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Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter 2001 - 2011

"It seems only yesterday when your mother and father are here buying their first wands" - Ollivander

I can say almost the same. It seems only yesterday when I first flipped the pages of my new book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.I remember discovering Harry Potter in a newspaper back in 3rd Year high school. I immediately asked my mother to buy me one of the three books and she bought me Book 3 unknowingly that they have to be read in chronological order. Nevertheless, I was astonished and amazed on how detailed the books was. It was then and there that my childhood beliefs on magic, wandlore and ferocious beasts was reignited.It was also the same year when Philosppher's Stone was released. Since we don't have any cinemas in Kalibo during that time, i resorted in buying pirated vcds in the market just to see how the movie went (I have no idea about the story). Shameful as it is, I enjoyed the whole movie, occasionally affected on Snape's character especially during the Quidditch match. I could remember myself cheering as Harry caught his first Snitch with his mouth. I watched it over and over again. It was then I realized, I was a child again.

When my father discovered this new joy in the series, he immediately bought me Books 1,2 and 4 since they are the only books released during that year. I was so surprised at myself having to read a number of books with a hefty amount of pages with limited pictures. Harry Potter made me love reading even more. When Books 5,6 and 7 were released, I was always first in line outside the malls waiting for it to open so that I can grab myself a copy and read it at once. I can still remember the joyous weekends spent inside my bedroom reading and transported in the world of Hogwarts. My literary journey with Harry ended in 2007.

The sad part on watching Deathly Hallows Part 2 is that this is the last Potter movie to be made. It would be hard for Potter fans to adjust. The 1 year and a half wait is now vanished and there is nothing to look forward on that amount of time.

This is hard for others to understand as to why we Potter Fans are so obsessed with the franchise. It is because, one way or another it has touched our lives... our hearts. That during the time that we flip the pages of the books or just simply watching it in the cinemas, we care for the characters like they are family. When Sirius died, it seemed to us that we lost an uncle. When Dumbledore died, its like we lost a father who took care of us during the 6 long years at Hogwarts. That when Professor McGonagall was attacked by ministry of Magic on Book 5 during OWLS, we feel like our mother or sister has been betrayed. This is the strength of the series: it made us care and be part of the whole Journey. During the final battle on Deathly Hallows Part 2, I am already holding back the tears. The horror of Hogwarts being desolated by Voldemort is just horrific beyond understanding. It is like my school is being attacked and that feeling of empathy is important.

It is in this moment I say that the series has ended. It may come back but the joys of the books and the movies that has given me for the past ten years is far more than enough to say THANK YOU J.K. ROWLING. The ten year journey is done and it all ends here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The anticipation is almost over, well 8 hours ago and it was the longest 8 hours I ever had. This last installment of the Harry Potter franchise has taken much of my time for anticipation alone. Last night, i declared to myself to have a marathon of all the movies and ended only with Prisoner of Azkaban since my eyes could not resist from closing into deep sleep. However, I managed to watch Part 1 before heading to the cinema for the FINAL installment of the series in which I grew watching.

As every second comes close to the opening of the movie, I can't help myself to be excited to see how the pages of the book will turn into images in the silver screen. As the Warner Bros. logo flashes in the screen coming closely little by little in our 3D glasses one could not help but be mesmerized. We are again flashed back to Part 1 where Voldemort acquires the elder wand from Dumbledore's tomb and the title sequence begins.

The experience is breathtaking. When we say finale, the movie mean it well. As the plot uncovers until to the final battle of Hogwarts, the tension which is being built up can be felt. It merely shows that the final Harry Potter does not linger with its cuteness during the Sorcerer's Stone, this time, we mean battle. When you read the book, the final battle of Hogwarts seems to pass so fast, there are so many things that are happening, in the movie, we see an epic in the making. Deathly Hallows Part 2 now holds the throne that Return of the King once taken. What struck me most is that even with all the tension, the movie was able to dwell on the emotions of all the characters. There has been quite a lot of deaths in the movie, I am just surprised that Fred's death was given a little less of importance. On other hand, Snape's death scene and the Pensieve scenes has been one of the most heartbreaking among all others. As a reader, it is important that Snape, being one of the most important characters must be given justification in the finale, in my own opinion, HE IS THE FINALE and my salute goes to Alan Rickman who had been not only great but purely exceptional in the entire series. Towards the end of the battle, Deathly Hallows has redefined "breathtaking" that not even Transformers can define.

This finale is also a reunion of almost all of the characters who were present on the last 7 films. We see once more Professor Sprout, who was only seen on Chamber of Secrets, Trelawney, Madam Pomfrey and all other professors. This is one of the best asset of the franchise: casting veteran actors for the supporting cast, and what would you get? An ensemble that matches what you have read in the book. Professor Mcgonagall is kick ass in this finale as she assumes the role of the Headmistress as Snape was forced out of the castle. Ralph Fiennes provided us with a Voldemort who is both effective and realistic. Helena Bonham Carter who has literally translated Bellatrix Lestrange's madness. Michael Gambon's Dumbledore who was not that lovable at first but manages to take on the role since Half Blood Prince. These supporting cast stole the show.

The end of the series is a bittersweet moment for a Potter Fan like me. No one but a fellow Potter fan would understand the feelings I had during the movie, and I personally would give my gratitude to its director David Yates for translating a book that has been part of me. As the last words written in the book, All is Well...

GRADE: A++