Monday, July 11, 2011

Remembering Harry...

It's sad to think that it is almost the end of one of the most beloved of all film franchises, Harry Potter. The books ended four years ago, but us fans still had the movies when the books ended, knowing that our adventures with Harry were not over. Now, with the final film hitting theaters this Friday, this is it, a farewell to a time of innocence and naivety for a whole generation.

If you were a child growing up in the '90s or the early 2000s, chances are the books that got you into reading were Harry Potter. After countless children's fantasy books trying to recapture the magic that J.K. Rowling managed to capture, there was only one boy wizard and no one can, or ever will again, be able to recreate that magic that Rowling did when she put pen to paper. Then, there were the movies, which just heightened the fans' love of these stories even more, giving faces of real people that fans could actually see and relate to, to this fantastical phenomenon.

For a whole generation of people, I would say maybe 15-25 years in age, the Harry Potter stories are the stories of our time. Like Star Wars, these are the stories that my generation will always remember, love, and recall. We are biased, we will never be able to look at these books and movies with a cynical idea, because these were our childhood. As it is, this does feel as if it is the end of an era for us of this Harry Potter generation.

It's the packing up of your bags and saying farewell to Hogwarts, saying farewell to childhood and embracing adulthood head on. From the age of 9 to 21, the Harry Potter stories have lived with me. There are many memories that are attached, or associated to these books or movies, such as seeing the first movie with my brother; and these memories often coincide in odd ways with these books and movies even when they aren't the center piece of the memory, such as when my brother busted open his chin playing hockey and I always remember it was the day the 5th book came out.

It's hard growing up as a child in this generation and not having felt the impact that these books and movies had on me, and I'm sure that there are many others out there who feel the same way. While everything must come to an end, this isn't just an ending to a fantastic series of books and movies, this is the ending to my childhood, where the memories are all that there are left.

Coming to the end here, it almost feels as if I'm writing a eulogy, but in fact I am not, for as it is, great literature and great cinema never die. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself) said it best at the London premiere of this final film, and I'm gonna paraphrase, but the stories that we love will always live on in our consciousness, and whenever we wish to relive them we can just open the spine of a book or rewatch the movies. Poignant words from Daniel, and so perhaps this isn't farewell to Harry, just the start of a greater adventure... Adulthood.

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