By Shauna Segadelli (email@example.com)
Oh, Harry Potter fans. There’s nothing like the midnight premiere of a Harry Potter movie to get some real world exposure to wizard mania. With an entire movie theater in Wayne to themselves, Villanova Students with black robes and wands rang in this Friday morning like it was New Year’s.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1, the first of two movies that attempt to do justice to the 784 pages of the final book in the wildly popular series, rose to the challenge. As overheard in the women’s bathroom after the showing, “It wasn’t just a good Harry Potter movie. It was, like, a good movie.” It was exciting throughout, barreling through the action scenes of roughly the first 500 pages of the book, and Daniel Radcliffe’s face never left the screen for more than a minute or so, to the delight of many a Dan fan. Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were as believable “16-year-olds” as young 20-somethings can be. Unfortunately, none of the other talented actors got much screen time, but this is only to be expected from a movie that will be viewed by far more teenage girls than film critics. In fact, it’s a little surprising that audiences were subjected to so much of Voldemort’s ugly, noseless face.
Personally, I wish the director had found a way to defy the seventh book’s plot and include a scene or two at Hogwarts, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s seemingly endless horcrux hunt through forest after forest didn’t make for the most aesthetically stimulating scenery, though it was broken up by scenes at the Ministry of Magic, Godric’s Hollow and Malfoy Manor that couldn’t have been left out. (Spoiler? Whoops. If you haven’t seen the movie by now, it’s your own fault.)
Of course, in a premiere event like this one, the eccentric moviegoers are as entertaining to watch as the show. Battery-powered wands lit up the theater, and every other seat in the crowd was taken by someone in a robe, striped scarf, or Dark Mark who has clearly been counting down the days since the sixth movie came out last year. Despite the inevitability of an arbitrary ending to split the story in half, more than a handful of girls shouted, “No, they did not! They did not!” when the credits rolled. There was a tangible nervous-excited tension among the HP groupies in the hours leading up to the movie, replaced by a frenzied digestion post-showing that produced my favorite quote of the night, outside the theater: “What’s your favorite position? In Quidditch?”
Overall, the Harry Potter fanatics seemed very pleased with the movie, but I imagine that the most hardcore enthusiasts will be withholding judgment until the second half of the adaptation is released in July 2011. Part 1 was at least good enough for one muggle leaving the theater to warn her friends, “I wanna go see it again.”