The build up to the final Harry Potter film was flawless. Just when we were ready for diving into Fantasy, the moments before leaving for the premiere day of Deathly Hallows 2, in Germany, the news of Mumbai explosions flashed on the net and reality sunk in. Somehow everything looks more distorted and scary when you are sitting faraway. This obviously changed the back of my mind, that place which processes Harry Potter and Helplessness together.
They say Rowling’s direction of story changed after rising terrorism in 2001 and the books kept getting darker since 9/11. She explained that she did not do anything intentionally but the vibes might have influenced her. Harry’s story ended since July 2007, Voldemort’s reign of terror ended with it. Now the string of movies is coming to an end too. Somehow what happened yesterday in Mumbai seems to mark a clear difference between Fantasy and Reality. And no matter how different they are, they still go hand in hand.
What makes Harry Potter tick with the whole world is the way it connects to the basic human emotions. Fear, anger, friendship and love. It makes us hopeful. And the story is simple enough for a child to grasp and difficult enough for complicated interpretations.
Coming to the movie watching experience, they could have done without the 3D. The story is so multidimensional, there was no need for it. I plan to watch it again in 2D soon. Last night, on my one side there was Kumar who hasn’t followed the whole series and needed constant filling in. [what is a Horcrux? / why is Wandlore so important kinda stuff] But the Gringotts dragon won his heart soon enough. On my other side there was a Hagrid size, M&M munching, pop-corn hogging, lady. She was constantly SMSing her cousins in the US to make them jealous that she was watching this 2 days before them. I was a bit jealous of her cousins who sat that faraway from her.
Once the movie started people hardly made any sound. All I could hear was a group of people blowing their noses at Snape’s flashback and the noise increased as the end approached. I seriously wish they had improved the epilogue a bit. Nevertheless, there is very less scope of complain from an ardent Potter fan. Even those not in-sync with the story will enjoy this one. The special effects are brilliant and so are the emotional moments. It all seemed to pass in a blur though. The fictional aura of World War II at Hogwarts under Voldemort is palpable. It felt good to see Voldemort meeting a fitting end.
In reality, Osama’s death isn’t as simple and non-political as Voldemort’s. There are too many versions of him. The terror in the real world has many faces. But this isn’t the place to discuss it.
Life is too unpredictable and there are no story-book solutions to everything. We might not be the Chosen Ones like Harry but our abilities are not less magical. I’m talking about ability to wish and to work. My hunch is that Mumbai that is back to work like a clock-work isn’t numb, it seems to understand the unpredictability and values work.
As for the series coming to an end, I’m neither sad nor nostalgic. As Rowling said at the UK premier: Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
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