Wave good­bye

It’s endgame for Harry and chums – Don­ald Clarke on 10 years of Pot­ter­ma­nia

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

THE FLAG is about to be low­ered on the most suc­cess­ful movie fran­chise of all time. When, a lit­tle over a decade ago, Warner Brothers un­veiled Harry Pot­ter and the Philoso­pher’s Stone, few pun­dits reck­oned that the stu­dio would be left with even a smidgen of egg on its face. But, even af­ter ac­knowl­edg­ing the ram­pant suc­cess of JK Rowl­ing’s books, the sooth­say­ers would, surely, have been as­ton­ished to hear that – with one film still to go – the se­ries would have ac­cu­mu­lated $5½ bil­lion dol­lars in world­wide tak­ings. So, as the last film edges into cin­e­mas, it’s worth ask­ing a few ques­tions. There’s re­ally lit­tle de­bate. Even those hos­tile to the se­ries found them­selves warm­ing to Al­fonso Cuarón’s Harry Pot­ter and the Pris­oner of Azk­a­ban. Af­ter some­what slav­ish adap­ta­tions by Chris Colum­bus, Cuarón brought an in­di­vid­ual sen­si­bil­ity to the third episode. He wasn’t in­vited back. It’s a funny one this. As Daniel Rad­cliffe, Ru­pert Grint and Emma Wat­son ease into adult­hood, the movie in­dus­try finds it hard to de­vise ways of fur­ther­ing their ca­reers. Though Rad­cliffe has sold tick­ets on Broad­way – for the trou­bling Equus – none of the ac­tors has had any­thing like a break­away hit. Could they all dis­ap­pear like Mark Hamill? Grint, the most tal­ented, de­serves a chance. Of the last film, one cor­re­spon­dent re­marked: “if your [sic] go­ing to write a re­view on the hary [sic] pot­ter movie be fair for god’s sake. Its [sic] ob­vi­ous that you ei­ther didn’t ac­tu­ally bother to watch the movie or you went into the screen­ing con­vinced that it was go­ing to be rub­bish and you did not even try to be fair.”

A wizard’s life: Harry Pot­ter through the years

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