Flip Through

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the *devolves into weeping*

So. Everyone in the free world knows that part one of the last Harry Potter book-to-film premiered this weekend, to the tune of over 100 million smackers.

In my wastrel youth I would've been among the robed-up hoardes standing in line at midnight last Thursday. However, I have to work and stuff now, because being a Grown-Up is boring and horrible. So I waited until yesterday evening to see this truly magical movie.

Was there crying? Is Ryan Reynolds the Sexiest Man Alive? Man, I was crying before any of the characters actually appeared. I cried when I heard the signature HP twinkly music, I cried-while-laughing when the Order of the Phoenix turned themselves into Harrys in an attempt to deflect harm from him, I cried when Hedwig dive-bombed a Death Eater and was killed, I cried when George was brought into the Burrow with his ear missing. I cried when Ron and Harry had their tiff and Ron left. I cried when Harry and Hermione danced. I cried for Xeno Lovegood trying to save his daughter. I cried when Dobby appeared and then...well, you know.

I was basically crying the whole time. Not just because, if I may be flip, this movie is Srs Bzns. Which it is--I saw a headline to the effect that "HP7 puts away childish things". This film is the trio growing up, unable to always protect their loved ones and unable to be protected by people older and wiser. It's a very sad movie, and the second installment will be even worse (mostly because it will kill off my two favorites). But maybe even more than that, my tears were because I'm grown up now too and sometimes that just kills me. Most of the people in my theatre were around my age: 20-somethings who started reading HP when they were 11 or 12 and literally grew up with the books. For my part, I blazed through the first three when I was 11 and then read each subsequent book as it came out. I spent an entire Saturday reading The Deathly Hallows when I was 20, because if I went into work the next day without knowing the end someone would spoil it for me. My cousin and I made S.P.E.W. badges and acted out our favorite scenes. I dressed up as Tonks for Halloween '06. I've read all the books at least 3 times and seen every movie at least twice.

Harry Potter is mine. I am glad, very very glad, that people of all ages love the books and movies, that the books get kids reading and the movies get adults to think about magic again. But HP is mine, and my cousin's, and my best friend's. We were kids with Harry and now we're adults with him and this movie, the beginning of the end, is the culmination of a decade of fandom, of kids believing in magic and trying to hold onto that as they grow older, of young adults finding that the magic they want to make won't always work, that first love doesn't always last, that bad people get away with doing bad things, that active compassion is the highest good, that our choices are far more important than our blood. That friends create a family.

(the unstoppable trio)

What are your Harry stories (heh)? Did you grow up reading the books, or are you a newer convert? What is most special about the films or books to you?

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