I have read so many of the reviews about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1 that I just felt that I had to throw my own opinions in the mix. I am such a huge fan of these books, they are probably my all time favorite series and I reread them (or listen to them on audio) regularly. Stephen Fry brings these characters to life for me in a way that the movies haven't. I guess its because I'm so invested in these books that every time I would watch one of the HP movies, I would find myself so disappointed when they would skip over or re-imagine things that were, for me, a very important part of the story even though I understood their reasons and time constraints or what have you. This one, however, was different. There were still large parts of the book that were skipped over without mention and a few extra things thrown in that weren't a part of the book but I was extremely surprised by how much I truly enjoyed this movie.
I was so happy to see characters that I love from the series have a bigger role in this film. Movie-goers finally got a better glimpse of Fred and George's humor, Mad-Eye Moody's gruff bluntness, and most importantly we got to see Dobby again. I really missed him in the previous movies. Bella was, as always, outstanding. She is my favorite "love to hate" character from the movies and fits so perfectly how I always imagine Bella to be. Voldemort himself had a much bigger role in this movie and his performance was also gratifyingly scary and appropriately snakelike.
Some of the scenes were completely different than how I imagined them when reading, the initial chase scene was wonderfully done and much more exciting to watch on screen. I LOVE how they changed the scene with Hedwig. The first scene of the movie, with Hermione and her parents, was heartrending and somber and really set the tone for the film. Visually, I thought the movie was stunning. The scenes when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were travelling, the film was able to adequately convey the beauty of their surroundings as well as their isolation from everyone they know and love.
The few things that they did differently from the book really worked for me. This in itself is unusual since I dearly dearly love these books. At one point I found myself wishing that Rowling would have written a particular scene that way!
The stand out performances for me were Hermione, Bella, Voldemort, Dobby, and Nagini. None of the characters were really lacking performance-wise though and there wasn't a lot for me to complain about.
What I didn't like:
1. I didn't understand the invisibility of the invisibility cloak.
2. Why didn't they finish the scene at Bathilda's house. I thought this was important.
3. I wanted to see the Dudley/Harry goodbye.
4. Poor Kreacher's moments were completely disregarded.
5. Potterwatch would have been a good way to show how they kept up hope after so long away from everyone.
The end result was that I laughed, cried, and at a couple points almost jumped straight out of my seat! I left the theater surprised, happy, and not in the least disappointed. I am looking forward to Part 2.