Last night my parents, some close family friends, and I went to see the final Harry Potter film. Without revealing spoilers, I’ll just say that it was a very satisfying, bittersweet close. I read a few reviews before going, and a couple said that the movie was great…until the ending, which was much too abrupt. To be honest, I thought the ending in the last book was a bit rubbish, much too contrived and saccharine on the page. However, I think it worked brilliantly on the screen. It was almost as if Rowling wrote that epilogue as more screenplay that novel. I’m willing to admit, rather ashamed, that I enjoyed the experience of the film far more than that of reading the book. That is a very rare occurence for me, I assure you. All and all, as I said, the final film was wonderful even despite having to see it in 3D because those were the only tickets we could get. I despise 3D. It has a bit of a car sickness effect on me until my brain and eyes can adjust and ignore it. I was happy enough to be there, though, that it didn’t bother me much.
It was a bit weird, as my mom accurately observed, leaving the theater at the end not saying “Oh I can’t wait for the next one!” I could not shake the feeling that the final nail in the coffin of my childhood had finally been driven. It’s been a rather prolonged death in terms of literature and film. I think it began with the release of the last book in 2007, the summer I began college. I felt loss when I finished it. I actually cried. There were still films to be made, though, so it didn’t quite seem to be over yet. Strangely enough, the release of the last Toy Story film last year (though I hear there are unfortunately rumors of another one) also seemed to bring that period of my life closer to an end. As with Harry, I fell in the age group that grew up with Andy. It was strange to think of them as adults and myself as one also when it seemed not so very long ago that we weren’t. Watching the film last night, I did not cry or feel sad for the end. I think the last four years have been a long enough mourning period that I was finally ready to say good-bye with a light heart, not just to Harry, Hermione, and Ron and all of the members of their world who had become such good friends for so many but my childhood as well. It was time. It was also extremely apropos and proof of the circular nature of life, that the friends with whom we attended last night’s showing were the same with whom we saw the first film ten years ago when their son and daughter and I were all children. Now their son is a senior in college, their daughter is starting college in the fall, and I, of course, am starting graduate school in a month. Funny how fast decades can pass.
Well, enough of the heavy stuff. Suffice to say, I recommend the film to anyone and everyone. Go enjoy it with the people you love like I did. It makes it all the more worthwhile. Now, as promised, I need to go write some posts concerning a little trip to the land of rock ‘n roll, soul, and the blues. Enjoy your Saturday evenings, all.
But as a final gesture: Good bye, Harry, it was nice growing up with you.