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Harry Potter And The Campgrounds Of Azkaban

November 28th, 2010

We were both a little uncertain about seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Vic is allergic to movies that last more than two hours. As for myself, I was afraid that it might replicate a little too well my least favorite part of the book: the lengthy section in which Harry, Ron and Hermione sit in a tent and sulk.

Happily, while the film did indeed capture the magical world of camping, both Vic and I felt that it did a good job of interspersing the sitting and sulking with more exciting events. To my surprise, she declared it the best of Harry Potter movie series to date, 150 minutes or not.

What I like most about the adaptations is that I’ve been able to watch both the actors and the films themselves mature over time. Compare the fresh-scrubbed and twee world of the Sorcerer’s Stone with the bleak landscapes and deadly serious business of the Deathly Hallows.

This is a story that pulls few punches. Well-loved characters and even pets are maimed and murdered. A Muggle-loving witch is tortured, then devoured by a giant snake.

As the forces of Lord Voldemort carry out loyalty tests and rigged trials in the service of ethnic cleansing, I find myself wondering just how many Harry Potter fans are also supporters of real-life anti-immigrant measures. Do they draw the parallel between the Ministry of Magic pumping out piles of anti-Muggle propaganda and the thinly-veiled racism of their favorite television bloviators?

While there have been accusations that The Deathly Hallows was split into two parts for reasons primarily financial, I’m glad that it was divided. Next July we’ll have a balls-to-the-wall, apocalyptic battle for the soul of the wizarding world. And not a tent in sight.

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