Where did everybody go?
That was my initial reaction after watching DH1 this weekend. Where the *bleep* is everyone!? It’s hard for me to believe that following Dumbledore’s murder, the Order of the Phoenix doesn’t go out for some Death Eater blood. Instead, they rally around Harry to transport him safely to the Weasley’s; which isn’t really the safest place for Harry to hide, considering that in the last installment their home was destroyed by Bellatrix. The remaining members of the Order of the Phoenix then disappear, or, “go underground,” according to Hermione. So Harry, Ron, and Hermione are left to their own devices on their quest to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes, the seven objects containing bits of Voldemort’s soul.
The first segment of the film is very exciting. The film opens with a very sad montage that reminds the audience that the darkest times have arrived. (I don’t want to give too much away, but I certainly cried during the first 10 minutes!) As Voldemort prepares to take over the world, he gathers his Death Eaters in a dusty old mansion as he reveals his plan to kill Harry. The treacherous Severus Snape is at this meeting, along with the Malfoys and other Slytherin scum.
Meanwhile, as I mentioned before, Harry is safe and sound with the Weasleys on the eve of Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Obviously, the wedding has a disastrous end when it is disturbed by Death Eaters. At this point, Harry’s had enough and decides to begin his search for the Horcruxes. Brilliantly, one of the Horcruxes ends up being in the possession of Dolores Umbridge (in my opinion, a woman more evil than Bellatrix Lestrange). Thanks to some Polly juice potion, the trio infiltrates the Ministry of Magic in order to get their hands on the locket. This is a great part of the movie, by the way. But upon their escape, Ron is injured and the trio ends up in the middle of a forest.
Now, here’s where the movie started to put me to sleep. For about an hour and a half, we have to painfully watch and wait for something to happen. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione narrowly escape the Ministry, they’re now stuck in the wilderness, pitching tents and casting protection spells. It’s very, very boring. After Ron’s wounds are healed, he decides to leave because he believes that Hermione and Harry have a thing. Which, by the way, I always wished they did because the two of them make more sense than Hermione and Ron. So, it’s Hermione and Harry, in the middle of nowhere, talking and sleeping and being sad. Very, very lame.
When Ron decides to return, things pick up again. The trio heads to the home of Luna Lovegood, to get some info on a mysterious symbol worn around the neck of her father at the wedding. We learn about the story of the Three Brothers in a very cool, silhouetted cartoon. (Reminded me of the story of Oren Ishii in the first “Kill Bill.”) So, the Three Brothers have the 3 remaining Horcruxes: the Cloak of Invisibility, the Resurrection Stone, and, apparently, the most bad-ass wand of all time.
Unfortunately, the trio is intercepted after fleeing the Lovegood’s home and find themselves in the hands of Bellatrix at the dusty old mansion. She tortures Hermione and locks up Harry and Ron. The trio barely escapes certain death and pain once Dobby, the old house elf, comes in a saves them. Sadly, Dobby’s glory is short-lived, as he is punctured by a dagger thrown by Bellatrix at the last second before the group apparates. Dobby’s death was a hard one to watch, and I definitely cried for a solid five minutes. The film ends with a glimpse of Voldemort breaking into Dumbledore’s tomb to steal the wand of the Three Brothers.
And there you have it. The beginning was thrilling, the middle was utterly painful to get through, and the ending had me crying for my mommy. All in all, DH1 was a good film, certainly a great lead-in to the final chapter.