Youth fled early for Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, the trio at the center of the Harry Potter franchise. No longer really a children's story, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 plucks its young heroes from the comfy Hogwarts and makes them refugees, fleeing — and, eventually, waging — war.
David Yates' handsome film begins with exceptional confidence and a deliberate pace. But by the time Lord Voldemort has Harry, Ron and Hermione on the run, the movie has accelerated to the same galloping tempo of the last two Potter adaptations. Deathly Hallows: Part 1 crams in 500 of J.K. Rowling's 759 pages, and so the story hurtles forward, with only shouted, harried exposition separating one twist from the next.
For die-hard fans of the novels, the movie's haste is merely aggravating. But casual viewers, who last visited Harry's world in the summer of '09, might well tune out the details and just enjoy the scenery and fine acting — from the usual who's who of British thespians but also from Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, whose Hermione and Ron take charge of this busy, decidedly adult tale.