Welcome to my 300th post.
Let no-one say that JK Rowling has no talent as a story teller. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the coming of age of Harry James Potter now aged 17 years at the beginning of the end. This much anticipated film (there are no spoilers here) panned by critics who frankly know nothing about what audiences want or like was a wake up call for those who think Potter is just a pink and fluffy children's fantasy dream. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I guess Harry Potter is a bit like Marmite, you hate it, you love it or frankly you don't care about it. There are shades of Lord of the Rings, where Ronald Weasley, played by Rupert Grint is given a light device in the will of Albus Dumbledore (his deceased headmaster) to show him the way in times of darkness. There are clear references to the rise of the Nazi empire in the way those destructive and dark forces are trying to seize control. The propaganda machine, brainwashing and subjugation of the citizenry by any means fair or foul - usually foul, the grey, dank stench of death in the air makes this film one to sit up and take notice.
This is a film about three children growing up in a changing world, changing toward something they passionately don't believe in and they are prepared to go the extra mile, make sacrifices, take difficult courageous decisions to fight for what they believe, and yet they are children, and this is what the critics don't understand. This is life from their point of view - young people growing up, not the authors and not the viewer.
We've been on a journey through the fairy tales, fantasy scenes of a gentler time, humour, fluffy magic, weird creatures, great characters to the dark realism of the need to survive. The classic good versus the evil and at the end of the film, we are left with the stark reality that the dark side is defintely ready to triumph; the wait for the conclusion is unbearable and therein lies the success of the transformation from book to film. The characters are now well known; we, as the audience can relate to them as they feel emotion at every level, experience personal loss, despair, love, a glimpse of hope in the gloom. Our favourite characters are at the final cross roads. Who will survive, who will succumb to the power of the dark lord.
There has been a transformation to the real world by quality acting from the young cast, Radcliffe, Grint and the excellent Emma Watson supported by stunningly talented actors and actresses. The sets and scenery are now almost monotone and sparse adding to the tone and despair; the special effects continue to be special; the evil one is becoming more powerful, the good - on their knees.
Who will triumph?
This is a quality film by Warner Bros, rated at 12A, a measure of the emotion generated by this excellent production. Highly recommended.
The weather on the other hand is a bleak as the film, minus 3 degrees Celsius on the way home at dusk, snow laying on the ground, the roads icy.
I hope my colleague and her partner managed to get to Pickering in North Yorkshire this weekend for a long weekend break in a log cabin with real fire and a hot tub which I hope they enjoy along with the bottle of Champagne they've taken with them.
Another colleague flies out to Spain to be with her parents for a week today or tomorrow from Manchester and although I guess she wont be sunbathing, it won't be minus 3 either!
I hope you've had a good weekend so far. Keep warm