More Magic From Mojo

Harry Potter 7


I suppose I should just come right out and say it: I'm not a HUUUUUGE Harry Potter fan. I don't HATE it, and people who like it--or LUUUUUV it--are just aces in my book, or at least have earned no demerits. And speaking of books, yes, I've read them all, and I've seen all the movies. Like many fantasy titles, it's just Not Really My Thing. If it turns out it *IS* your thing, that's cool. I'm not one of THOSE jerks. Fanboy or fangirl away, friend. I have no beef with you over that, nor with HP himself.

I found the books initially charming, and then increasingly depressing as the saga unfolded. Enough to kinda turn me off of any rabid fandom. Plus I was never in the core demographic in the first place, so there's that. The depressive aspects of the books were reflected, I felt, in the movies. By the time HP4 or 5 came out, I was pretty much done with it. But then that ol' sunk cost fallacy popped its sunken head up--the sort of illogical reasoning that figures hell, I've already spent THIS MANY HOURS of my life watching this series, so I might as well finish watching ALL of them.

Which is how we approached the first of the two movies based on the final book. This would be HP7. The Favorite Husband and I still spent the money to see them in the movie theatres, but we just kinda wanted it all over with. Apparently the rest of the world was not so swayed by sunk costs: Shows for the earlier movies were pretty much mixed, age-wise, but by the time we dragged ourselves to HP7 we were practically the only adults in the audience.

We were surrounded by a veritable SEA of teenaged girls, all between, say, eleven and fourteen. I can't say if they were all rabid Harry Potter fans, but my feeling was they were all MADLY IN LOVE WITH DANIEL RADCLIFFE, the young man who played HP. And while DR was young enough to be my son (and possibly my GRANDSON) at the time we saw this particular movie, he seemed (and seems) to be a nice enough person who probably deserves more in life than spending it being perpetually chased by a bunch of shrieky teenaged girls.

One thing about teenaged girls--and I know this because at one point before I became embittered and cynical I actually WAS one--is that they won't SHUT UP. If I *REALLY* want to see a movie this could be a source of contention. But HP7 is not exactly CITIZEN KANE or CASABLANCA. It's a Harry Potter movie. So we just sat there, two adults in a sea of whispers about how cute Daniel is, yadda yadda yadda.

We DID finally see one other adult sitting nearby. A woman about our age--maybe mid to late forties--who seemed to be on the edge of a large gaggle of teenaged girls, so probably a chaperoning Mom. (We didn't even have THAT excuse.) She sat diagonally a seat or two away in the row in front of us, so she was constantly in my peripheral vision as I watched the movie. And when said movie was finally started, I was equal parts charmed and amused that this woman, evidently, was a HUGE Harry Potter fan. More so than allllll these teenaged girls combined. As the lights dimmed the whispering only grew slightly more whispery--and when Radcliffe made his first on-screen appearance the whispering intensified to manic levels. But our new "elderly" friend was entirely swept up in the magic of Hollywood. She gazed at the screen in utter rapture.

And again--good for her. She's found her tribe.

Without giving TOO much away, at one point in the last book an adorable minor character, known mostly for comic relief amidst all the depressing evil stuff going on, dies a horrible and tragically heroic death, a la a pre Game of Thrones Game of Thrones twist, perpetuated by some truly evil and cruel people. It really was a sad milestone in what I have already described as a rather depressing story, and it was done well enough in the movie that--even though you KNOW it's coming, having read the books beforehand--it still slapped you in the face. It really packs a wallop in an otherwise wallopless time, and makes even the most embittered and cynical go "Awww" like a teenaged girl when it happens.

Well. I suggest next time you go through such a movie-going experience, you should go through it utterly surrounded by a couple of hundred lovestruck teenaged girls. As one they all brought their hands to their faces and gasped, and you could hear several of them burst into tears and muffled sobs of horror and betrayal. All at the practically dog whistle level of teenaged girl communication. It was really something to hear.

But what did our new age-appropriate friend--the one who loved every frame of Harry Potter 7, evidently--what did SHE do when faced with such an unspeakable tragedy? She gasped along with the girls around us, and then, in a surprisingly loud voice she exclaimed, "Those BASTARDS!!!"

Which, truth be told, just made her all the more charming in our book. And to this day, every now and then, something will cause the Favorite Husband or myself to turn to the other and exclaim, "Those BASTARDS!!!" Because, as embittered and cynical as we might have become in the frailties of old age, sometimes that is the exactly right thing to say under certain circumstances.