If you haven’t read the book or seen the film, stop here. Someone ruined the end of the sixth book for me, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.
Yesterday Mike and I went to go see the final Harry Potter film with our friends Nicole and Kurt, two ALTs in Oyama.
I’m not one of those diehard Potter fans. I never read the books as a kid (the first one came out when I was eight years old), and I was pretty apathetic towards the movies. One of the first DVDs my parents ever even purchased was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to put this in a more clear time frame.
I was more mildly curious than actually interested in the series. I’d seen the first four films (on TV probably) before reading any of the books. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the first I saw in theaters. I started reading the series that summer after my freshman year in college. Through a dizzy of reading, I finished the sixth book just before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was first published.
That being said, I was still moved by the final film. Seeing dementors outside of Hogwarts and the quidditch field ablaze made me a bit emotional, as silly as that may seem. And while I haven’t spent the past 15 years growing up with this series, I still feel a connection to the world Rowling established. Seeing it under attack was disturbing.
I remember reading the scene of the battle at Hogwarts eagerly anticipating its adaptation to film. Luckily, I was not disappointed. I thought the final film wrapped up the series very well.
While I usually curse my bad memory, I felt a bit lucky yesterday. Having read the final book several years ago I remembered the overall plot, but lost many details. I gasped when Snape was killed.
Japanese movie theatre
The movie theatre reminded me of one in Manhattan. It’s quite large, with an expansive lobby and elaborately themed decorations on the Upper West Side I believe (NYers – AMC Loews?) The one we entered had a kind of futuristic feel, the static, cold air I associate with movies in the summer, and an almost sickenly sweet smell of pancakes (though we later found the scent to come from caramel corn. They even served soft serve ice cream with caramel corn at the bottom).
The Movix theatre we went to is located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan.
Unfortunately, the 3D version was the only showing offered in English. I hate 3D movies. I don’t think it adds anything to the film. It’s gimmicky, and, worst of all, always gives me a headache (I ended up with a migraine this time and had to ask our friends to swing by my apartment for Excedrin Migraine before we went to dinner). Luckily, when we bought the tickets we were given a seating chart and allowed to choose our seats in advance. A very smart move, in my opinion. One of the worst things about going to see a movie in Manhattan is buying your tickets in advance only to find that a huge crowd decided to start waiting in line an hour in advance and you now have to sit at the front or off to the side.
Overall, the only complaint I have about the film is the epilogue, which is more Rowling’s fault than the screen writers or director. I can place blame, however, on the makeup artists. That scene was really not up to par. This team can make turn a handsome actor into an evil wizard with no nose and gray skin and make Alan Rickman look 20-30 years younger, but they couldn’t do better than stick a pregnancy belly on Rupert Grint and seriously fuck up Ginny Potter’s hair. I was dreading the scene to begin with, and the shoddy aging only deeped my disappointment.
After the film we snagged some goodies. I got this Deathly Hallows ring from a ¥200 vending machine selling mini-horcruxes and other dark things as well as a pair of Hermione chopsticks. I’m usually not much for merch, but where else could I purchase wand chopsticks if not Japan?
Now I’m off to reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Take care!