Thursday, July 16, 2009

Forty-two Ways in Forty Two Days- Harry Potter

I started this blog yesterday- but quite honestly I was just too darned tired for it to make sense. The pure number of typos was enough for me to hold off on publishing it until I could put together a full sentence. Night before last, my honey and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Except for the first film, we have done midnight premieres of all of the films. These films, most of which are closing in on three hours, are incredible. If you are a fan of the books- which I am- the movies can leave you torn. JK Rowling's books are so rich and so full of over and underlying characters that weave themselves in and out of the story that many of us re-read the predicessors each time a new book came out in order to reacquaint ourselves with them before we moved on in the story. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, my Mom, my friends and I consumed it like it was both our first and our last meal. The first inclination was to dive in and just gobble it up. Then we realized it was the very last book so we slowed down to savor every last word. The story, from the Sorcerer's Stone through the Deathly Hallows spans years of young Harry's life seamlessly.

The movies- as with most book to film adaptations lose quite a bit of the story in the translation. Of course- beginning with the third book- the books were over three hundred pages and larger with each successive story. By the end, if they were to film every word we would be looking at at least an eight hour film. Even so, those of us who are loyal to the books find the parts cut out to be difficult to swallow. So why do we love the films so very much? It is all in the visuals.

When you see the characters brought to life it changes how you view the books. You can see the children who portray the characters- Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and even Tom Felton as Harry, Ron, Herminone and Draco. Having watched them grow up with their characters adds something special to the re-reading. However- it is the film adaptation of Hogwarts Castle that is just magical- no pun intended. The films just bring the castle to life. The interactive paintings, the moving staircases, the disappearing and reappearing room of requirement just pop off the screen. After having seen the movies for the story the first time, I would recommend watching them again and again just to see the background of the castle. There is alway something new to see.

So where is my gratitude in all of this? Well, it is two-fold. First there are the many, many hours of escape that I have found in both the books and the movies. Whether you have seen or read them before, each time you revisit them you drop back into the wizarding world as if it were new.

Second is the fact that I was able to go to that midnight show and be not so much worse for the wear. I took a quick nap before the movie and a quick nap after. I worked all day yesterday and even stayed late to finish a project and I didn't fall apart. I didn't have any more pain than usual for having sat in those seats for over three hours. I actually felt...almost normal. Granted, it was my new normal- but it gave me back another piece of my "old" life that I thought was gone. I was afraid of what physical consequences I would suffer for the lack of sleep and lack of moving around- and that fear is gone. I came home yesterday, threw a Lean Cuisine in the nuker and then went to bed around 7:30- a little later even than my usual Humira day. Just thinking about how well I did puts a smile on my face even now. And for that I am SO grateful!

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