SPOILER ALERT!!! Be warned before reading…
I love Harry Potter, but I really did not enjoy the book The Half-Blood Prince. One of the reasons was because I truly love the character of Dumbledore and his demise deeply saddened me. But the bigger reason was the complexity of the plot; too many new things to learn too late in the game, in my opinion. (My favorite book is the last because it so neatly ties up every single loose end in the series and does so with true panache.)
So, I didn’t have very high expectations going in to the film. But wow, was I blown away. This is the most visually stunning in the series thus far and I was amazed at how well the director was able to tell a compelling story while obviously leaving out tons of ‘important’ details that the book reveals yet staying faithful to the theme of the Harry Potter saga.
English teachers should be using this series to teach people about literary themes, as the ones contained in the Harry Potter series as universal. There are many themes presented in the books, of course, but I watched “A Year in the Life of J.K. Rowling” just the other night and she said with own lips that the theme of Harry Potter was the “redemptive power of love.”
I’m hearing some cricitism that the movie put too much focus on the romances between the central characters. Nonsense. Love is the central theme of the saga! Lilly’s love for Harry – her sacrifice that gave him the power to survive the Dark Lord as a baby – was just the start. We must embrace and dig into the relationships between these characters in order to fully experience the story.
Relationships are central in my life, as well. I tell each one of my patients that they will get better because “they know me.” I don’t mean it because I’m so great counseling wizard; I mean it because the relationship that we develop will be central to the work we do and will be at the core of why they improve in both feelings and behaviors.
The same is true of this epic story of Harry Potter. His love for his friends, for his adopted family, for his school, and for the love of his life all motivate him to be such a great warrior. He is naturally brave, but without the motivation of love there is no victory.
I loved this movie and I cannot believe I must wait so long until the next one. I am about to go look in my book closet to find Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because I know I cannot wait. And while I’m at it, I might just call or email a friend or two just to remind them how much I care about them. For it is the power of Love that brought Healing to the world in the form of the Greatest Sacrifice ever made and it is the power of love that will heal the world today.