For millions of fans everywhere, July 15th was the end of an era. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t read or go to the movies, the final Harry Potter flick opened this weekend to much fanfare, and, if what I witnessed in my theater is any indication, many tears.
Ten years ago, Harry, Hermione and Ron vaulted into our lives in a very real way. They were the personification of J.K. Rowling’s vision of an orphaned boy who learns he’s a wizard…and not just any wizard. Little Harry managed to survive the killing spell cast by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort (or, He Who Must Not Be Named). I’ve read all the books in the series, and can remember being somewhat skeptical about how the books would translate on the big screen. Adaptations are a tricky thing, and since the books were so dense in material, it was a given that certain details, characters and storylines were going to be sacrificed for the pace, structure and time constraints of a movie. Add on legions of fans who consider the world of Harry Potter an alternate universe that is very real, and there’s a serious problem if proper care isn’t given to the films.
All that being said, I couldn’t wait to see the first Harry Potter movie and can still remember the wonder I felt when seeing Hogwarts for the first time. Diagon Alley. Platform 9 and 3/4. The Sorting Hat. The moving staircases. Nearly Headless Nick. The moving paintings. All the professors. Everything was so magical and the world was created perfectly.
Prior to the release of HP7 Part II, my favorite movies in the series had been Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I’m also a big fan of Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell, who directed both adaptations respectively). Dark, yes, but visually stunning. And they’re big event books. Harry gets to connect with his father’s pals in H3 and showcases his strength and budding leadership skills in H5. Everyone had a teacher they hated, but Professor Umbridge? She takes the cake! H3 also marked the tradition of going to see the Harry Potter movies with my sister-in-law, so there’s always a special place in my heart for that movie.
The second installment of HP7 will be memorable because it’s the very poignant end to a journey that started a decade ago. We got to see the characters (and actors) grow. Since Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were all around the same age as the characters they represented, their portrayals were genuine, and reminded of what it was like to be a kid at school and all the complexities of growing up. This movie is also a big movie for Snape, whom I have always loved and the defense of Hogwarts should be epic. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, make sure you bring some tissues or grab extra napkins from the concession stand. It’s a very emotional ride.
So, now the inevitable question is: What now? Sure, we’ve got all the DVDs, and we’ve all felt this before, after Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was released and we all knew that was it for the series. While it’s easy to be sad about finally having to say goodbye to these characters, I feel pretty lucky that there are eight incredible movies that allow us to enter that world time and again if we so choose.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Layout by: Michelle
- Movie Merchandise, Who Buys This Stuff?
- My Latest Obesession: Geek Movies of Summer 2011
- Addicted To V: Love Bites and I Just Can’t Get Enough
- My Latest Obsession: True Blood
- My Latest Obsession: New York City