For us the Pottermaniacs, we breathe in the Potterverse and exhale the spells that we learnt in the course of nearly two decades. The Boy Who Lived entered our lives in the year 1997, and is still very much thriving in our hearts. This was a series that picked up a whole generation obsessed with video games, and brought them to the era of books. And after four years of reveling in the magic of the books, our Harry finally got a face as the first movie was announced to be released in the year 2001. Daniel Radcliffe entered as the little adorable boy, and our hearts just burst with happiness.
Since then, for nearly a decade the lad played Potter, from movie one to movie eight, and even thought the movies had their glitches, Daniel was the perfect Harry. In fact, there were certain moments when he was the book Harry who’d come alive on the screens, just as Rowling’s imagination wanted him to be.
When he found out he was a wizard
Poor little kid, he thought he just could not belong to a world where he was accepted with affection. Daniel portrayed Harry’s surprise and delight amazingly.
When he stared and stared… at the Mirror of Erised
Here was a kid who was seeing his parents for the first time, but just an unreachable reflection of them. Dan’s portrayal of Harry’s feelings and expressions mirrored his book self.
When he and Ron were perfectly clueless
And it was Hermione who saved them with her intelligence in Chamber of The Secrets. Dan was the perfect Harry, a clueless and young hero trying to brave heart a deadly situation in school. Can’t ignore that Rupert was the perfect Ron to Dan’s Harry.
When his hair was the perfect messy
Prisoner of Azkaban was perhaps the only Harry Potter movie where Dan’s hair was the perfect replica of what Harry’s hair should have been. All sticking up at various ends, Daniel's looked every part as Harry's hair, the way Rowling described.
When he stood up to Snape
In Prisoner of Azkaban, when Snape caught Harry in the wee hours of the night, with a blank piece of parchment (the Marauder’s Map wiped clean), Daniel’s cheek at him as Harry had us all guffawing. And why not? After all, it was a perfect reply to a bullying moment.
When he was a super clueless teenage Harry
Harry confessed in Goblet of Fire that he would rather face the dragon again than ask a girl as his date for Yuleball. Daniel was perfect in emoting the cluelessness of Harry and his pangs of teenage infatuation with Cho.
When he gave it back to Umbridge
The evil hag carved ‘I must not tell lies’ at the back of Harry’s hand. And even though the two sequences were not a part of the book, Daniel brought out Harry’s emotions perfectly well when he uttered those words twice in the movie. First, when the centaurs picked Umbridge and second when Dan as Harry rescued Mrs. Cattermole from the hearing. The scenes called for a loud cheer!
When he scandalised Slughorn
Harry’s sarcasm was one of his ways of dealing with his circumstances. While it was mentioned multiple times in the books, movie Harry had its moment in Half-Blood Prince, when under the influence of Felix, Harry even took Slughorn’s case. Daniel was perfect.
When he met Dumbledore again, at ‘King’s Cross’
All of it happened ‘in his head’, yet it was true to the core. The confusion of Harry and the truths that he finally craved, all was brilliantly brought to the foray by Daniel.
When he bid his son goodbye as he boarded the Hogwarts Express
This was the finale, one which had us all fleshing with goosebumps and wetting our eyes. As Dan donned the skin of Harry for the last time, he made sure he was perfect. He bid his son Albus goodbye on the Hogwarts Express with a scar that had not pained him for nineteen years and put his sons’ fears regarding Slytherin, to rest. A true hero played by a true performer.
Nearly seven years have passed by since the release of the last Potter movie. For us, Dan will forever be the perfect Harry Potter brought to the screen, coupled with the shortcomings and excellence.