I have made no secret that I am not a big Harry Potter fan, while I still give HUGE props to J.K. Rowling for her phenomenal accomplishment.
Before I make a withdrawal, let me first make a deposit by giving high praise to the movie making itself. When it comes to special effects, scenery, imagery, etc. it doesn’t get much better than the Harry Potter films. I am always completely transported into the magical world they create.
(Here comes the big but . . ) BUT, truth be told, it is essentially the same story being told seven times. Actually, eight times since they split the final book into two parts. The only difference is that after the battle between Harry and He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named-But-Whose-Name-They-Can-Randomly-Say-Sometimes-Anyway that always takes place at the end of the movie, this time Voldie FINALLY kicks the bucket.
It is the ultimate challenge to pull off successful sequels in any form. The first book/movie is the honeymoon – everything is new and exciting. The concept is fresh, we meet new characters and we anxiously await each adventure as it unfolds.
Then the honeymoon is over and the real work on the relationship begins. The love is still there, but the newness factor is gone so we must work harder to keep things lively.
Like in marriage, we all know what we want the ending to be – “and they all lived happily ever after!” Therefore, the excitement and interest must come from the journey. We all know couples who stick out their marriage for the kids or out of cultural pressure, but nobody wants to watch that painful journey unfold.
You might be thinking at this point, “She calls this a movie review? She’s not even talking about the Harry Potter movie! It just sounds like she needs marriage counseling.”
The reason I have gone off on this marital metaphor instead of blabbing philosophical about the deeper meaning of the HP plot is because there is nothing about this Harry Potter movie that I could say that you don’t already know – charms, spells, near death escapes, flying brooms, creepy creatures, wands, secret passageways, good vs. evil and so on. The effects are super cool, but the journey is same old same old. Each Harry Potter story does have excitement, but it’s not new excitement, although there is considerably more blood and carnage this time.
You might not think the marriage metaphor has any validity to the Harry Potter series, but have you ever considered the irony that the HP tale covers seven years? Haven’t you ever heard of the “seven year itch” in marriage?”
It’s time to scratch.