. ) Certainly, this film is darker and gloomier - some shots are as apocalyptic as The Road - although it may be a mistake to confuse this with maturity. The story remains the same. It is: 'Run, Harry, run! Voldemort and the Death Eaters are coming!' Then it is: 'Phew, Harry.

That was a close!' It is this, over and over and over and over and over and over. This is one of the reasons I don't like Harry Potter, and here are five others:

1. For the literal-minded, Harry Potter is pure torture. What are the rules exactly? If Harry can Apparate himself to a forest when the Death Eaters are at his throat, why can't he Apparate himself to Club Med (Sardinia) for the summer, instead of always having to stay with the ghastly Dursley family? If there is a rule that says Harry cannot use his magic in this way, I would like to see it. …

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