Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The end was in sight

As I sat watching the epic final battle between Harry and Voldemort inside a cold, dark theater, a single thought kept repeating in my head.

Please don't disintegrate, Voldemort.

He disintegrated. Typical Hollywood bullpoop.

Prior to the movie's release, fans of the franchise were getting all teary-eyed and sentimental. They said that it was finally all over.

For me, it was all over in 2007 with the release of the final book. The movies mean nothing to me. I did watch all the movies of course. More in hope than expectation.

Like me, those who bothered to read all the books would say that the Harry Potter series was something unique. I was first introduced to the books by a cousin of mine, and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when I was eleven. I loved it, as not only was Harry eleven years old throughout the book, but he had so many traits that were similar to mine. He was short for his age, bespectacled, knobbly-kneed and rather quite. Not to mention he had a tendency of looking at everything with awe and wonder.

In a sense, the books were a part of me growing up. I remember when the rest of the world began to get caught up with the series. There were those midnight releases, where thousands of fans queued up to get their hands on the latest book. Of course, I had to wait till the next morning to get my copy. But as soon as I did, I would read for hours on end, until an eyestrain-induced headache would force me to stop. I would take meticulous care in making sure that I read every detail and looked down at the "speed readers" who would read the book in one go just so that they could brag about it.

So as you may have guessed by now, I loved the books. But I never had the same affection for the movies. You can say that that's because I've always been a bit of a bookworm. Ever since I learned how to read, it remained my hobby.

Which reminds me of something a lecturer of mine told us recently.

"People get so caught up with all the technology that they've forgotten the importance of reading. No one bothers to read anything these days. It's all about skimming and scanning."

And I wholeheartedly agree with him. In an age where speed and efficiently counts for everything, we've been reduced to one-line-spouting machines. Where we once used to pour our emotions into handwritten letters, we now Tweet. We could easily look at the Harry Potter franchise for proof.

The books had everything. It portrayed the emotions of the characters in a most marvelous fashion and described the environment perfectly. In short, you really felt as though you were part of the world described in the books. They tested your imagination in ways you would never think were possible.

However, you don't need to use your imagination while watching the movies. Everything was provided on a silver platter. Or perhaps everything is the wrong word.

Harry Potter was portrayed as a Gary Stu. His best friend Ron merely came off as a less intelligent sidekick who occasionally spouted comic relief moments. Hermione's actress had the annoying knack of using her eyebrows to do all the acting. Many of the major characters were reduced to 30 second roles. There were uncountable out-of-character moments and major scenes in the books were omitted with the excuse that they would "make the movie too long", which fails explain why numerous scenes which were not in the books, and completely irrelevant to the movies plot made it. Basically, it was yell, crash, burn, lots of bright colours and special effects and- huh? The movie's over already?

For me, I'll always remember the literature. The movies, their actors, actresses, produces and directors can go stuff themselves, without sounding too rude.


x@hu said...

I couldn't have said it better!! :)

I loathe the movies! They completely ruined my beloved masterpiece! I don't know why I even bothered to watch them! :P

Lol, I'm a meticulous reader myself, I even read the fine print in Deathly Hallows coz I didn't want to miss a single word in the book!! (The first time that is, I've calmed down since then :P)

It's such a tragedy, isn't it, that the books have ended? Have you signed up for Pottermore? JKR said she's gonna reveal some new stuff and apparently I'm still as obsessed as ever! :P

Imma said...

I do occasionally try to find out whether Rowling said anything interesting. I mean, I love her writing style and she did mention something about "working on a new novel". She seems to be unable to let go of Harry Potter though, what with Pottermore and the 800-word prologue she wrote 3 years ago. And no, I haven't signed up to Pottermore...yet. Maybe I should :)