Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Obsession of My Life


Now that both the 5th movie and the 7th book have been released, I am somewhat obsessed with Harry Potter. Truthfully, I am nerd about the series, having read all the books, seen all of the movies and spent a good deal of time reading websites, blogs, and companions dedicated to the series. I also kick ass at the HP Scene It game.

The Movie
I saw the movie the day it opened. I was very excited, as Order of the Phoenix is one of my favorites. I had seen a few clips and trailers, including enough to make me look forward to seeing the cast again, joined by several amazingly well cast others. Imelda Staunton was a wonderfully evil and her "hem hem"s were spot on. Evanna Lynch was indescribable! Exactly as I had pictured Luna! I just loved her performance--everything from her slightly breathy voice to her physical mannerisms. I was also quite happy with Helena Carter's maniac portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange and Natalia Tena as Tonks, though I would have liked to see a lot more of Tonks because she's one of my favorite characters.

I felt pretty happy with the choices made on what to cut and what to change. The whole movie felt a little rushed, but OOTP is the longest of the series and as much as I would have loved a 7 hour movie, it wasn't to be. I was disappointed that the hospital scene was cut--actually the whole snake attack was very abbreviated, glossing over the topic of Harry seeing into Voldemort's mind. I was also thrown by the immediate Occlumency lesson.

I loved the scene in the Ministry. The interactions between the DA and the Death Eaters was good and the sets were pretty remarkable, though I missed seeing other rooms in the ministry. Sirius' death was appropriately heart wrenching. The fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort was also slightly disappointing, but still thrilling. All in all, the movie was very good. I also was happier with Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore this time around. I've never been his fan, I loved Richard Harris--he was exactly what I pictured Dumbledore to be. But he wasn't so high strung this time around and I hope he continues on this path.

The book
LOVED. LOVED THE BOOK. I waited in line at midnight at a local grocery store (I'm hardcore, I don't want to party, I want to get home and read) and stayed up until 5 am reading, at which point I made myself go to bed because I knew I wasn't really grasping what I was reading. I got up around 8:30 and read until I finished. I have to say, I was worried as I started, because the first several chapters were so intense and emotional that I found myself sheepishly wondering if I could handle what was to come. I know, I'm a nerd. But it's only a tribute to JK Rowling's work--she has truly made people fall in love with these characters. I truly cared what happened to them.

The concepts continued to impress me--the twists of the remaining horcruxes and the discovery of the deathly hallows. Rowlings plot twists and teasers intrigued me and each death was like a punch in the stomach. I was particularly moved when Dobby died--Partly because I named my cat Dobby (the house cat, instead of house elf) and partly because of the sweetness and poinency (real word? Whatever) of the moment. It was a joke in book 2 about Harry asking Dobby to stop saving his life and here he was again, making the ultimate sacrifice to save Harry and the others.

The other moment that choked me up was when Harry was entering the forest, preparing to sacrifice himself and he used the resurrection stone to bring back his parents, Lupin, and Sirius. His words to Lupin, expressing his sorrow that he'd been taken from his newborn son far to early were so sad. After all, Harry knows exactly what it will be like to be Teddy Lupin, having lost his parents as a baby as well. such an interesting parallel.

Was the book perfect? No. I felt some deaths were not needed and wasn't wholly satisfied with the epilogue, although hearing that Rowling plans to write a companion encylopedia makes me feel better about not hear what other characters ended up doing. All in all, I got the gooshy fairy tale ending I wanted. I'm sad to see the end of the series but I enjoyed it.

***End of geek post for the day***

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