The anticipation for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” could be clearly seen in the massive amounts of changed profile pictures, wizard pick-up line fan pages and “Which Harry Potter character are you?” quizzes that have been popping up on everyone’s news feed. As unfortunate as it is to see the series coming to an end, the excitement and overall satisfaction fans had with the film overpowered any kind of sadness that could be shed about the epic series coming to a close.
The long awaited, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” was released at 12:01 a.m. this past Friday at theaters throughout the Des Moines area. Drake students gathered at the Cobblestone 9 theater to celebrate the first installment in the finale of one of the greatest series of all time. It didn’t matter that the premiere involved long lines and tedious waiting. To these devoted fans, Harry Potter was even worth sacrificing a Thursday night out on the town.
While waiting in line, it was not surprising to see multiple Drake students dressed in colorful outfits that mirrored popular characters such as Hermione, Death Eaters and the dreaded Bellatrix Lestrange. Those who didn’t dress in costume from head to toe still made attempts to show their support by drawing scars made of eyeliner or finding sticks to use as wands.
“I saw one girl standing in front of our theater yelling, ‘Lumos!’ and waving a wand around that lights up,” sophomore Sarah Berman said.
Now that’s dedication. Luckily, for those devoted enough to dress up, they were not alone in their worship of the Harry Potter movies. It was more uncommon to be wearing Muggle clothes and eating licorice than it was to be racing broomsticks or having a wizard duel within the theater.
Due to the size and amount of detail involved in the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” book, the creators of the film decided to split the film into two parts. Judging by the positive reaction from the fans, this was a good move. Not only will keeping the movies separate from each other ensure that most of the book’s details remain intact, but Warner Brothers will also reap the benefits of the Harry Potter finale twofold.
“I think that it is smart of them as producers because they are going to get a lot more money and keep people interested,” said Jennifer Velez, a sophomore Drake student who attended the premiere. “But I wish it was one part because now I can’t wait to see the second movie.”
The seventh film was action-packed, leaving almost no time to fill up on popcorn or take a bathroom break. In comparison to the past movies, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” has been one of the best in terms of being like its book counterpart, the only competition being “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The movie matched almost every detail, including the order of the deaths and chapters, which can sometimes be out of order. Avid Harry Potter fans should acknowledge the lengths at which the movie creators took to preserve the book, and their efforts are shown clearly throughout the movie.
Sophomore Sam Ronneberg, a long-time “Harry Potter” fan, attended the premiere Friday morning at the 12:20 a.m. Jordan Creek showing. Waiting for his seat may have been tiresome, but once the movie began, sleep was the furthest thing from his mind.
“The movie was great,” Ronneberg said. “It reflected the book really well and, unlike some of the other movies, kept me entertained the whole time.”
Though the theater was not as crowded as expected, the audience was enthusiastic. Gasps of surprise, chuckles of laughter and expressions of sadness were seen after some of the more emotional moments. Not to be a spoiler, but I think we can all agree that the last few scenes were hard to watch without shedding a tear. The movie was awkward at points, seeing as it had a much more intense story line. Vivid scenes left more of an impact, one being the scene in which a naked Harry and Hermione tied tongues in a vision that made up Ron’s worst nightmare.
The seventh film houses everything from the death of our favorite characters (and pets) to the fear that Harry may not be able to overcome Lord Voldemort once and for all. The premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” turned emotion and action upside down to keep the audience entertained and begging for more. Since the final installment of the series does not hit theaters until July 2011, it gives viewers time to see part one multiple times and reread the book to ensure the best experience to a series conclusion that film has ever seen.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.