Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter: The beginning of the end

My daughters have been big Harry Potter fans virtually from the publication of the first book. They grew up with Harry and, in a sense, I did, too.

I read all the books and I've seen all the movies along the way so I was very interested in the opening today of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Of course, I had to see the film and so did my daughters and so we went together to wallow in the Harry experience along with other besotted fans.

We saw the movie at a mid-day showing at an IMAX theater, which was a bit overwhelming actually. The theater was perhaps two-thirds full, so crowds were not an issue as they will be for later showings.

If you have followed the saga of Harry, then you know that this movie is based on the last book in the series, but only part of that book - thus the Part 1 of the title. The last book was the biggest and darkest of the series and trying to fit all of the action into one movie would have made for a very long movie. Besides, dividing it into two movies allows the owners of the franchise to prolong the action that much longer, and, let's fact it, to make a lot more money.

Now, I'm not a movie critic and obviously I cannot give you a critic's analysis of the film, but, as a fan, I enjoyed it. I thought it was mostly true to the book.

This movie brought home to me more than the others, and even more than the books, just how much J.K. Rowling was influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings trilogy. There were many bits and pieces here that seemed to be homages to Tolkien and the main story of this beginning of the end is Harry's lonely quest, along with Hermione and Ron, to destroy the evil Horcruxes, mirroring Sam and Frodo's lonely quest to destroy the One Ring.

This movie, as the last one did, portrays the deaths of some of the characters that we have come to care about, but the main action is all about the Big Three and, although they suffer, they survive safe and intact as a unit. A unit that will continue their lonely quest in Part 2 of "the end" in the movie to be released next summer. I'm setting my calendar now.

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