Since it was first published in 1997, the Harry Potter book series has created a world of magic and wonder for children and adults. Now, the incredible experience continues in the penultimate movie based upon J.K. Rowling's world of witches, wizards and magical beasts.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was originally planned as one full-length film under the direction of David Yates, who directed the sixth movie. However, it was decided to split it into two parts so the final book could be brought to the screen with more accuracy.

There are some Harry Potter fans who have read the seven books over and over, and there are others who have not read any of the books but enjoy the movies. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" was clearly made for those fans who have read the books. This may be problematic for those who haven't, as evidenced by comments I overheard while watching the film. As Harry and Hermione discover Harry's parents' gravestone, someone in the audience wondered, "When did Harry's parents die?" Others referred to Voldemort's enormous snake as a basilisk. This is incorrect; the basilisk was in the second movie ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"), where it was killed.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" continues the story line from the sixth movie -- that the nefarious Lord Voldemort has split his soul into seven parts, and that unless each part (or horcrux) is found and destroyed, Harry Potter will not be able to kill Voldemort. Harry's best friends, Ron and Hermione, chose to leave their families and go with Harry in search of the horcruxes. However, none of them are prepared for the task that lies ahead. Unfortunately, Dumbledore did not leave Harry with much more than ideas about possible horcruxes. Frustrations build among the three friends, especially Ron.

The friends learn of the "Deathly Hallows," a legend about three powerful objects that, when possessed by one person, make that person the Master of Death. This scene was my least favorite in the movie because of the animation used to illustrate the story of the Deathly Hallows. It seemed out of place with the rest of the film.

Although some things in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" are different from the book, such as a heroic flight by Harry's owl, Hedwig, the movie was very accurate as it paralleled the book's dialogue and plot. More recently, the Harry Potter movies have become less and less like the books, so it was nice that this installment was so true to the final novel in the series.

This movie is a must-see for any Potter fan. If you haven't read the books, you might want to consider it, as this will help your overall enjoyment of the movie.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" is a wonderful masterpiece that truly shows the angst and frustration of a seemingly hopeless quest. There are poignant scenes that deal with the deaths and injuries of beloved characters, mingled with some humorous moments to lighten the overall feelings of despair. The brilliant actors portraying the characters are some of the best in the world, and the cinematography and soundtrack are haunting.

The quest is on -- for the destruction of the horcruxes and the possible end of the reign of Voldemort's terror. The adventure ends July 15, 2011. Be there or be a Death Eater!


"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"

Rated PG-13

Review: 4 stars (Out of 4)

Emily DeRoo is a sophomore at Williamsville North High School.