An open letter to "Harry Potter": all the nice things they're saying about you
"Harry Potter" film No. 8 is drawing rave reviews in the UK, while in America we wait and take a moment to remember what Harry has meant to us.
Dear Harry Potter,
In all honesty, we haven’t read all of your books, or seen all of your films, we weren’t at the London premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (though we heard Hermione looked gorgeous in a white ball gown), and we probably won’t be first in line to see it here in the US.
But your ascent has been a marvel to witness. (British though your tale is, it really has a can-do, American, rags-to-riches rise feel to it). You’ve captivated people around the world with your enchanting story and encouraged an entire generation to read. (Even Oprah can’t claim that). So we don’t want to see you go – and we’ve heard a lot of people share our sentiment.
Congrats, by the way, on a fantastic premiere for the eighth movie. (We’re not calling it the final one). We heard about the star-studded send-off in London’s Trafalgar Square Thursday. We read about (okay, more like saw the pictures of) the celebs and the fancy dresses, and we heard about the huge screens and banners in Trafalgar Square. We’re not really interested in that (although we would like to visit the nearby street that we heard was transformed into the magical shopping thoroughfare of Diagon Alley).
We’re looking forward to July 15, when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” opens in US theaters (in 3D to boot!). It’ll be dark, we know, depicting your final confrontation with the forces of evil (aka Lord Voldemort).
No surprise, we hear it’s good. We thought you’d like to hear all the nice things people are saying about your (maybe not final?) film.
The UK’s Metro paper called it, “'Death, doom, danger, more death and dragons, this thrilling finale may be the franchise’s darkest installment yet (literally thanks to the unnecessary 3D glasses), but HP fans be assured, it totally delivers on all fronts.”
The Hollywood Reporter reports, “It ends well. After eight films in 10 years and a cumulative global box-office take of more than $6.3 billion, the most successful franchise in the history of movies comes to an obligatory – and quite satisfying – conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2…. [T]his is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now.”
From Reuters: "[I]f you've been a devoted follower of the Potter saga in print and at the movies, you'll come away from this final chapter with a feeling of catharsis and, perhaps, a slightly damp handkerchief.”
And The Sun: “ 'Deathly Hallows Part 2' remains something to be cherished. A terrific movie and a great British success story. Unlike many other franchises, the quality of the Harry Potter films never dropped.”
While you ponder these glowing reviews (and consider continuing to share your story with another chapter, say, or another film, perhaps?), we’d like to remind you of the amazing ride you’ve had so far.
No one thought you would survive a cutthroat publishing marketplace back in 1995, when a single mum on a tight income and benefits penned “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” in local cafes whenever she could get her daughter to sleep.
You’ve since become a global household name, a beloved boy, a teen heartthrob (and you've made your creator one of the richest women alive). Over the last 15 years, we’ve read about your story in seven brick-thick books, watched you in seven films (soon to be eight). Your story has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 67 languages. The movies alone have so far have earned more than $6 billion at the global box office.
What’s more, you’ve become a close companion to lots of muggles, young and old, across the globe (we’re guessing you’re big in the wizarding world, too). And they don’t want to lose you, Harry.
With just a few words spoken during the premiere, JK Rowling, who brought you to life, gave us tremendous hope.
Will she bring you back?
“Never say never,” she said, adding, “It is my baby and if I want to bring it out to play again I will.”
(But then this, from director David Yates, “Lightning doesn’t strike twice.”)
We’re optimists, however, so for now, we go to bed with Ms. Rowling’s words in our ears.
Whatever happens, you’re in our minds and imaginations and dreams, Harry.
Thank you for the magic.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.