Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Would it be a surprise to anyone to find out that the topic of today’s column is the latest and last Harry Potter movie?


Image from

Considering I have spoken about my fondness for the series in the past, I would assume that is not the case.


My 14-year-old son and I did go to the midnight show at the Paramount theater in Kankakee. We arrived around 10:30 and went to the back of the line that wrapped around three sides of the block. The end of the line beyond us was almost at Chestnut Street.


There were people dressed in costume as various members of the cast including Draco, Mad-Eye, Hagrid, Bellatrix and Harry. I asked Mad-Eye if he had a flask and he pulled one out from an inside pocket of his coat. That was the perfect placement of a flask for Mad-Eye.


Once we were in and seated, we waited another 20 minutes before the movie started. But then we saw a placard for a trailer for Cowboys and Aliens. The cheers went up. Next was a trailer for The Dark Knight. Screams went out for that movie. The third and last trailer was for Sherlock Holmes which drove the crowd crazy. Who wouldn’t go crazy for Robert Downey Jr. in drag?


Then, and only then, did the movie start with hardly any prelude. We see Lord Voldemort grabbing the item he believes will help him win everything. We see Harry making the fateful decision of which group of magical items to pursue. And it begins hurtling towards the end.


Lord Voldemort from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Image from

For fans that have read all of the books and need closure on some of the most important storyline, you will get it. Some of the best lines from the book make it to the movie. Some of the plot moves are re-aligned and shaken up to make a smoother movie. 


If you have not read one book or seen any of the movies, you will be lost. Bellatrix’s maniacal evil personality won’t make sense. Snape’s end and confession will not have the impact without the loathing of Harry he displayed throughout the series. You will not understand the tears of the audience members such as me who are watching this last bit of Harry.


For me, it is watching a child who has been a part of my circle grow up and get ready to leave home. Harry has gone from being a cute moppet to a young man willing to face danger. He has taken on the hero’s mantle and who would have guessed this from the first time we saw him.


At the beginning of the series, image from

There he was a boy being bullied by his unfeeling relatives and once he came to his new school, he became the boy who would stand up to bullies on a regular basis. He became a boy willing to stand up to members of authority, including the head of the government, all so that those who have no voice can be heard.


If you haven’t seen the movies, rent them all before you go. If you are a fan, plan to spend a day or two getting caught up by watching the movies.


And if you are a total weeper like I am, bring tissues with you. You might need them.  


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.