I have come to the point of realization that it is pointless to overly idolize something. Lately, HBO has been replaying Harry Potter films and though I’m pretty sure the old me would jump at the very chance of binge-watching it, I no longer find the zeal for it. I am still a fan, don’t get me wrong. I have been a fan ever since watching the first film when I was 5 or 6 years old and fell in love with chess in an instant. I have been ever since reading the first book of the series during fourth grade. I still am. I just don’t think not being an “overly active” and raving fan is worth all of it anymore. Not constantly talking about it, and not finding Harry Potter in every little thing does not make me any less of a fan. I noticed, thanks to countless days of boredom and numerous notifications from emails and facebook; that I have subscribed to every fan page, website, social media account on or related to the franchise.
And it was, also thanks to this that I have decided to stop. Not only (though it is, primarily) because I receive a lot of e-mail notifications daily and they can be an eyesore most of the time, but also because of a lot of unhealthy things. Whenever I see posts in the site that are incongruent to how I understood the story or the topic at hand in the chatbox, I jump right in, and argue. It has been happening recently, and frankly, I am kinda sick and tired of making people understand. In the blossoming years of my fangirling, every crazy fan theory was welcome. Every meme was shrugged off not as demeaning thoughts toward the story I loved while growing up, but as a harmless joke.
Those were the days. But now, they’re gone. Gone were the days where I could go on and on about the tale to friends and pals (it didn’t matter whether they liked the series or not, read it, only watched the films, or none of the above) to their point of exhaustion and exasperation. But I scroll down my facebook feed and see fans’ crazy ass theories and they are clearly overstretching stuff. Finding things in the most minute of things and giving almost everything some kind of meaning. It’s bothersome and despicable, if you ask me. Find something better to do, guys.
What’s written was what’s written. What’s seen is the movies, is what’s seen in the movies.
Reading headlines about how the media constantly picture the actors as their “character-roles” is no help. Sure, maybe they have grown up to be like the roles they’ve played, but they are not them. I was never one to associate the actor for the character. Just isn’t me. And I have had enough. So I’m unplugging. I get the point of constantly reminding the audience about who they were previously acting as, but come on, in their line of business, a one time-big time is a rarity. Sure, they can be called, the “Harry Potter Actor” or whatever, but if I were an actor, I wouldn’t want my audience to be fixated on who I was popularly known for. It’s kinda awkward. Probably why Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) made various films like Kill My Darlings, Victor Frankenstein, Swiss Army Man, and it’s kinda refreshing seeing Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley) act in another genre (comedy). What’s making this matter so worse and saddening, is the fact that most people opt for the adapted versions (movies) and never bother with the original! Game of Thrones, is another example. I am willing to bet a lot of its fans did not even care to read the books because… let me guess… they’re too many! And time consuming! Ain’t I right? Late last year, I have gone into an argument (with words, don’t worry) with people on facebook. Why? They said they hated Ronald Weasley, the character I highly admire in the HP series. I asked them why. To the shock of my well-sarcastically formed mind, they said they hated him because they felt like he was the third wheel in The Golden Trio (Harry, Ron, Hermione) and because Ron was like the dispensable joker amongst the three friends. And I was like, WTF are you even talking about, girl? Do you even know why J.K. Rowling, even though deciding to kill Ron in her first draft, made him live instead?
The reason is this: Ron is Harry’s first friend – his best friend. And if he were to die in the fated battle with Voldemort (the bad guy) and most especially if he was to die in the battle whilst saving Harry, he would… without a doubt… steal the show!
And you call that character the third wheel and a dispensable member of the crew? The hell! I lashed on and on in the comments, and also a very dear girl who shared my sentiment did too. One of their other arguments was that Harry and Hermione should have gotten together. And I couldn’t care less about this argument. No matter who Ron would have been with, I would have been happy with it. I firmly stated, and I still believe, that Hermione MAY be the third wheel. In the fourth book, Harry saved Ron. The task was to save who he would miss most in this world. And why wasn’t it Hermione if they so believe that Harry and Hermione should be a couple? Their basis? The films! Of all the things they could hurl at me! They just showed proof that they were mere idiots falling for the trap laid out by the producers and the filmmakers. I argued then that MAYBE Hermione was only there for the drama of it all. After all, later on in the series, jealousy did build itself up. However, you cannot shake the truth written and published all over the world. Harry saved Ron! It IS canon. No matter how the hard core fans would theorize about certain lines and hints in the books, the fact of the matter is, when you close the book, Harry married Ginny; Ron married Hermione. Period.
I’ve ranted enough. And yes, this whole thing may be an attempt to justify why I am such a fan of Ronald Weasley but I.DO.NOT.CARE. For the next couple of days, (or months, not entirely sure since I am busy with graduation stuff at the moment) I have resolved to rereading the whole Harry Potter series to try and get back the feeling I had when I was younger. I have detached myself to the social media accounts, though – to be free from biases, and judgments. I have said goodbye to my Pottermore account and have extracted myself from all the fan pages in facebook and twitter. Mind you, it was no easy task. I had to do it individually! And over 100 fan pages! I am doing this not because I am no longer a fan, but because I no longer see the point. There are a lot of trolls and I’d rather spend my fangirling hours with real fans than with people I will find myself arguing with because they just do not see what I see. Reading a book hook, line and sinker, – should – must be a rarity. It does not do well to live in dreams or fantasy and forget to live. Reading books; finding its morals; understanding them; relating with the characters; living their life. These things are very easy to do. Even easier to immerse yourself in and stay stuck in the comfort of it forever. But call me a realist, a cynic, or whatever, but to me, they’re all symbolical. Allegories told and retold in artistic ways. Mere lies told to us by the author about the real world we all live in. While Harry Potter may be a tale of friendship, love, loyalty, finding oneself and fulfilling one’s destiny, it reveals much more – so much more about our society. It showed, for one that the media cannot always be trusted, that death is inevitable, and that the death of a powerful figure does not stop a battle. When I was younger, I have only seen the “friendship and loyalty” aspect because those were the things I could relate to at the time. I was too young to understand, too naïve, and maybe too selfish to even care and notice the other things back then. Now, years later, I am older and with all that’s been happening around me and the things I’ve been through, I am beginning to see things in a different perspective. Comprehending things in a deeper fashion and noticing the things I did not think to see before. There was a time, when I would convince myself to watch the film version of a novel because… well, movies are the new books.
And it’s actually been a really sad habit I am trying hard to get out of.
I know now, that it should be the converse.
There is no better movie than those inside our imaginations. Movies, or any adaptation for that matter, should inspire the viewers to open up its book (or original).
A Broadway Musical on history, for example did just that when it showed a new way of telling it’s (the country’s) history. It inspired people from the country to read up on their history! Why? They liked the musical and wanted to know more! And what better way to know more than to read more about it, right? A fellow blogger has asked me ten questions, and number two was: What is the best way for a movie to live on? If you shift it to a general point of view on any kind of literature, remakes and revised editions are the likely common response. Adaptations, for the same reason, fall in the category too. After all, an award-winning film “Whiplash” was adapted from a short film and made into a full-length feature film.
But another fascinating thing is shifting the perspective. While I am all for rebooting Spiderman for the nth time and making live action films for every Disney classic, new films like Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Huntsman, is certainly a nice way to attract a movie-goer up for something new. And before you go about arguing with me that these are all innocent films told by our parents to us when we were kids – bedtime stories, it is actually nice to finally shift the perspective to the adults for once. Watching the reimaginings of these shows and stories, it’s kinda cool – to see the innocent cautionary tale of not wandering alone in the woods to a darker and action-packed film. Granted, some of them may not be that well-crafted but this change in point of view is, for me, a welcome sight. Ever wonder why Shrek is such a hit? It is for the same reason.
The idea that all fairy tale characters live in one kingdom is an interesting concept. Not long after, a hit ABC series, Once Upon Time, adapted the idea. These things, though coupled with nostalgia and the yearning for our good ol’ days can also be a good way to experience the old stuff in a new way! Who would’ve thought Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, huh? And that the Mad Hatter actually has a child! Like I said earlier, on how history films or musicals inspire or evoke people to open up history books, I actually believe that adapted films can do the same too – inspire its viewers to read more often. While I am up for people constantly watching good films and those that make you think, there is no better intellectual activity, than reading and acquiring knowledge through the pages of a book. Maybe it is why I was so mad with the people who hated Ron. They were so focused into what was fed to them by the movies that they forgot to look into the real pages of the story. It is where the magic lies.
Right now, February is just right around the corner and the goal is to finish the whole Harry Potter series and get back the feeling I had then. Same old books. Same old story. Brand new me. Brand new perspective.