Thursday, July 14, 2011

In retrospect: my Harry Potter fondness

Unlike My Bibe, who's a voracious reader, I don't care much about books. So at the turn of the new millennium when Warner Bros. announced that they have cast the three lead roles for the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I had no idea what it was. It was only when the film was about to debut that I got intrigued and borrowed a copy of the book. The moment I started reading, I was under its spell and didn't let go of it until I was finished. I was suddenly a child again.

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During the same time, J.K. Rowling's "baby" was much lauded for getting kids all over the world to read again. But hey, don't count the kids-at-heart out. Potter also got me reading again (at least at the time)! I became a fan but far from the rabid kind who put up fan sites and stake out before book launches and cinema screenings. I was just so into the world of "the boy who lived," fanatic enough to engage in office conversations with fellow fans who enthusiastically quiz each other about spells and other Potter trivia. Curiously, I remember a fair amount of them and I beam with pride for having such knowledge (I told you I was a kid.).

I bought all seven books in the series and I've watched all eight films on their first day. Every time I read through a Potter book, my mind was at work, vivid with imagination. I never speed-read although I'm not a fast reader to begin with. I savored each page, carefully digesting everything, which I think helped me remember spells and other details. I so willingly allowed myself to be immersed in Potter's magical world. I also was witness to how the books progressed to more darker themes, which, of course, I love.

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I remember how every time a new Potter movie trailer is shown, my eyes twinkle and I'm instantly filled with childlike anticipation. I witnessed Daniel (Harry Potter), Emma (Hermione Granger), and Rupert (Ron Weasley) grow before my eyes. I looked past beyond their bad acting, especially in the earlier films (all the other actors, especially the senior ones, were good anyway). I saw how the films have progressed technically from the cheap special effects of The Sorcerer's Stone, to the convincing dragons of The Goblet of Fire, and to the darker tones of the more recent installments. I remember groaning whenever I feel a Potter movie is too short because I wanted every one of them to have a three-hour running time just like the first one. I remember how I obsessively monitored every new film's box office take and how upset I was -- and still am -- that none of the films so far has breached the $1 billion mark.

The last book already came a few years earlier and now the last movie opens in cinemas. Soon, everything will just be a memory, a memory that will probably be awakened every now and then by some catalyst but it's all over. No more books, no more films. It's all over. Unless, of course, Rowling does something. While she promised there will be no more Harry Potter books, I have a few suggestions to keep the magic alive (in another post perhaps).

Oh well, I'm rambling. Life goes on, though I need to cast a protective charm around me so no one would dare point their wand at me say "Obliviate." I want the memory of it all alive in me. So, "Protego!"

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