July 16, 2009

Powerful magic awaits

Posted in Between Us column, Relationships, Women at 6:18 am by dinaheng

Ah, the sweetness of young love…

Fans of the Muggle and wizarding worlds are in for a lighter turn to the story of Harry Potter, the boy with extraordinary powers destined to fight the evil Lord Voldemort, in the latest installment of the popular movie franchise, “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.”

While dark magic still threatens the world, it’s teenage hormones that upset the normality of life at Hogwarts as Harry’s long standing friendship with Ron Weasley’s little sister Ginny blossoms into romance. Ron, oblivious to best friend Hermione Granger’s feelings for him, falls for the ever-eager affections of Lavender Brown.

The tender longing and frustrations of young love take center stage as the characters created by bestselling author J.K. Rowling come of age in a wizard’s world where damsels in distress have become heroines in their own right.dinah-eng-21

Little Ginny Weasley, played by Bonnie Wright, was taken over by evil Tom Riddle’s diary in the 2002 film, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” and then rescued by Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). Several years later, the young wizard sees that the girl he’s grown up with has blossomed into a confident young woman.

“In this film, girls are seen as being quite mature,” says Wright, who’s played Ginny in all the Potter films. “The boys are the ones who are slow on the uptake with everything. Ginny initiates the relationship with Harry because she can see how shy he is, and that he didn’t know what to do. This film gives justice to the power of girls. They know their feelings, and they’re more comfortable expressing them.”

Wright, herself 18, plays a 16-year-old Ginny who’s now got a boyfriend at Hogwarts, much to Harry’s dismay. (Why is it that boys always pay more attention when there’s a rival in the picture?) It’s not clear why Ginny dumps the boyfriend, but it’s easy to see why she gravitates toward Harry.

“Harry’s character is very humble and brave,” Wright says. “Ginny sees the hero in him, not just the hero that others see on the outside. Because they’ve grown up together, she’s never judged him as being famous, or been intimidated by his being ‘The Chosen One’ in the wizard world. There’s a sense of fearlessness to her, and she doesn’t care what others think of her.”Bonnie Wright and Daniel Radcliffe

Being fearless in the pursuit of love is one of life’s great challenges. No matter our age, we all blush, fumble and stumble over ourselves when we first feel attracted to another. Perhaps because a part of us realizes that there’s nothing more important in life than sharing the love that’s within us.

How we express the love within is different for everyone. Ginny’s personality is on the quiet side, unlike Hermione’s assertive, vocal nature, or Lavender’s wild, wizard-luring wiles. While Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron) hold center stage with Radcliffe, Wright’s subtle portrayal of the girl who has captured Harry Potter’s heart offers encouragement to all those who have yet to express their own fearless nature in romance.

As all young wizards and Muggles must learn, love comes to those who are ready, willing and able to give their love to others, without fearing what may — or may not — come back in return.

For love is the most powerful magic of all.

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