Fan Focus: Duncan – November 21, 2010

Fan of the Week portrait, Duncan

18-year-old Duncan from the United States


First off, how did you become a Harry Potter fan?

It wasn’t something that I discovered for myself. As a matter of fact, I kind of stole it from my brother. He was reading the books from the beginning, and when the films began coming out, I decided to “borrow” his copies in order to catch up in time to watch them. They hooked me quick and hard, and I’ve been reading and watching the series as closely as I would a religion ever since. My brother kind of got sick of the series, partially because of how fanatical I was over them, and partially because he just couldn’t believe they’d kill off Sirius Black. So from there on he’s been somebody for me to debate with on what is great, or from his perspective awful, about the series.

It has been over three years since Deathly Hallows came out and we found out how the series ended. Do you have the same reaction to the ending now, as you did then?

Nothing will ever compare to the first time I read it, and all the shock and tears that were involved. I remember the first time I read it and how unbelievable the death of Dobby was, and nothing will ever match how emotional that was for me. As a matter of fact, I still can’t quite get over the fact that he’s actually gone. Even reading about it in the soundtrack hurt a little too much. It was the first time I really took into account the fact that this series was ending. I still revisit the book frequently, usually finding things that I never noticed before. I’ve been abstaining from reading them recently so the film experience would be that much more impactful.

OMG! DEATHLY HALLOWS! Loved it? Hated it? Thoughts!?

If I had to say on my gut reaction, I loved it. It was a really strange film, and nothing like what I expected. I definitely have to see it again to fully register my emotions, because they are running rampant right now. I was crying. That much I’ll say for sure. It actually felt somewhat like a Hayao Miyazaki film, and I mean that in the greatest respect. It’s only half a film really, but it does set up for a truly monumental ending.

What was your favorite part that changed from the book? That stayed the same?

My favorite part that changed was Hedwig’s death. Her death in the book was rather helpless, and didn’t seem like the right send off for the good old bird. My favorite part that stayed the same was the “Dark Lord Ascending” scene. It’s so much more terrifying and deadly than I envisioned it. It confirms the dark surroundings of the film in the same way that the book did.

Comparing book to movie: What disappointed you the most? Also, what part was better than you expected?

The part most disappointing to me was the scene of Ron destroying the horcrux. The apparitions of Harry and Hermione felt rather corny to tell you the truth. It’s something I’ll have to revisit to settle my feelings on. As for the part that was better than I expected, the camping portions. I’ve been lead to believe them to be a monumental time suck for this film, and to a more minimal extent they were. However, they were done so beautifully that I couldn’t resist them.

Now knowing where the split is, and feeling the way the movie ended, do you feel it was a good choice?

It felt abrupt, and it felt like the film was picking up speed again, only to be cut off. That being said, it’s not a complete movie yet. We’ve still got months before the finale truly comes to an end, and in that time people will settle on what they thought of this film. As for where the film was cut, I think it’s the best place they could’ve found for it. It definitely had to be longer, but splitting it is still a hard decision.

Did the movie live up to all of the epic hype that surrounded each trailer?

Not exactly, but the trailers promoted an action packed film, which is not what this film really is. It’s an emotionally pondering film, and in that respect it was a success. It felt a bit rushed in terms of screenwriting, but I think it worked nonetheless. People are saying it’s among the best, and I still need to figure that out for myself. Some fan of the week, right? Doesn’t even know whether he likes it or not? It’s a film for Potter fans, but not casual viewers. If you’re not a Potter fan at this point, then I really don’t care about you.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Maybe a theory you still believe to be true, a shout-out, praise for yours truly?

The best shout-out I can make is to the fanbase. For the past several months, I’ve been using my blog ‘High on Celluloid’ to advocate for the latest film to be nominated for Best Picture. It’s completely insane, because the odds are entirely against that happening. It was the ultimate expression of my inner Potter-fan trying to make a difference, and of course failing. Even if neither of the next two films make it into the Best Picture race, that’s not quite the point of this series. It isn’t supposed to mean so much the critics and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s meant for us, the dedicated fanbase who has stuck out with the series for years, and we are the only ones, besides the makers of the films, who can truly understand what it has meant and what it will continue to mean for decades to come. 80% inspirational speech; 20% plug for my site. It works out for everyone!