Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Photo: Allmoviephoto.com
(When Harry Met...Harrys?)

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Directed by David Yates. 146 minutes. PG.

I've read too many pessimistic Harry Potter reviews. And all of them seem to have one main punny punchline - that the series that need not be named to inspire 20-something nostalgia has lost it's "magic." These movie critics must be muggles because, from what I saw, that statement couldn't be further from the truth.

While many Potterheads will tell you it's just a the lead-up to what is sure to be one hell of a finale (well, if the last 200 pages of J.K. Rowling's last ode to the boy who lived tell us anything), I'm here to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is much more than some sort of pandering preamble. It's like a fresh bag of Bernie Botts Every Flavoured Beans. There is so much awesome going on, you just don't even know where to start.

The film picks up where The Half-Blood Prince left off. Dumbledore, Harry's mentor and former Hogwarts headmaster, is (SPOILER ALERT!) dead and gone. Voldemort and the Death Eaters are plotting their biggest attack on Harry and the muggle world, ever. And Harry and his meant-to-be BFFs, Ron and Hermoine are searching for the remaining pieces of Voldy's soul which have been transferred into various, seemingly random objects (also called Horcruxes). But stuff starts to get really serious this time around. Important lives are lost. Friendships are broken (albeit, momentarily). Families are ripped apart. This ain't the Yule Ball. Or any old year-end party at Hufflepuff. This is real life. With a few new wizardy gadgets and some sexy cinematography (hello, gorgeous abandoned beach background!) thrown in.

This darker tone of the Deathly Hallows (even the name sounds scary!) may turn off many parents and their young children, but if you've been following the series through the last three films, you should be anticipating it. What you may not be anticipating is the numerous over-the-top sexy scenes between Harry and Hermoine. You'll want to throw your invisiblity cloak in their faces and run. Far away. Well, before you recover from busting a gut and a half.

Although the film can be way serious (or should I say, Sirius? RIP Mr. Black...), you'll be happy to hear the wicked wit that has made the other films so, er, enchanting, is not lost. In the slightest. Sometimes it's obviously not intentional (see: Harry and Hermoine's random dance party, Harry's crushed velvet wedding vest) but usually it's in the vein of Fred and George's best tricks - perfectly planned out (see: Harry, Hermoine and Ron's transformative trip to the Ministry of Magic, the always poignant wand jokes).

Speaking of perfect, get ready for a new and improved Ronald Weasley. If you weren't already in love with red-headed hottie and his positively sexy portrayer, Rupert Grint, prepare to have your hand-me-down socks charmed right off. Grint has obviously been working his Brit bum off - both on the set and in the gym. DanRad's starting to look like the winsome sidekick. Even when there's a dozen of him (SEE ABOVE).

But I digress - and fangirl out far too much. For those of us who grew up waiting for our Owl from Hogwarts, The Deathly Hallows is the month before the last month of high school. Or what I imagine a warm pint of Butterbeer might taste like. Bittersweet as all hell.

Although we're pumped to see how the it all ends - who ends up with who, who comes out on top, who gets lost in the shuffle - we're also totally afraid of it. We know that once it's over, we can never go back. But thankfully, we've still got some time to prepare (Part II comes out in July). Mainly, stock up on themed tissues. Cause unlike most high schools, this graduation ceremony is gearing up to be pretty damn, yeah I'm gonna say it, magical. A

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