Admittedly its been a while since I've read the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, a sad fact that I've already begun to remedy, but after watching Part 1 of the final books movies, I think I can see why WB and the production crew decided to split Deathly Hallows into 2 films. In the past movies we've seen the details of the books somewhat pared down and weeded through. The movies for years 1-6 have been well done - not many would argue with that - but I think most would concede that in those first 6 movies there have been a lot of things from the books that were left out. Sure, in and of themselves those details are not greatly significant but taken together over the yars, they do play towards fully understanding the entire Harry Potter story.
And THAT I think is where the difference with the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 comes in. By seperating the book into 2 movies, we get to keep far more of those little details, and hopefully when July 2011 rolls around and Part 2 goes to the big screen, the true end of the Harry Potter series will be far more impressive.
As for the Part 1 movie... It was actually pretty good. Well done, certainly, and as I said for the portion of the book that it portrays, it keeps far closer to the book details then the older movies. If I were to make any complaint about it - it was difficult to really keep track of time. Even at the end of the movie it was only based on a few lines that we were given any real indication that months had passed for the wizard world. Time passing is something that we've always seen in the other movies (think the Whomping Willow shaking off it's leaves as autumn draws to a close and winter takes hold of Hogwarts for example, though I can't remember which one of the movies that came from) but in Deathly Hallows Part 1 it wasn't really that apparent. Maybe it was just me, maybe I didn't pick up on the more subtle hints - they must have been there. Maybe I need to see it again... Hhhmmm, I wonder if I can swing that any time soon?
The hints/indication that I caught:
"Harry, I think it's Christmas Eve. Listen." (Hermione)
"We met a couple of months ago Mr. Lovegood." (Harry)
"All this time we've followed him. I thought he knew what he was doing!" (Ron, though this one is slightly paraphrased - my recall isn't always perfect!)
So now I'm off to continue reading the book again. Maybe I'll be back when I finish and I'll have more to say about the book vs. the movie... Maybe I'll watch the movie again after I've finished reading it again... Maybe not.
Till next time -- Happy Reading. Happy Watching. Happy Writing. And Happy Holidays.