By Bijal Vachharajani |Posted 3 hours
Thirteen years ago, on November 16, British author JK Rowling’s star creation, the bespectacled boy wizard Harry Potter made his big-screen debut in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. We look at the book versus film debate on one of the world’s most successful literary series
Three years ago, a friend popped by to borrow, I can’t recall exactly what, but let’s assume it was sugar.
She opened the unlocked door and was aghast to see me sitting on my couch and bawling away. Since we were studying in far, far off Costa Rica, she was concerned that something had happened back home.
The said friend enveloped me in a comforting hug and asked haltingly what had happened. “Dobby died!” I wailed, clutching her hand. Puzzled friend responded, “Dobby who?” I pointed at the TV screen where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 was being broadcast and Dobby the free elf had bravely rescued Potter and his friends and succumbed to a
Friend, of course, thinks I am nuts, but that’s muggles (non-wizarding people) for you. For Potter heads, the Harry Potter films may be far from perfect renditions of our beloved books, but they are now a wonderful way to revisit our favourite stories. It was thirteen years ago that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit the silver screen and although the eight-film series got 12 Academy Award nominations, it didn’t end up winning any of the Oscars.
But do Potter heads care? No. Are all the films flawless? No. Could we have expected more faithful toeing the book line? Yes. But do we complain now? No.
That’s because for Potter fans, the films are a portkey that transport us back into the magical world that JK Rowling created, where we can leave behind our muggle one. There’s something comforting yet thrilling about the films — the certainty that Neville Longbottom (played by Matthew Lewis) will grow up to be the more good looking of that particular Hogwarts batch, that we will nod sagely when Dumbledore says “It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live” in The Philosopher’s Stone.
Also, that we still feel that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince could have ended with a better face-off between Snape and Potter (while shaking our head exasperatedly, because seriously what on earth was Ginny doing tying up Harry’s shoe laces in that movie).
We know what will happen next in the movies, we can rattle off the dialogues, and yet, we will watch them, again and again.
Bijal Vachharajani is a self-confessed Potter head who spends her salary from Fairtrade India on collectibles, of which she has a sizeable collection now.
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