Harry Potter: A Never-Ending Sensation
by Amanda Aayusya
Has it really been eight years and five movies already? It seems like only yesterday that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released. Now the franchise adapted from British novelist J. K. Rowling‘s best-selling books is reaching its peak. And instead of winding down, the Potter mania rises even higher in anticipation of the sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Among the plethora of movies based on young adult books offered to the audience, Harry Potter, with its leading young star Daniel Radcliffe, still reigns supreme.
In 2007, this franchise has earned a total of 4.48 million dollars in the box office. The sixth movie will surely add to that number. A marathon of all the movies, starting from the first (Sorcerer’s Stone) to the fifth (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), takes 719 minutes combined. With the sixth movie predicted to be 153 minutes long and speculated to earn a lot of money in the box office, it promises to not only be a moneymaker for Warner Bros., but also an epic cinematic treat for the audience.
The Potter franchise, however, doesn’t just churn out money. It produces a commodity that is hotter than cash: talent. The sweet, innocent-looking children that made up the the youthful Potter cast in the first and second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, have now become major headliners and are all over the place – film, fashion, theater, music… you name it and the Potter stars have it covered.
Other than Radcliffe who made a name for himself performing in the provocative play, Equus, and stripping naked for his part on stage, his fellow Potter co-stars also made headlines elsewhere. Emma Watson, who plays the bookish and bushy-haired Hermione Granger, is fashion’s new it girl. She’s one of Karl Lagerfeld’s new muses and has been appointed to model for Burberry. Meanwhile, Emma’s on-screen would-be boyfriend, Rupert Grint, who is the resident comic relief in the Potter movies in his role as Ron Weasley, has been trying edgier roles in other movies. The latest is in Cherrybomb, which will have plenty of sex and violence. And then there’s Tom Felton, who’s become a bit of a phenomenon on the Internet, ever since he started releasing his own videos on YouTube and selling his songs on iTunes. It’s safe to say that, with each movie that is released in this franchise, their stars shine even brighter than before. Before we know it, they’ll be higher than the moon and brighter than the sun.
Unfortunately, the characters they play on screen aren’t so lucky. Entering the sixth movie, Harry’s life and his adventures will become even darker. It’s true that, compared to the fifth movie (and book), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was David Yates directorial debut in the franchise, the sixth will come across a bit lighter. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry received pressure from all sides. In this latest movie, perhaps not so much. However, the light still hasn’t shined for Harry at the end of the tunnel. After all, in Half-Blood Prince, Harry will find that his archenemy, Lord Voldemort, is still at large, terrorizing the wizarding world out there and possessing plenty of secret weapons in his arsenal.
Now, Harry’s mission is to uncover those secrets in Voldemort’s life. With his mentor, the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Harry is going to enter the melancholic and dark world of the wizarding world’s scariest villain and attempt to discover his weaknesses in order to defeat him once and for all. And that is indeed a difficult feat to accomplish for the 16-year-old boy wizard.
What’s interesting from this installment is that, besides Voldemort, there are a couple of other characters that will create a circus in Harry’s life. If the spotlight has so far been heavily shining on the Gryffindors, this time around the Slytherins will get their chance to step forward and join Harry & Co. under that light. This is why, before you walk into the cinema and join the excitement, it would be wise to know who will dominate Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July 2009.
Credits and disclaimers: This article was written for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Indonesia. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission.