The saga of Harry Potter definitely heats up before it winds down.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is filled with intensity. Emotions run as high as the action. It’s a movie with loss and solitude at its core, with characters questioning their alliances and teetering on the brink of uncertainty. 

This is a far cry from the first fun-filled “wizard kids” films. It’s about young adults facing a potential future of darkness and isolation.

I cannot imagine anyone silly enough to begin an acquaintance with Harry and company by seeing this film. This is a link in a chain. If you haven’t seen the rest, you’re going to be befuddled by this one because the origins of its foundations began years ago.

The literary basis of this movie is the final book in the series, which has been split into two halves. (The next, and final, cinema segment is scheduled for release in the summer.)

It’s no secret that Dumbledore is no more and that Voldemort is trying to obliterate Harry, whose mission in this movie is to find and destroy the rest of the horcruxes (devices used to achieve immortality). 

At the beginning, Harry’s friends gather to create a clever ruse to protect their friend, and this escalates into a solid chase scene. Later, Harry, Hermione and Ron alternately work together and bicker while they try to solve the whereabouts of the mysterious items.

That is not to say the show doesn’t have its moments of humor. An elf or two and even Harry’s character provide several instances of levity. Still, the movie does have a somber tone that’s only enhanced by the final scene, which will have fans just itching to see the next segment long before its July release.

The quality of these movies continues to amaze me. Not only are the main characters portrayed by capable performers who literally have grown into their roles, but the peripheral characters played by the likes of Brendan Gleeson and Billy Nighy also are quite entertaining. 

The cinematography and special effects are outstanding. Watch Dobby the house-elf, for example, and you can see individual hairs on his noggin.

For me, the most intriguing aspect is the up-and-down relationship between Ron and Hermione, which becomes more complex as fear, loyalty and envy complicate matters.

This is, in a word, a great adventure. And I’m betting the final installment is going to pack quite a wallop indeed.

Linda Cook reviews movies for the Quad-City Times’ Go&Do section and the website. Contact her at