Finding the world becoming more and more dangerous, Harry and his friends leave behind the muggle world. We see them saying their goodbyes, or in the case of Hermione, tragically causing her non-magical parents to forget she even exists. Several members of the Order of the Phoenix arrive at the now empty Dursley residence for Harry. To protect him, several of the members take the polyjuice potion to assume the likeness of Harry, creating multiple Harrys.
There is an attack by Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but with one exception, all arrive safely at the Weasleys. There is a wedding for oldest Weasley Percy and Fleur. The head of the Ministry of Magic arrives to deliver Dumbledore’s last will and testament. He leaves a gift for Harry, one for Hermione and one for Ron. Harry receives the Golden Snitch he caught in the first film. Ron receives Dumbledore’s De-lluminator (last seen in the first film)and Hermione is given a storybook.
At the wedding, there is an announcement from the Ministry that it has fallen into the hands of Voldemort. Harry, Hermione, and Ron flee together. Rather than return to Hogwarts, the three dedicate themselves to tracking down and destroying the remaining Horacruxes. As the Half-Blood Prince explained, these are objects in which a wizard has put a portion of their soul. This involves murder, making it an especially heinous form of magic. Only by destroying these objects can Voldemort be truly vulnerable.
The Deathly Hallows kicked off a trend in movies adapted from book series. When it was announced that they were going to split the film into two parts, some felt it was merely a cash grab. And while I won’t disagree that there was surely an element of that from the studio, I also feel it would have seriously hampered the series to try and force the story into a single film.
There are some notable moments, for instance, there is a terrific animated sequence that tells the story of the “Deathly Hallows”. Radcliff and Watson are really quite good in this film. And yet, Part one struggles a bit as an independent film. It is rather slow at points, focusing on the bleak and hopeless tone. It is, at times, incredibly oppressive. And while it ends with a somewhat exciting escape, it still is kind of hard to enjoy the film on its own. But more on this in Part 2.