Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: And Then They Grew Up.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a little book was written and set in motion a worldwide phenomenon. 
If J.K. Rowling had any idea what would come of her novel about a boy wizard, and the impact it would make in our world, then she was brilliant.  Seven novels, eight full length feature films, and one theme park later, Harry Potter has become a brand.
I have read every book, and seen all of the movies.  Today, I watched the final installment, and was blown away by a number of things.
I will try not to give away any of the specifics of the film, but if you have not seen it, you might want to exit this blog post…
First off, I was floored by the sheer cinematic impact of the film.  The effects, as in the previous movies, were stellar, and utterly breathtaking.  I’m sure most people would agree that the creative team behind the scenes were spot on in their portrayal of Rowling’s wizarding world.
Secondly, I was greatly satisfied in the book-to-film crossover.  Yes, I fully agree that the books explain much more, and a few things obviously had to be given a hard edit in the "book verses movie" spectrum, but I feel that the film stays as true to the novel as it could.  I am certainly not a screenwriter, and give them props for taking the latter part of a 36 chapter book, and turning it into a relevant and stunning film that lasts less than 3 hours.  I’m just saying…
Thirdly, I personally felt that the books, and the films, especially the final conclusions, left the viewers and readers with a good feeling of good conquering evil.  If it had been the other way around, I would have been terribly disappointed.  I, myself, am not opposed to the books or the movies.  I know a debate has surrounded Harry Potter since its release, as I am sure you have known too, and I do not intend to get it rolling again here.  Everyone has the right to their beliefs, and that is mine. 
Lastly, those Hogwart’s kids.  The first movie was released in 2001.  A decade has passed, believe it or not. 

And then they grew up:

(Hey, hey, HARRY POTTER, child wizard, cover up that chest hair.  This is not that kind of blog.  Oh, wait, you're an adult now?  Fine.)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint are excellent actors, and have made the literary  characters come to life.  It has been fascinating to watch them grow up before my eyes. Most films stop with the sequel, or maybe a trilogy, but eight films?!  That’s amazing.  I will miss the anticipation of seeing them act together as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but I look forward to seeing what they may become apart from those characters. 
As odd as it may sound, it was bittersweet to see them in the final two films, and to know it was coming to an end.  That a decade has passed for them, but for me as well.  I admit, I was choked up a number of times throughout the movie, and would most likely have wept like a baby if it weren’t for the fact that I was fully aware of the people sitting around me.  I bucked up, and took it like a big girl. 
Yes, Harry Potter will remain:  books, movies, merchandise, and the like.  What is over now is the waiting and excitement for a new book, a new movie.  It has reached its final chapter, and the Harry Potter insanity will eventually settle into its place in history. 
But, is it completely silly to say that I am happy that I got to experience the past 10 years of Harry Potter madness? 
Because…well, I am. 
Now...if only I could find an invisibility cloak...
Then no one would see me cry during the inevitable jags of Harry Potter withdrawals.

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