*** SPOILER ALERT ***
BEWARE I TALK ABOUT BOTH THE FILMS & BOOKS. IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY DETAILS … DON’T READ ANY FURTHER
Ok … I am a grown woman (not telling my age) … and I am a true Harry Potter tragic. I love the books & the films.
Don’t let me make you think that they are perfect and without fault. Like all of us (and our works there are strengths and weaknesses) but on the whole I really enjoyed both the reading and cinematic journeys with Harry Potter … and alittle sad that in some way it has come to and end.
I remember when I first heard about Harry Potter. I was working and I think it was about 2001. I was on a work trip and one of my collegues was all into the books. This was all before the movies had come out and the first four books had already been written. She was addicted to the books and I remember thinking is was amusing that she was so interested in a children’s book. Talk about humble pie when it was by the time the next book was published that I had read all of the preceding books and had pre-ordered it, and lined up to get it with all the other ‘kids’ on the day it was released. Sad.
Though one of the things that I liked and still do like about Harry Potter was going on those opening days to see all of the kids waiting impatiently to get their books … and then afterwards comsume them with such passion. The only word I can think to describe it is literary gluttony … with all of the positive and negative connotations that brings. You would see children that would be walking in front of their parents reading while their parents were steering them like a shopping trolley … their whole concentration being on the book and walking in almost a sleeplike state with their parents providing them guidance on where to go, when to stop and so forth. I have never seen anything like it before or since.What I hope is that for so many kids that grew up with Harry Potter (and I really do hope that they were older when they read the last few books as I think they get very dark) that this passion translated into a general passion for reading. Well that is my hope.
For me I found the books a bit of escapism. They are very easily books to read of the age old story of good fighting evil. As adults I enjoyed some of the older characters. For me I was a bit fan of Sirus … but sort of imagined him looking alittle more like Hugh Jackman … hmmm … I know I was deeply upset at the end of Half Blood Prince when Snape killed Dumbledore. Firstly I could not believe that Dumbledore was dead but I really wanted to believe that underneath everything that there was something good within Snape … and I guess that was one of the big things that I loved about Deathly Hallows (and OK the fact that I really like Alan Rickman as an actor and I read the books after seeing the first film that might have originally be the basis for my leanings). Still I think that there was something for everyone in the books … adults and young people alike.
Last week I saw the last installment at the movies … yes I escaped during one of the days the kids were at childcare and went to the cinema and saw it in 3D. I loved it. But that to me wasn’t too surprising. I went into the cinema wanting to love it. While there were some plot deviations and somethings that I might have done differently, I think if you talked to most people that had read the books you have in your own minds eye things that are important and everyone would have different things in and out. For me I would have liked more on Fred’s death … I was also a huge fan of Fred and George … and I was really sad when I read that in the book … and also Tonks and Lupin. But I think it hit most of the key marks. One of my favourite is the battle between (Mrs) Molly Wesley and Bellatrix Lestrange. I have to admit as a mum this was one bit of the movie I was really looking forward to … and ok in my mind when I was reading it orginally I sort of had imagined it sounding alittle like Sigourney Weaver’s famous line from Alien … but Julie Waters did not disappoint and I think is a key highlight of the film (ok I am biased … but yeah for Mum power!!!!). I think the final film is powerful … it is sad … and gruesome (war is not pretty whether it be with magic or guns) but it is IMHO also a fitting final to the book and the series as a whole.
What are your thoughts? Have you read the books? Or only seen the films? Or neither? Do you think that the Harry Potter phenomenon has been a good thing? Or do you have concerns about anything relating to Harry and the Wizarding World he in habits?
P.S. While I am a huge fan of both the books and the films … I do not agree with the classification rating of Deatlthy Hallows Part 2. I think it should have been MA 15+. If you have younger children, I would recommend that you see the film yourself and consider your own children’s temperaments before you take them to see it … but that is just IMHO as usual.