Sunday, July 22, 2007

Still hopeful, through it all

Since I saw the new Harry Potter movie last Wednesday, I've been wanting to write about it. But how does one begin a story detailing the biggest disappointment of her life? So I decided to wait, hoping that a short time would clear my mind.

It did not.

I hated that movie. Really - from deep inside, I despised it. I had tried so hard to go into the experience virginal, without having read a single review or listened to a single friend's account. Then, a mere three hours before showtime, I broke. I listened to a friend's negative opinion and did a quick Google for reviews. Instantly, my shoulders sank with the first headline: "New 'Harry Potter' Loses the Old Magic."

When I think about it now, I went into the situation expecting more than was humanly possible to deliver. Nothing that any director could have created would have lived up to my standards for this movie. I know it sounds silly, but the book The Order of the Phoenix is very special to me. Not only is it my absolute favorite book in the series, but it affects me in a way that very few books can - it just gets to me. I'm not even being dramatic, here... this book is very important to me. Needless to say, I was anticipating the movie to be just as incredible.

Within the first half hour, I was ready to leave the theater. Then I reminded myself that there's no way the movie could include everything from the book - but so far the basics were the same. A little more than halfway through, though, something in the movie was so drastically different than the book that I felt anger rise from my throat. I watched the rest of the film with a scowl on my face.

Last Saturday, I went to see it again. After my initial anger faded into disappointment, I realized that I had gone into that theater expecting to see the movie that played out in my mind each time I read Phoenix... which is way more times than I'm willing to admit to anyone. I stealed myself for any comparison to the book - I forced myself to think of the movie as an independent being with characters that just happen to have the same names. By the end, I wasn't nearly as angry as I was days before, but I still didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.

There was no excitement, no mystery - nothing like the previous movies, especially "The Goblet of Fire." It seemed like the other characters were only present to give Harry a break from hyperventilating all the time - they didn't work together as a team like they always have. Just writing about it is making me depressed all over again.

It's strange (and a little bit pathetic) how a set of juvenile books and adapted films can be such a big part of my life. Bear with me.

It was like when you were a kid, and you waited all year for Christmas to come because you just knew that your parents had picked up your millions of hints you'd been dropping all year about the really expensive bike you needed. But then when you come out of your bedroom on Christmas morning, you look around at all the packages and notice that not a single one is large enough to hold the extravagant gift you swore you were getting. Still, you rush in to your pile, hopeful through it all, and nothing is like you thought it would be - your parents had bought you rollerskates. Sure, they're practical and they'll get you around, same as a bike would, but they leave so much left to be desired. You smile grudgingly and thank them for the gift, silently stewing that they couldn't deliver your dreams. It was like they hadn't listened, and they couldn't give you what had been so important to you for so long. You set the roller skates aside and don't so much as glance in their direction for days. Finally you pick them up and hold them, realizing that you shouldn't hate them because of what they're not, but appreciate them for what they are. You should be happy that you were given a gift at all, even if it didn't live up to your standards.


Anyway, I picked up my reserved copy of The Deathly Hallows yesterday morning, but was too busy to start it until now. I plan on spending my entire day on the couch, reading as quickly as I can and praying that none of my favorite characters die. It's weird to think that in just a few minutes, nothing will ever be the same - there'll be no more anxiety waiting for the next book to come out, no more racing through a text and chiding myself for not making it last, no more predictions that Harry couldn't possibly be the one to die.

See you when it's over......................


Luke said...


(I haven't seen the movie yet either, but I've thought that all of them thus far have not really come close to their literary counterparts anyway.)

Luke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frema said...

The Order of the Phoenix definitely wasn't my favorite, so I don't have a ton of expectations on the movie, but I *am* really excited to see it. I'm sorry you didn't like it!