I just saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One today. And what a wonderful movie it was. Just after walking out, I marveled at how fortunate moviegoers have been to have such a wonderful cast, for the most part intact, throughout the series. The one notable exception resulted from the death of Richard Harris. Even with that, Michael Gambon stepped right in and played a very different but just as brilliant Dumbledore.
Like the books, we've had the opportunity to watch the trio and company grow into adults. This last movie doesn't have any of the whimsy of the first one, and shouldn't to my mind. By now the perils in the wizarding world are coming to a head. Childhood is at an end.
I've seen a few movies series, and read a fair few novel series. In both areas, Harry Potter is the best. Yes, better than Star Wars. Better than Indiana Jones. Better than Sherlock Holmes. The stories have deepened as they've gone along, both in the books and the movies.
This is what I love about storytelling.
I told some folks after reading the novel of the Deathly Hallows, that taken as a single work ... and I do think of the Harry Potters as one long novel in seven parts ... then it supplanted David Copperfield as my all time favorite. I'll back off a little on that, but depending on which day you catch me, one or the other will be at the top of the list.
I can't remember if I've mentioned it in this blog, but I'll write it again anyway, I think writers everywhere should bow to J. K. Rowling for nearly single-handedly creating a new generation of readers.
I can't claim to have my finger on the pulse of society now or at anytime, but it seemed that in the time before Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone came out, video games took up an amazing amount of time in a lot of kid's lives. Harry Potter didn't stop it, but did wedge into it just enough to show folks the joys of reading and of imagination.
I was actually a late convert to Harry. Didn't really jump in until I heard rumors that movies would be made. So I hopped on the train early in 2001, reading all four (by that point) just in time for the first move. I loved it. Totally. Completely. No, it didn't conform to how I envisioned the story and characters, but I didn't care. I started seeing them as different ways of telling the same tale. Kind of like one parent will tell you the story of the Three Little Pigs, one way. The other parent will tell it totally different. And you love both.
Ah, then I got serious. After a two/three year wait, I pre-ordered my copy of Order of the Phoenix and picked it up at the midnight party. Sat it down on my nightstand and tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep. I had to read a chapter ... or two ... or three. I set it down at about four in the morning, woke up at eight and started some more. My friend Bruce called and asked if I would like to join him and his family at a Ranger game. We went. They lost. I read through until the next morning loving every minute of it.
A similar thing happened with the Half Blood Prince, only I didn't go to a Ranger's game.
I made no pretence of sleeping when my friend Jill and I picked up our copies of the Deathly Hallows. I read taking naps until I finished the whole book.
What a time I had with each one.
So, having read all seven more than a couple of times, and having now seen seven of the eight movies, I'm so looking forward to the completion of the tale in July, but will be sad to see the final "new" Harry Potter of anything on the other.
Wow. There will be a day when nothing new will emerge from the Potterverse. Whoa!
Then again, like Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris, we'll always have the books and the movies.
Here's hoping that Part Two will live up to the magnificence of Part One.
I weighed in at 264 last Sunday. Down a total of 21 pounds!
See y'all next week!