We’ve run a review of the next-to-last film in the Harry Potter series, which opened to a $24m box-office take last night at midnight. Now it’s your turn to talk about it.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is a slower, moody and melancholy entry than any other film in the series, but to my thinking no less effective for it. In fact, despite a slightly awkward structure that sees this film ending just as events in Harry’s life are really about to explode, this plays like one of the strongest film chapters to date. So what did you think about this chapter? As usual, spoilers follow after the break.

Breaking the final novel into two film chapters may have seemed at first like a crass commercial move on the part of Warner Bros., which has come to rely on the Harry Potter films as guaranteed box-office heavyweights. But director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves make a case for the decision as a sound creative move. This film has a great deal of character and weight. It shifts with little apparent effort between dire scenes of Voldemort’s ominous power-building to action, lonely uncertainty for Harry, Hermione and Ron, and moments of thrilling action and pressure-relieving comedy.

I found a few of the film’s impulses distracting — notably the scenes when Harry finds the sword and Ron reappears, and when Dobby bamfs into the Malfoy basement felt like they broke out of the story’s organic flow by the old deus ex machina saw. But The Deathly Hallows, Part I feels overwhelmingly like a success.

So what did you think about this seventh Harry Potter film? Was the balance of action and character skewed too far in one direction? Can you see this as the organic near-end of one long movie arc rather than a standalone film? Did the moments I mention above bug you, or, knowing the story better than I do, did they feel like they belonged? Since this is an open post-release conversation, spoilers are allowed (and encouraged, really) in the comments.

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