Harry Potter fever has hit once again. The latest film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has taken more money in its opening weekend than any other Harry Potter film (so far). I would imagine that the final instalment will break all records. I haven’t been to see the film yet, but by the end of the week I too will be able to add it to my list of films seen. I love the whole Harry Potter hype. When the book was first written I made an attempt at ‘getting into it’ but failed. I wasn’t keen on reading stories about wizards, magic and dark arts. The fact that the book was full of names that I had no idea how to pronounce made it even less appealing.
It was only once the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (yes, I’ll use the English title), was released that I became hooked. A few books in the series were already finished by then and so I whizzed through them one by one. I couldn’t get enough. It had taken me a few years to become a Potter addict and suddenly I was counting down the weeks and days to the next book release and the next film premiere. I’m so glad that the films have lived up to the hype. It is questionable though as to how well they reflect the amazing depth that each book contains.
Other films that I have been to see have had quite the opposite effect. In 2007 I went to see the film ‘The Golden Compass’, based on the book ‘The Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman. Here was a film that I expected to amaze in every way. I left the cinema feeling thoroughly deflated. It was dull and endless. It was strange that a book that had been so successful could be so unsuccessful in film format.
Sex and the City – I never really got hooked on watching the TV series. Friends of mine loved it. Maybe that’s because many of my friends are female and could relate to at least one of the characters. I was brave enough to venture to the cinema to watch SATC (the first one). I was like a fish out of water! I was one of 4 males in the packed cinema. It was quite an experience. About fifteen minutes into the film it stopped. There was clearly a technical error and the tape had stuck. I could feel tension building and women beginning to get agitated. Women started looking around, checking towards the control room at the back and murmuring to one another. Not a good sign! These women were already feeling empowered. They were together. They were watching ‘their’ film. I had visions of a riot breaking out. There would be lipstick flying soon, so get the film going again!
The film continued and the women around me settled down. I munched away on my Maltesers and surprisingly enjoyed the film. The plot was predictable, but the women around me made it memorable. They whooped and screamed and laughed and even heckled the film. It was a first for me and I loved it.
Sometimes you never know what to expect with a film. Sometimes it’s best to go to see a film without hoping that it will be one of the best films you’ve ever seen. Maybe I should avoid hype….It could be easier that way.