If you are a fan of Harry Potter, there is no question that you will see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Do yourself a favor: Go see it at the Imax theater. This movie is lush and grim and startling and riveting, all the more so on the giant Imax screen where the story will swallow you whole.
My 12-year-old daughter and I, both big fans of the books, went to a special screening last night, and if this were a ride at Universal, we would have jumped right back in line to see it again.
But parents, know this: It's dark, it's scary, it's intense and not for young kids. I'd be very cautious about taking any child younger than 10 -- in part because of the fright factor, but also because this is a serious movie. Fleeting moments of humor serve to release the tension, and highlight the extreme danger our heroes are in.
HP7: Part 1 is all about Harry, Hermione and Ron. They are alone, but prevail in skirmishes with Snatchers and Death Eaters and in the Ministry of Magic. Their victories ring hollow, however, because doom covers them like an invisibility cloak. (On the Imax screen, the special effects are huge -- I practically broke my glasses when my hands flew up to my face. And Erika closed her eyes during the most intense parts.)
There is a weightiness -- and waitiness -- to the scenes where Harry, Hermione and Ron are in hiding and trying to figure out how to find the horcruxes. You can feel the burden these kids are carrying, and it's not comfortable.
HP7 is a movie for those already in the Potter fold -- and that's a lot of people. It's for those of us who never wanted the story to end. I'm glad the filmmakers have broken the final book into two parts and are keeping the magic alive for just a little longer.