Thursday, July 21, 2011

‘Potter’ finale offers viewers fulfilling emotional experience

On June 30, 1997, J.K. Rowling published the first book of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.” Little did Rowling know that more than 14 years later, the series would end with thunderous applause in theaters around the world.

During the opening weekend that began at 11:59 p.m. on July 14, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” attracted millions of fans to their local theatres, including The Grand in Conroe. The lines that went out the door into the rain at The Grand only contributed to a small fraction of the $169.2 million in ticket sales that broke the record for the highest grossing opening weekend in movie history, with the help of 3D ticket prices, of course.
Each scene in the movie was essential to conveying the story of “The Boy Who Lived,” and many of the major scenes were taken word-for-word from the book. Some of the unnecessary parts of the book were left out to keep the movie flowing, but many scenes were also added for the same reason. For example, the epic fight scene between just Voldemort and Harry that took place from the Great Hall to the castle battlements created an unforgettable adrenaline rush. The book provided the same feeling, but with a chapter of fighting with words instead of with wands.
Fans’ emotional journey with Harry inevitably starts to come to a close at the turning point of the movie, when “The Boy Who Lived” went to die. Harry realized his destiny was to stop fighting and die in order to completely destroy Voldemort.
He went straight to the Forbidden Forest upon Voldemort’s request, and for the first time he was sure that he was about to die. Throughout the series Harry was involved in many dangerous situations and close calls, but as he was surrounded by the spirits of his deceased family and friends in the Forbidden Forest, he hopelessly asked Sirius Black “Does it hurt? Dying?” While Harry’s fear of death builds sympathy for the story’s hero, Voldemort’s fear of death, shown for the first time in the series, gives viewers hope that he is weak enough for Harry to defeat. In this way, Voldemort becomes more human and vulnerable instead of immortal and invincible. These emotions displayed for the first time on screen gives viewers a deeper connection to the characters.
Not only do viewers have a fulfilling emotional experience, but thanks to the breakthroughs in 3D technology they also have an intense viewing experience. Many 3D movies try to dazzle you with a bunch of obnoxious effects popping out in your face. This movie’s 3D effects however, are so natural that most of the time you forget that you are wearing 3D glasses, which are fashioned after Harry’s own circular glasses. The stunning performances by familiar characters, focused and well-chosen scenes, an emotional journey and seamless special effects absorb you into every moment making this the best movie of the series.
Scott Scarborough is going to be a senior at Willis High School and is on the newspaper staff. Hayley Fick is a 2011 graduate of Montgomery High School, where she was the newspaper editor.
Scarborough and Fick had the winning photo in The Courier’s Harry Potter costume photo contest on The Courier’s Facebook page as a part of the paper’s coverage of the opening of the film on July 15. They won the opportunity to write a review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” for the paper.

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