Hate it or love it, Harry Potter mania is everywhere right now. As the last Harry Potter film draws to a close, I can’t help but feel a stinging sadness. I know I am not the quintessential Harry Potter fan, though I love the books and films, because there are more Potter crazy people out there than me.
But that does not mean that the end of the Potter series will have no effect on me.
The first Potter film came out in 2001, when I was barely 3 years older than Daniel Radcliffe was. For a teenager who at that time was crazier about the Lord of the Rings series, Harry Potter was the ‘weaker’ fantasy franchise. Yes it had absolutely adorable kids (I can’t forget how cute Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were when The Philosopher’s Stone was released), and a very interesting plotline, but I suppose I didn’t understand the entire Harry Potter madness then.
The Chamber of Secrets evaded my interest as well and I watched it as one would watch a movie to pass time. I could not see what the Harry Potter madness was all about and I almost snubbed the movies as ‘pop craze’. However, I now confess that I have become a fan of the Harry Potter series. More so after reading the books.
The film that really threw me into the Potter world was the Prisoner of Azkaban. At that point in time, I hadn’t read a single Harry Potter book (I regret having thought that it was too kiddish to read) but what I saw in front me was a movie that could go beyond the childishness that I thought its prequels contained (not that there’s anything wrong with ‘childishness’) with some rather dark themes and imagery. At the same time however, it managed to maintain the innocence of the principal characters (something I thought the following movies completely left out). To this day, the Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favourite Potter film (but of course, I am yet to watch the Deathly Hallows Part II).
10 years down the line, Harry Potter mania is still as ubiquitous, and for a good reason. J.K. Rowling’s amazing fantasy universe is no short of paradise in an age when children generally grow up on a daily dose of violent movies and sans literature. There is no doubt in my mind that Rowling is a genius. Her long years of struggle with poverty and her rags to riches story are a real-life testament of what determination and a creative mind can do. She has also proven that books aren’t as dead as we would like to believe.
It is also true that once you take the Harry Potter universe a bit seriously, you get pulled in, regardless of whether you are a child or an adult. It is a fantastic tale of good versus evil, full of wonderful characters that we grow to care about and love.
The story is well crafted (unlike the highly uninteresting plotline of the Twilight series), and Rowling has actually created a logical tale full of mystery and wonder. The strength of the Harry Potter series mainly lies in the characters that appear in the story. Whereas the characters in the book are obviously more fleshed out, there is undoubtedly an emotional attachment with the characters in the films as well. This is primarily due to the fact that we’ve seen the cast of the movies year after year, growing up in front of us. And if you were a kid or a teenager when the Harry Potter movies began, you will understand this better because you would have also seen that transition from childhood to adulthood.
Therefore as it is only a matter of days before the last Harry Potter movie is released, I can only sit back and remember the first time I watched the first film. I can remember how cool it was to repeat Latin-esque spells such as Expecto Patronum and Wingardium Leviosa, or how wonderful it was to wish that there was a magical parallel world somewhere.
I cannot wait to watch the last instalment of this wonderful series, but at the same time, I cannot help but feel quite heartbroken. I know the last Harry Potter is the last movie connection I have with my childhood – and it will soon be over.