“Lily…after all this time?” – Albus Dumbledore.
“Always.” – Severus Snape.
February comes to its end this week and already the weather is changing. Snow is melting everywhere, the sun is shining more, and the feeling that spring is nearly here abounds. And so to wrap up this month long celebration of the career of Alan Rickman, it is fitting to cover a film wherein he played for the last time, one of his most memorable roles. So come along, to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the fantastic world of Harry Potter.
David Yates has proved himself time and again that he can cut it directing films set within the world of Harry Potter. From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, Yates showed both movie goers and Potter fans that he could take J. K. Rowling’s creation and give it that life on the big screen that made it appealing to fans of all types, without leaving anyone disappointed. And there was no bigger triumph than the sequence of scenes which not only redeemed, but said farewell to, Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman).
Since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered back in 2001, and the first book was published back in 1997, Snape’s character is someone no one has ever truly liked (being written in such a manner). It took 7 books and 8 movies for Snape’s character to be ultimately redeemed, even after all the things he had done and his poor treatment of Harry and persons. And it starts, with his death.
Snape’s murder by Voldemort shows that even for all his “loyalty” in the end the Dark Wizard was not opposed to killing his most seemingly loyal of servants to achieve his ends. As he lay dying, Snape gave up a memory to Harry, and within the Pensive, all was revealed.
In spite of his cold demeanor and apparent hatred towards Harry, it was all a front. For years Snape had been guarding Harry, keeping an eye on him, all on the orders of Dumbledore, and because of the deep love Snape had harbored inside him towards Lily Potter. Even after her death, that love never abated and it manifested in the form of Snape’s Patronus. It showed that even someone as unfeeling as Severus Snape was capable of the greatest emotion and magic of all, the power of love.
There is a lot of meaning in those memories, because it opened the eyes of so many people and also wrapped up many questions that may have been there but were never discussed among readers and film watchers. For this review, the biggest one of all was, what was it about Snape’s past that caused him to have such hatred towards Harry, his father, and even seeming anger towards his mother too? My eyes were opened by these revelations, in ways never before possible from literature and cinema.
Alan Rickman was a truly great man and a great actor. Dedicated to every role he undertook, never wavering in making sure each performance was just as excellent as the previous ones. Alan will be sorely missed, a bright light that was snuffed out and taken from the world. So this weekend and even during the week, as the best and brightest of Hollywood prepare for Oscar Night, take a moment to stop and think on the memory of Alan Rickman, and take some time to enjoy this, one the final bows of a masterful performer.