Reconciling with fantasy

After having so vehemently derided the abject unoriginality of the Harry Potter series on many public fora over the years, it is now time for a retraction. It comes on the back of not having re-read the series but of having to re-imagine it after watching the last film based on the last book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part II.

It was a wonderful movie not in the same spirit we, rather I, cast other movies as being wonderful. Saving Private Ryan was wonderful. Moulin Rouge was wonderful. அன்பே சிவம் (Anbe Sivam, Tamil for ‘Love is God’) was wonderful. These were films that carried all its viewers’ interpretations on their shoulders and vindicated their individual journeys through immaculate storytelling. The films based on the Harry Potter books, on the other hand, carried all their viewers’ imaginations, too, and expectations. And few vindicated the undertaking… until, at least for me, Deathly Hallows — Part II.

In fact, it stepped past vindication. It climbed upon my shoulders and whispered into my ear, “You have been imagining it wrong all along.” It managed its catharsis very well, tipping neither into debasement nor aggrandizement.

When Lord Voldemort finally fell, there had been incessant jubilation in my head that cast aside all memories of the long, arduous road to the end. But when each Horcrux was destroyed onscreen, a visual symmetry emerged out of the chaos, stoking thoughts of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta.

When Lord Voldemort fell onscreen, his empty eyes looked up into the until then forlorn sky, his life falling off like the withering petals of autumn’s roses. The orchestra did not climb into the heavens with him but remained grounded, laden with memories. There was dignity in the heart of its beauty, an acknowledgment of struggles misguided though they were.

As the Dark Lord had come, so had he left: from the world, of the world, to the world, an antagonist I could truly reconcile with. That moment, finally, made all of it much more than believable. It made wanting to belong to such a world desirable.