A non-Potter fan's view of 'Hallows'

Posted: Thursday, December 09, 2010

Some conversations are just best avoided. It can be a matter of self preservation. There are people in your life that you know you cannot talk politics with; you know if the conversation starts, it will become an argument that you actually don't care all that much about but pretty soon everyone is yelling, tears are flowing, fists are flying. Maybe that is only a slight exaggeration. Or maybe you are that person that others avoid talking with. It doesn't have to be politics, either. If someone else knows a great deal more about something than you do, it is generally best to just talk about the weather (unless, of course, that person is a meteorologist).

I, for example, have not read a single one of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels. I have seen the movies, although every time one comes out I have mostly forgotten what happened in the previous film and I have to re-learn who is who and what is going on. I am hardly qualified to discuss "Harry Potter" with anyone other than my parents, the only two people I am certain know less about Harry and his crew than I do.

So! Let's talk "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," shall we?

Assuming is always dangerous (when you assume, you make an a-- out of Uma Thurman - feel free to use that one), but I am going to do it anyway. I am assuming that if you are thinking about seeing "Deathly Hallows: Part 1," you have seen the previous 14 "Harry Potter" flicks. You will also be watching Part 2. I am also going to assume that if you are seeing these movies, you are either A: like me, just a movie person and there for the entertainment, or B: a nerd (no offense).

These assumptions, assuming they are spot on (and I am assuming they are), mean plot summaries and analysis are pointless. That is a good thing, too, since I would only anger nerd nation with my butchery of the story. The gist of "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is that all the kids (Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley) are back and the actors (Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermione, and Rupert Grint as Ron) are, too. They continue to deal with the burden of being wizards in England where their evil counterparts (lead by Ralph Fiennes' noseless Lord Voldemort) continue to try very hard to destroy the world.

Honestly, judging from the stuff Harry and his friends have gone through over the last decade on screen, I am glad I am of Muggle blood (for the non-nerds that just means I don't have magic in my blood). Being a wizard, or aspiring wizard, looks stressful!

As pure entertainment, how does David Yates' movie perform? At 90 minutes it is fantastic. At 120 minutes it is still decent. At 150 minutes, at least one butt cheek is asleep and you have developed Restless Leg Syndrome. On the one hand, Yates gets points for dividing "Deathly Hallows" into two parts; a 300 minute movie might not perform quite as well at the box office. On the other hand, there is something very irritating about watching 150 minutes of story that "ends" with absolutely nothing resolved.

Where that leaves "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is right in step with the previous movies: I watched it. And other than being thankful I have feeling again in my butt, my feelings on the matter are not that strong. It was entertaining and that is all I was asking for.

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