Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) is a must-see film for all Harry Potter fans, and since I'm very definitely a fan (as is my husband and our sons) I made sure we had tickets booked to see the film on Friday.
I thought it was an excellent film. The three lead actors (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint) returning once again to their familiar roles as Harry, Hermione and Ron, show just how far their acting skills have come. They managed to convey a wide range of emotions (particularly jealousy, rage, fear and loneliness). I think Emma Watson stands out as the best of the three actors though.
The supporting cast of very talented, well-known British actors (Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy) were fabulous too of course, even when in the briefest of appearances.
The special effects in this film were impressive too. I love seeing all the magical components from the story, made to look so real and believable. The way the lifts transport people in the Ministry of Magic particularly made me smile, and the unusual method of entry into the building, made everyone laugh. I was also very impressed with the extremely clever way the story of the Deathly Hallows is explained.
In this film, Harry, Hermione and Ron are (mostly) on their own and no longer at Hogwarts. They have to use their own resources of cunning (and magic) to evade the evil wizard Voldemort - who is intent on killing Harry Potter - while searching for artifacts (Horcruxes) that hold portions of Voldemort's soul.
The film is true to the book so it is very intense and dark as it's meant to be. I do think parents should heed the movie rating. It's rated 12A in the UK which means no-one younger than 12 is allowed to see the film unless accompanied by an adult. I think children younger than 12 could be very frightened indeed, and it's not really suitable for young children. This movie has some seriously scary moments (torture, snakes, spiders).
Saying that, there are some very funny, laugh-out-loud moments too. All in all, the film won't disappoint those who have read the books and loved them as much as I have. If you haven't read the books, it's still possible to enjoy the film although you might find some of the storyline a bit confusing. You don't need to have read the books but I think it probably would help you to appreciate the film more.
I highly recommend it. I can't wait until Part 2 comes out next year (scheduled for release on 15 July 2011).