Saying Goodbye to Harry Potter
Saying Goodbye to Harry Potter
by June K. Williams
Deathly Hallows part 2 is a film I both longed to see yet hesitated to rush in to the theatre on the day it opened because it marked the end of a beloved era. For those of us that read Deathly Hallows on the evening it was first released there are thankfully no jarring surprises. Nothing to mar the legacy. Great attention was given to the sets and production. It was worth the extra money I paid to see it in 3D and the special effects were well done but this is not a film about technology and you can see it in 2D and enjoy the film fully.
I appreciate the ever increasing acting talents of Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis and all those who we saw grow up through the years. They now can hold their own with the veteran adult actors who helped to make the films as true to the story as possible.
In the end this film as well as the Harry Potter series as a whole is an affirmation of everything we love in the Wizarding World and those things that we value in the world we live in. Friendship, fidelity, family, love, liberty, laughter, freedom to pursue your dreams, the willingness to stand against evil no matter what the cost…all that and much more are core values that make us care about Harry Potter. It is ironic that when the books first appeared there were people who saw only the trappings of wands and magic and called the stories Satanic when nothing could be farther from the truth. These are stories that celebrate the best in us while acknowledging we are flawed and challenging us to make the right choices. Bad choices can have bad consequences. Consequences that can define entire lives. Then there is the additional problem of evil in the world. Evil that can look attractive and feel right till it drains and destroys the ones it ensnares. The battle is always with us. There is always a cost to be paid and often the cost is the loss and sacrifice of the best and brightest.
There have been dark themes addressed in Potter like child abuse (Harry forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs and being treated worse than any servant) and bigotry (pureblood supremacists who wanted to purge their world of those they considered to be unworthy by virtue of their blood) among others, but the ideas of repentance and redemption ultimately are the balance wheel that keeps it from falling into a well of despair. By the series end every person must decide where they will stand, and they need to decide if they will stay on the side of the light even if there is no champion to win the day. Is it more important to look out for yourself or is the ability to care for others what makes us most human? Makes life worth living? I would love to share Neville Longbottom’s dialogue near the later end of the film as it sums things up perfectly but that would be a huge spoiler. All I can do is tell you to go and see it for yourself. While this is a goodbye to the film franchise we need never say a final goodbye to Harry Potter as the world created by JK Rowling can stay with us for as long as we hold a part of the magic in our hearts.
By June K. Williams
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