For those who are counting down to July when the last,yes,the very last,of the Harry Potter films will be out,heres something to hold on to. The just-out double-disc edition of The Deathly Hallows (Part 1) gives you the film,and a two-hour chunk of special features,parts of which track the amazing 10- year journey of the three lead stars and their friends and foes,to reach this climactic point.
The doorstopper of the final Potter book was split into two films by Warner Bros,not only to milk the hugely profitable franchise longer,but also to give us a long,unhurried look at the growing dangers faced by Harry,Ron and Hermione,as they prepare to go up against their Enemy Number One: this has to be the most bleak of the films so far,as the three spend most of their time stumbling across vast stretches of marshland in search of the Horcruxes,the vital secret to Voldemorts power. But despite all the greyness,it is one of the better Potter films,engaging from start to finish.
What you see is what you get only because of the army of people and gadgetry that goes into the making of a film which has so many special effects. In fact,come to think of it,the whole film is one gigantic special effect,with a large number of magical creatures,and implements and spells that keep things humming.
Director David Yates is at hand to explain just how the magic is created: all by smart humans and smarter machines.
But whats really fascinating is how the young stars who started out when they were very young (a snippet of Rupert Grint auditioning for the part of Ron Weasley shows just how young they were),and how theyve grown into their parts over this long period of 10 years,roughly more than half their lives.
Says one of the characters: We are always asked if we are friends,and yes we are. We are not just told to say that. The
camaraderie amongst the actors feels real. As does this heartfelt statement,in response to what they will miss the most,when it all comes to an end: the people theyve grown up with.