Friday night, central London, and two very excited little boys, one seven (mine), one eight (school pal). We were lucky enough to be at the Soho Hotel for a screening of the first part of the final instalment of the Harry Potter fantasy saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
My son (William) and I are probably the only people in the country who have not read any of the books, although William has seen a couple of the films. Luckily, our little companion, Kristian, eight, was a complete Harry Potter expert, filling in the blanks for us, and generally bringing us up to speed on all things HP. I should probably also add that I have zero tolerance towards children's films, having the attention span of a goldfish and a terminal inability to sit still for more than ten minutes at a time, so the fact I lasted the duration speaks volumes. But it's what the children thought that really matters, so here are their reviews:
Kristian: "I was very, very excited to go and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I thought it was a very good film, it was sometimes sad, sometimes happy and sometimes scary. I am eight, but I think it should be called the scariest Harry Potter so far. Voldemolt had the most powerful wand! I think everyone should go and see it."
William: "I liked it very much. Snape is a bit spooky though. I was sad when Hedwig the owl was killed at the start of the film. It is a very long film and we only had one tub of popcorn – you really need two to last the whole movie. I want to read the books now and I am going to watch all the other films because Daddy has bought me the DVDs."
And as for me? Despite it all being slightly out of context, I did enjoy it (bar an early usage of the word 'p*ss' – I guess that's another reason for the 12a rating). As a 'family film' (swear word aside) it really does transcends the ages. It is dark and scary in places (though not as frightening for the boys as I thought it might be) tender and thoughtful and verging on racy in others (Harry and Hermione dancing was particularly sweet, whilst Voldemort presenting Ron with an image of a nude Hermione and Harry in a steamy clinch raised a few parental eyebrows in the screening room).
I loved the legend of the Hallows - I found the symbolisation and the story behind it - the stone with the power to recall the dead to the world of the living, the unbeatable wand, and the infallible invisibility cloak - all very profound!
Oh, and I have a slight girl-crush on Bellatrix Lestrange...I want her hair.
Last word to the boys, who both decree: 'It's the best film this year, even better than Toy Story 3 which was our favourite before.'
Go see it.
But before you do, check out this hilarious parody Harry Potter trailer.