Harry Potter

WADE MANNS – The Corsair

No other children’s book series in recent memory has captivated more hearts than J.K. Rowling’s epic seven-book saga focusing on the exploits of a simple, messy-haired, bespectacled young man with a scar on his forehead. Harry Potter spent his youth being bullied by his uncaring aunt and uncle, as well as their overweight son. But that all changed one rainy night after a half-giant named Hagrid came calling, to tell the boy, then ten years old, that he was a wizard.

Everyone must have education, especially wizards; and Harry received it, at the grandest and most eccentric school in the world, Hogwarts. The young neophyte was awkward and unpopular, at least at first; many of his peers, being brought up on their parents’ tales about young Potter, believed he could not live up to his reputation as “The Boy Who Lived,” the boy who somehow survived with only a lightning-shaped scar when many years ago, the most evil dark wizard in recent memory, Lord Voldemort, killed Harry’s parents and tried to kill him as a baby. But we found that, with the aid of his closest friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, he lived up to the expectations of the wizarding community, and surpassed them!

Through many trials and heartache, love (Ron’s sister Ginny), hate (Draco Malfoy and his cronies Crabbe and Goyle), victory (a big one at the end of almost every book), defeat (a few devastating ones), and discovery of himself and the nature of wizards, Harry Potter made his worth known. As J.K. Rowling wrote her coming-of-age epics, so Hollywood translated them, as they often do, into big-screen spectacles.

This latest cinematic adaptation, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (a second part will be released in summer 2011), much like the other movies, contains many changes to the details and situations of the book. However, most of it is in the name of cinematic effect; a lot of elements of the books would not translate well to the big screen. However, as they did with the other installments, a lot of changes seem to be made just because the creators wanted a different angle on the situation. This is all right in a lot of situations; but purists will most likely not like the changes that have been made.

Having said that, I will say I totally loved the movie; moving, thrilling and sometimes quite funny. There is some imagery that, due to the movie’s PG-13 rating, may be just a bit gory for young children; it’s true what Rowling said, her audience grew up with her books. The movie ends in a way that definitely psyches people up for the second part, and, for me at least, it’s quite a disappointment that we didn’t get to see it all now; but then a five-hour movie probably wouldn’t lead to many box office sales.

If you haven’t already seen it, I strongly recommend that you see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, and get into the epic series if you haven’t already!