It’s been a little over a week since the release of the final Harry Potter movie, and the simple fact that after all these years, It (really) All Ends is enough to make me a little (fine, a lot) misty-eyed. But, I’m satisfied, and most of all, grateful. I mentioned to my friends after we saw a screening that this must be what it feels like to die happy–(overdramatic, maybe) but what I mean is, yes, it’s sad that it’s all over, but I’m so filled with a sense of “gosh-darn-it-it’s-just-been-so-good-I-think-I-might-be-okay-with-that” that yeah, you know what guys, I’m okay with that.
“Now, when a student (he who shall not be named so as not to ruin the fun) declares his affection for another — the air electric with fire, frenzy and young love (if never lust) — it’s because, as he says, both may soon be dead. Fans of the books know how it turns out, and moviegoers can guess. Meanwhile this declaration, especially given the casualties to come, may fill you with feeling and also make you cry. I did, partly because it’s been unexpectedly moving growing older with these characters and actors perhaps simply because it’s invariably poignant watching children become adults.
. . . It isn’t often in the summer that you enjoy the intense pleasure of a certain kind of old-fashioned cinema experience, the sort that sweeps you up in sheer spectacle with bigger-than-life images and yet holds you close with intimately observed characters and the details that keep your eyes and mind busy. Too often it can be hard to see the human touch amid the industrial machinery, which hasn’t been true here.”
—Manohla Dargis, NYT
“Of course, when you’ve loved characters for more than 10 years, you want the best for them. And the final scene does capture what happened after WWII and must take place after every war. We mourn our lost. We commit to love. We make a life for ourselves and our beloveds. In the 10 years since Harry’s first big- screen close-up, the spell has never been broken. And we Muggles have been made better for the magic.”
So, thank you, Harry Potter and friends, for giving me something really (really) magical to grow up with. No matter what, I’ll always come back to Hogwarts. (Future children of mine, it’s gonna be good.)