I was walking south on Connecticut Avenue, along the strip across from the Uptown, where a crowd of people queued away from the front doors. “What’s that, then?” a woman coming the other way asked her companion.
“The new Harry Potter film,” the woman, also British, said.
“Potter? Harry Potter?” in an accent and a tone that could nearly have been ripped from one of the books or films.
As it happened, I’d just come from a screening of the seventh (and second to last) Harry Potter film: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 1. I crossed the street to the grocery store and was headed home with a jug of milk in my hand. It hadn’t been my plan to catch the 4pm show on opening night. As the idea had occurred to me, on my way home from work, I was pretty sure I was crazy. A lovely colleague of mine, who I’d appointed my “Wake Up Guardian” thought I was crazy too.
See – this is why she was my Wake Up Guardian. Because I was afraid I would fall asleep as soon as I got on the Metro, and stay asleep until the train reached Glenmont. Why was I afraid of this?
Possibly because I’d been up awake since 5:45 in the morning hours of Thursday, during which time I’d logged — ready for this? Twenty hour and a half hours of work.
I went to work Thursday morning at the office, putting in a solid eight. I went home and relaxed. I tried to nap, but couldn’t. At 7:30 I showered, dressed in fresh clothes, and caught a southbound bus. L2, you rock my world. I arrived at the Bookstore about a quarter of nine and stayed there for the next nine plus hours, leaving at six in the morning after having spent the night working through a backlog of DVDs and CDs in our stockroom: keepering, chickleting, spiderwrapping, and shelving. When I was done all that (and yes, I had help), I even swept the media area clean.
Made me cry last Sunday when I walked into the store, having spent the bulk of Thanksgiving week in Connecticut, seeing that cage stuffed with boxes and trash. Well, not quite cry, but close enough.
Okay, I hadn’t been awake the whole time (this back to my long 18th->19th day): I napped briefly on the Metro ride from the Bookstore back to the Office. I flitted dangerously with a nap at work, but somehow mostly avoided it. I overcame my deep and abiding hatred for coffee for two mugs of the disgusting brew, and I downed multiple, multiple caffeinated sodas.
My original plan to see the new Harry Potter was to catch the Sunday evening 7:30 show (this woulda been the 21st). But I didn’t feel tired as I exited the Metro, and there was no long line of fans queued up to watch the movie. Not at 4pm on Friday. That time yesterday, there were a dozen middle or high school students in Hogwarts House ties and sweaters and robes. So I swung into CVS, snagged a soda (because, yeah, I was worried I might fall asleep during the film), and bought my ticket. The theater was actually pretty packed, and after half a dozen or more trailers, the movie started.
Boy, did the Uptown screw the pooch. As the movie draws to an end, with Harry, Hermoine and Ron captured by some of Voldemort’s henchmen, the picture cut out and the sound track was replaced with an advertisement for the soundtrack. Anyway, the crowd got a bit riled up, but the picture got fixed and a minute or two later we were back on track. I may have twittered that the Uptown “splinched” the movie, which is kind of funny hah-hah (okay maybe not) if you’re familiar with the books.
Anyway, I enjoyed the movie tremendously. Over Thanksgiving break I took the opportunity to watch the first film again, and the difference in tone between the two … they hardly feel like part of the same series. I guess that’s part of the magic of the whole thing.
They stayed remarkably true to the first half of the final book. Thinking on it, the only thing that really strikes me as having been changed tremendously is first, at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Harry does not disguise himself as some distant member of the Weasley clan. Second, the confrontation between Lupin and Harry at Grimmauld Place doesn’t occur. Actually, Lee Jordan’s wizard radio show doesn’t make it into the film, I believe.
And while I enjoyed the film — I particularly enjoyed the anime sequence explaining the Deathly Hallows — I know what I very, very much would like to see in The Deathly Hallows Pt. II: It’s on page 644 of the book, and it involves Professor McGonagall and a herd of … well, you’ll have to wait and see. Or pick up the book and read.