Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So as a self confessed Harry Potter addict this was a big weekend for me. My friend Katrine couldn’t go to see the film until Sunday, and although my inner nerd wanted to be at the midnight showing my grown up persona was able to take control and book tickets for Sunday at 7:30pm.

To be honest it was the books I fell in love with. The films are fantastic and visually wondrous, and you can tell that the splitting of the last film was more a desire to get it right than a money grab, but the books are where it started and ended for me. J K Rowling was the reason I wanted to write, she was the reason I wanted to read, for the 12th and 13th years of my life she helped me realize the power of words, the transformability of sentencing. She showed me that even though I couldn’t craft, or draw, or make a bloody money box in tech. I could still be wonderfully creative. She taught me that I could paint with people’s imaginations instead of with a paintbrush.

That being said, the movie was great. I think we take for granted how much of a film is taken up by establishing characters and that in this, the 7th film in a series, they don’t even have to devote the first few minutes to who these people are or what they are up to. They haven’t had to draw an audience in, or pander to those not in the know. They whole heartedly exclude those who haven’t seen the previous films or read the books simply because they are far and few between. Their theatre seats are filled with fans ready to both adore and abhor the material. They are about to be judged on every aspect of the translation from book to film, their work will be reveled for its similarities but scolded for its change, no matter how integral it may be to telling the story via a different medium.

All in all their seats are filled with people who feel connected to this story, who like myself have invested themselves in Harry Potter since they were also 11 years old. The successes of the films aren’t simply due to the huge fan following of the books, the success of the films are in the films themselves. J K Rowling wrote intelligent, plot driven, exquisitely told tales of three young people facing a world of danger and so it is no surprise that the films become magical, mystical blockbuster sellers. Nothing J.K.Rowling wrote was fluff, nothing had no purpose, so much so that in order to do her final book justice the movie moguls had to split this one two ways.

They were right; the first one encompasses everything it needs to. Better yet it does the book justice by pausing on the banality of trying to fulfill a mission when you have no idea where to start. Even when I read the book I felt the frustration of trying to embark on a huge mission when you don’t know what to do, and rather than run from one huge battle scene to the next, the movie makers (now given the luxury of two films) were able to rest on how helpless and useless the unlikely heroes must have felt.

I was surprised at my sadness at loosing characters, that even the knowledge of what was about to occur couldn’t stop me feeling some sort of loss as these characters give their lives for one another. Rowling was never afraid of loosing a character, because by the end they were all so three dimensional and important. You felt the hurt and the pain but you were also able to watch these characters survive the losses and move on. I once heard JK Rowling say in an interview, it is so easy to kill of a character because everything for them is done and it is over, that it is so much harder to suffer their loss and continue your life. That rebuilding one’s life takes more courage than ending it. She, as always, was right.

To bring the sycophantic rant to an end, go watch the film, or better yet go re-read the book. It is worth the money, it is worth the time, and it’s sure as hell is worth the effort.

Love to you all

Meryl xx

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