Friday, August 26, 2011

The End of an Era

Yesterday, I said good-bye to an old friend. I'd avoided it for a while, pretending that the end wasn't near. But not wanting to let go, while human, is futile. All good things must come to an end.

The Boy Under the Stairs is no more.

That's right. I finally saw the last Harry Potter movie yesterday. I had hoped to wait long enough to find myself in an empty theater, sitting alone so that I could grieve in peace. Alas, 12:55 PM, 8 weeks after release, is still not enough time as I found myself weeping quietly with at least 80 other people.

I'm no idiot. I knew what I was getting myself into. I've read the entire series at least 3 times. I harbored no illusions that things would change.  It didn't matter.  From the opening scenes at Dobby's little hand-dug grave, I was a puddle.  Damn elves.  Sheesh.

I am usually the harshest critic of books becoming movies... as my friend Kit said (after seeing Charlotte's Web in the theater), "It can just never be as clear on a screen as it was, listening to your 3rd grade teacher read it aloud while you laid your head upon your school desk".  I have to admit, however, that while I found the first couple of movies to be somewhat simplistic and surface valued, as the actors matured, directors changed, and the darkness of the storyline intensified, the movies became sensational with the two covering Book 7 being, by far, my favorite.  My interest in the films' progressions mirrored my own fascination with the books and awe at Rowling's skill at weaving together story lines that grew up along with her readers.  Unlike some of the latest young adult literary crazes (that started strong and fell apart in the end), the reader can't feel the deadline on the author's shoulders or the cash cow nipping at her heels.

And that's how these last movies felt.  They just felt... right.  Appropriate.  Timely, even.  But "timely" and "appropriate" are poor excuses for Kleenexes in a darkened theater.

And in response to another blockbuster, young-adult, the end is nigh movie premiere coming to a theater near you soon, I give you one of my new favorite Stephen King quotes.

"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

— Stephen King

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