So what did I think? I'll tell you what I think! Well, you can probably guess what I think, and you would probably be right.
I loved it.
I don't know if I'm ready to give it my stamp of "favorite," but it comes pretty close. Although it's the shortest of the films, which makes sense as it covers about 250 pages of text, I was amazed at how it filled the time, since it basically consisted of two major events (though they were pretty major). The action was intense and the characters and relationships were at their very best. Dan, Rupert and Emma have sure come a long way in the acting department, though I always thought they played their characters well, and by now I can't possibly imagine anyone else as Harry, Ron and Hermione. I almost cared about Snape, and Alan Rickman finally had his chance to actually do a little acting (he's a fine Snape, I guess, though he doesn't really nail the nastiness that Snape has in the books, and his portrayal has always been restrained and a little bit theatrical). The score was fantastic, it had the right blend of end-of-the-wizarding-world intensity and real emotion, and expertly incorporated some perfectly-placed key themes from the very first John Williams scores to great effect--there were a couple of moments when I gasped and gripped Julie's arm when an incredibly familiar theme started to play.
The midnight experience was fun, and I'm glad we did it, not to mention the excitement of the double feature and starting the second half almost immediately after the first (which I so desperately wanted to do last November when Part 1 was released), and though there were some people who were obviously dragged there and didn't quite "get" the excitement of a midnight showing, it was really awesome. As a side note, I'm really glad we bought tickets early enough to get them right here in Provo so we wouldn't have to drive home through construction and freeway closures at three in the morning... We were dressed in full Gryffindor attire (which I admit is more conducive to a fall/winter movie release), and the hundreds of fans waiting in the lobby and the theater were duly impressed, and some even asked to take pictures with or of us. We were like celebrities! One day we will have a wee tot and draw a scar on his forehead and go as James, Lily and Harry. I mean, I have heard more than once already that I kind of resemble James in the movies, which I'll totally accept.
|She's so excited!|
|The Wife stopped to say a quick hello to Captain America. See you next week!|
|This is a very small indication of the crowds. This is the line for snacks and cheeses.|
|Rushing to finish re-reading the Epilogue between Part 1 and Part 2.|
|Us! Note the Cherry Coke in the cupholder. We were taking precautions in order to be alert all through the night.|
|Now that's what I like to see. A theater showing Harry Potter all day.|
Anyway, it was wonderful, and it's been a really awesome trip from start to finish. It's been ten years since the first movie was released, and the memories of driving with Elise up to Jordan Landing are as fresh in my mind as the day they happened. The traditions have changed, and I have luckily found a spouse that is as enamored of The Boy Who Lived as I am (at LEAST as much as I am), so she understands and indulges (and encourages and fuels!) the hype and excitement I feel as each Harry Potter Day, of which there are now very very few remaining, draws closer. I do have mixed feelings about it all being over at least, but I don't feel all tragic and woeful and "the end of an era means the end of my life and childhood and happiness!" like some of the fans are feeling, I feel like it's been an amazing journey, and though I've had my quibbles with some of the movies, I'm a very grateful fan. I didn't "grow up" with the books or movies, like my younger sister and fellow super-fan did, but I still followed them and came to feel like the characters were really good friends. It does feel like the end of something big, but I like to think of it as Alan Rickman is quoted to have said in some premiere interviews: "I think things like this are meant to end, and you should not miss it--you should just be happy that it ends well." Will there ever be anything like Harry Potter again? I seriously doubt it. It's an incredible phenomenon that has meant so much to so many people on such real and personal levels, and I can't see anything else ever coming close to that, but that just makes me glad that I found it when I did and was able to take part in and enjoy all the amazing hype and waiting (and waiting and waiting...) for the newest book or movie. I don't even know what I'll have to look forward to so eagerly in the theaters now... OhwaityesIdoit'sTheHobbitofcourse.
Also, about the Epilogue? I like it. The make-up wasn't entirely convincing (Ron and Hermione hardly looked older at all), but when you see the images floating around the internet of how they looked the first time they filmed that scene (19 years later? More like 39 years later! This first attempt was scrapped, leading almost to cutting the Epilogue scene entirely), you realize that it's really pretty good. It was so great to hear that familiar music and see Harry sending his own kids off to Hogwarts, coming full-circle and bringing back memories of his own first journey on the Hogwarts Express, almost as if it happened to each of us. It's so weird that there's a real feeling of personal nostalgia involved, but there it is. It was also kind of symbolic of the feeling I (and we as fans) will have one day when I put the first book in the hands of my own kids and introduce them to the experience of discovering the world of Harry and Co. Hopefully they'll be interested in the books before the movies, I would love for them to have the same experience I had of discovering the world in the words before seeing them brought to life so expertly on the screen.
|HP7.2 Take 2!|
|This time I'm reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard.|
A message to people who still haven't seen this movie, or to those who (SOMEhow) haven't seen the other ones, or, even more amazingly, haven't read the books: SEE IT. READ THEM. Then come back and thank me. :)