Sunday, December 30, 2012

Harry Potter: Then and Now

Last week I watched a split-screen of the first Harry Potter film, The Sorcerer's Stone,  and the final installment, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The film series took place over the course of ten years, so, obviously, there was expected growth, changes, and evolution in the characters and franchise. However, watching the split screen of two movies, filmed a decade apart,  brought home the fact that each one of these characters had grown up in front of the entire world, and had brought a best-selling novel series to life. Some key points of note:
  • The original Dumbledore, portrayed by the talented Richard Harris, will always be my favorite actor portrayal of the character. 
  • By the end of the series, who would have thought that Neville would be on the cusp of becoming the Hottest HP character? Neville also goes from the nerdy wizard who has difficulty casting spells to the confident, Gryffindor Sword wielding wizard who saves Ron and Hermione from Nagini the snake.
  • Ron teased us all with his transformation into a mighty cute wizard, highlighted even more by his quiet, growing, protective love for Hermione.
  • Severus Snape's character and true role in Potter's life is slowly revealed in a way that keeps the audience wondering whether to hate the complex and enigmatic professor or sympathize with him. In The Deathly Hallows, we are shown a side of Snape that helps explain his tumultuous relationship with Harry over the last ten years and the part he has played in many key moments in Harry's life and moments of imminent death.
  • "And the award for Best Transformation goes to: Voldermort!" Voldermort progressed from being a cloaked, hovering, incorporeal entity feeding on Unicorn blood, to riding shotgun on the back of Professor Quirrell's head, to a powerful, corporeal form that possesses Dumbledore's wand.
  •  A lot of main characters die in the final installment during the big battle with Voldemort's army, which will always make me cry.
  • The screen in The Sorcerer's Stone was bright with colors such as orange, red, and blue exploding off the screen in numerous backgrounds and rooms. The Deathly Hallows film was dark both figuratively and literally with the rise of evil, dark magic, characters dying, and with the use of dark, charcoal colors in scenes.
  • The roller-coaster ride that was Ron and Hermione's relationship was a true love/hate relationship that had Hermione hating Ron most of the time while rolling her eyes most emphatically, while Ron acknowledged that Hermione, while often annoying, was truly "brilliant". Their relationship came to a head in the final installment during their first passionate kiss marking their growing love for one another, and their survival of yet another brush with death. 
  • Though Harry's parent's died sacrificing themselves for him in events preceding the first film, they are seen in flashbacks and through Harry's desire in the Mirror of Erised throughout the first film. In the final film they appear to him through the Resurrection Stone reassuring Harry that they would be with him in his final moments.

    What were your favorite moments from the Harry Potter film series?