So I went to watch the new Harry Potter film last night, an event I had been awaiting for a long time. The climax of what has been a thoroughly entertaining adventure, both in the written word and on the movie screen.
I could tell by the excitement running through the audience that I was far from alone in my feelings of anticipation, and my love for the story. I have never experienced such an obvious apprehension for a film, and this heightened my own excitement even further.
The film of course was amazing, everything I would have expected, the final days of Voltemort’s life brought into reality in a such a satisfying way, the emotion experienced in reading the book well and truly realised for the audiences pleasure. The usual edit of the authors always detailed storyline, but the essence of Harry Potter in full 3D splendour. Until the final showdown that is.
This was without a doubt, the most disappointing moment in cinema-graphic history I have ever seen. The film was directed brilliantly, I wouldn’t contest that, it just missed what I believe to be one of the most exciting and fulfilling moments ever written in fantasy fiction. When Harry and Voltemort circle each other slowly in the great hall, surrounded by all of Harry’s friends and enemies, all the characters we have grown to love and hate over the years, there to witness the epic dialogue, to share that fatal moment where Voltemort casts the killing spell to end his own life. The subsequent moment of relief when those around process what has happened. There is something truly amazing in that scene, such strong emotion at the end of such a long and patient journey, and that was lost in the film.
Perhaps when I have watched this a few times it may grow on me and I will be able to accept the alternate events, but it will never touch me as the book did, and I imagine there are many other people out there who feel exactly the same. That special scene, that final moment, that ending of a saga that we have travelled with for years, why did you have to change it?
Postscript: It’s 2018 now. I have seen the film a dozen or so times (at least) and whilst I still think the director missed the point a little, that great moment in literary history when the central characters should all of been present to see the end of such a long and epic saga, I have to admit the alternate ending has grown on me. I’ve had time to get over it and appreciate the film what what it is. The film, like the books, will remain amongst my favourites for life.