Attending a movie opening at midnight is an adventure in itself. The excitement level and the energy felt by fellow moviegoers are always at an all-time high. Fans often arrive at the theater hours before the movie starts to battle long lines and search for empty seats.
I have been to a few midnight showings, but none was more exhilarating than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
The faint smell of over-buttered popcorn filled the crowded theater as everyone eagerly awaited the film to begin. Potter Fans wore t-shirts, hats and sweaters representing their favorite Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Houses. I sported my scarlet and gold Gryffindor scarf. I was tempted to stare down and glare at anyone wearing silver and green, the colors of Slytherin, but I respectfully resisted. There were many people who seemed to be far more dedicated and came in full costume. I saw young woman dressed as Hermione Granger not only with wand in hand, but carrying her character’s plush cat, Crookshanks.
I arrived at the movie theater a mere hour before the film started. That seemed to be my first of two mistakes of the night. Walking up and down the stairs while looking through the aisles, seats were either taken or annoyingly “reserved” by a jacket or handbag. It was tough to locate two seats next to each other for my friend and myself. Thinking “we should have left earlier” in my head, we settled for the row second from the screen. Very discomforting, but I was ready to see the movie at any cost.
I panned the theater, hoping for the possibility of two available seats. Nothing. I gave up and forced myself to believe that second row seats were not too bad. Even if I was forced to watch the movie looking up at a 180 degree angle.
Since I had an hour to waste, I checked my twitter to see if my fellow FanBolters were in the theater. After a little social networking, Maddy, Alexis, Natalie and Jerrica, were very gracious and made extra room for my friend and I. We moved next to them and noticed their seats were further away from the screen and much more comfortable. I found myself surrounded by discussions revolving around the details that fans presumed Director David Yates would leave out from J.K. Rowling’s beloved series.
Finally, the congested cinema roared with excitement as we were greeted by theater commercials, even if they were teen anti-drug advertisements. Contrary to the ads, most of the “Muggles” were in their mid-twenties, who I assumed, like me, grew up reading the series of novels.
The cinema was instantly silent as a steel-plated Warner-Brothers sign appeared on-screen and slowly turned to rust as “Hedwig’s Theme” faintly played in the background. A pair of concentrated eyes belonging to Rufus Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy) stared into the theater, foreshadowing the intensity of the movie.
My second mistake was re-reading the seventh novel before seeing the movie. I could not help but subconsciously compare Yates’ film to Rowling’s tour de force. Because nothing can compare with Rowling’s masterpiece, I found myself becoming frustrated with the lack of perfect synchronization to the book. I quickly reminded myself that films and books are two different forms of art. After those thoughts, I became more and engrossed with each somber scene during the first half of the Harry Potter finale. Though the movie was dark, there was quite a bit of humor “trying to diffuse the tension” as Fred Weasley (James Phelps) said.
Familiar faces can be seen as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) venture on their quest for the search and destruction of Horcruxes in an attempt to destroy Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). The new additions to the film were brilliantly cast and the characters were just as I imagined them through Rowling’s words on paper.
If you are ultra-sensitive about the book to movie similarities, I highly suggest not re-reading it before watching the film on the big screen. Regardless of the novels having made an impression on you or not, I advise seeing the movie. You will not be disappointed.
As the film ended on a cliffhanger, I was left with a bittersweet feeling. I definitely wanted to see more, while at the same time, I could not help but be ecstatic that I have eight months to look forward to the second half of the movie; until it is all over for good.
After its opening weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 seemed to be the only contender on the Box Office charts. According to the New York Times, Yates’ third Harry Potter installment raked in over $125.1 million in North America, and $330 million globally (NY Times).
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 makes its debut July 15, 2011 and I am certain it will be just as exceptional as Part 1.
Article By: Kimberly Gallagher
Photo Publishing rights:
Photo by Warner Bros. – © 2010 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. HARRY POTTER PUBLISHING RIGHTS (C) J.K.R. HARRY POTTER CHARACTERS, NAMES AND RELATED