Nothing Says Hooray Like Harry Potter

Harry PotterNothing says ‘hooray for getting in a draft of a really difficult project and giving yourself a couple of hours off from deadlines as far as the eye can see’ as going to see the breathlessly anticipated Harry Potter finale.

This is precisely the moment I need to issue an apology to those people—who read this blog and who will currently be cursing me via their screens—whom I’d promised I’d wait to see it with. I didn’t do it deliberately, honest.

I know you don’t accidentally fall into a movie theatre so ‘I didn’t do it deliberately’ might be stretching the truth. I was just so fatigued after submitting the millionth draft of a particularly long-running, particularly detailed project, and so dreading the next two that will kick off and be due tomorrow alone that I realised I had the choice between succumbing to a massive migraine or doing something to distract my brain for just under three hours.

Unsurprisingly I chose the latter.

Sorry guys. You should maybe stop reading here lest I spoil the film for you. For what it’s worth: I’m happy to go again. And I should probably shout you your tickets in a gesture of I’mreallysorryitwon’thappenagain goodwill.

So my verdict on the film of the doorstop of the final book that I raced through and yet never wanted to end? It was everything I could have hoped for. It was, in short, absolutely epic.

I say that, though, as someone who hasn’t read the book since it came out. I was caught by surprise at the beginning of the penultimate film. I was like: WTF?! Dumbledore is dead?!

I then realised both that I’d missed a film (and writing this I’ve realised that I still haven’t seen it) and that my memory was a little sketchy. Then I settled in to enjoy the film as if I were encountering everything for the first time.

Ditto for my experience tonight, although I was less WTF?! Dumbledore is dead?! and more how many of those horcrux thingys are there left? And what are they hidden in anyway?

Sounds dumb, I know, but it was actually brilliant. It meant that I was as in awe of the film as I was when I read the book, and I chuckled inwardly (and occasionally outwardly) at JK Rowling’s ability to insert plot twists none of us could ever predict. Especially those that explain or refer to key moments or mysteries carefully laid out, breadcrumb-style, in previous books.

It must be said that I was also in awe of the film’s scriptwriter, director, and cinematographer, who plucked out the book’s core and brought it to life with a light touch. It would have been easy to make this, the ultimate film, Sop Central. Instead, it was dark when it needed to be, but better still, heroic, heart-warming, fast-paced, and funny.

I actually had goosebumps when Professor McGonagall stepped up to defend Harry and then Hogwarts. Likewise when the statues came to life and marched down to guard the borders. And yes, I’ll admit I cried a bit too. Although not, it should be noted, as much as I thought I would.

The gaping ‘what now’ feeling I have now that’s identical to the one I had after finishing the Twilight and Vampire Academy series has one upside: with those two there either weren’t films or weren’t a complete set of films to revisit. The only thing left for me to do is to re-read the books I’ve clearly (see previous paras re: WTF?! Dumbledore is dead?!) forgotten.