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Teen Talk

August 8, 2011

A beloved series comes to a close

When I was in second grade, a little movie by the name of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was released. My family and I saw it in the theater, and I instantly fell in love with the magical world.

That next year, with the release of the second film, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," things became more serious. I started reading the Harry Potter books, written by J.K. Rowling. My best friend and I began playing Harry Potter during recess, complete with our very own spell book where we'd both write down actual spells from the books and make up our own.

As my friends and I grew older, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger grew up too, and with the release of new books and films, we found the story more relatable.

Sure, the fact that the story takes place in an alternate world where it is not uncommon to see self-powered inanimate objects, so-called mythical creatures, and men with longer hair and fingernails than our older sisters not only alive, but thriving, differs from our lives greatly.

But isn't that what makes it so wonderful?

Before the release of the final film in the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two," I reviewed all of the previous films in preparation of this bittersweet milestone.

Re-watching the first films filled me with nostalgia, as I recalled old lines and beloved scenes. From the very first film, where Harry is seen living in the cupboard under the stairs in the house of the Dursleys, and discovering the magical haven of Hogwarts, it is no wonder as to what intrigued the 6-year-old me the first time I watched it.

As things became darker and more mysterious in "Chamber of Secrets" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," my love and appreciation for the uniqueness and originality of the series grew exponentially.

In this series, we follow a story so intricately plotted that we cannot help but become engrossed in the growing danger Harry is placed in because of the return of the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

See reviews on page c2

But it is really with the next three films, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" that the aforementioned relevancy to teenagers and audiences in general becomes much more prevalent.

We watch as Harry discovers feelings for Cho Chang in "Goblet of Fire," and experiences his first kiss with Ginny Weasley in the Room of Requirement in the next film.

Speaking for myself, I became very entertained watching Ron and Hermione battle feelings for each other and cover them up with critical banter and eye-rolling.

Although these interactions may sound juvenile, no one can deny that these types of situations are something that teenagers all experience at one point or another. It is great storytelling on Rowling's part that not only do we have the fantastical and action-packed elements, but the simple and sentimental parts as well.

But now on to more recent events: On the evening of July 14, I, along with my friends, sister and what seemed to about the entire population of Oneonta and the surrounding area's younger generations, gathered at Southside Mall one last time to witness the end to a decade-long love affair.

Many prepared for the occasion by discussing previous films and books, rewatching "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One" on iPods and laptops, and even dressing up as various characters.

My sister, being the generous and ingenious girl that she is, bought me a ticket to the 3D movie to commemorate the momentous occasion. I was all the more excited to see the film and all of the action leap off the screen.

Upon entering the theater, all those viewing the film in 3D were given glasses, roundly shaped like Harry Potter's glasses. As the lights dimmed and we were signaled to put on our 3D glasses, my best friend and I clasped hands (the same friend from third grade who shared a mutual obsession for the series).

I felt goosebumps rise on my arms the moment I saw the camera skimming up the water to show Voldemort robbing Dumbledore's grave of the Elder Wand, the closing scene from the previous film.

All in all, I felt that this film was a perfect end to a much-beloved series. The special effects were spectacular, and the 3D effects were used tastefully, not to the point where every aspect was shoved into your face.

As a true Potter fan, I estimate that I cried six or seven times throughout the entire film. The final performances given by each cast member were unprecedented by any other in the previous films, with a special mention of Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape.

Some of my friends who saw the movie in 2D felt underwhelmed by the film, and to anyone else who saw this version and felt the same, I highly recommend you see it again in 3D. It will change your entire perspective.

So ends what can most definitely be called one of the most successful and loved series in Hollywood history. And with that, I can now say, "Mischief managed."

Maggie McVey is a junior at Oneonta High School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at teentalk.

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