Wednesday, July 25

Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix during its opening weekend. I thought I’d immediately write somewhat a review of the movie, but I just got buried by an avalanche of work. So that idea was scrapped. Now, almost two weeks later, I finally have some time to breathe. Thinking of writing a review is somehow not that appealing as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is stale news already (to me anyway).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the ever popular Potter series. Directed by David Yates, the movie continues with Harry trying to convince everyone that Lord Voldemort is back and that it is up to the Harry and his friends to stop him, seeing that the Ministry is not only refusing to stop Voldemort, they are in denial and are refusing to even acknowledge his reappearance.

The movie runs for about two hours (138 mins) and ironically is the shortest Potter film which comes from the longest Potter book in the series (at 800+ pages). This was one of the reasons many have complained that the movie was ‘jumpy’ and did not include many things from the book.

On the other hand, I thought Yates did an amazing job directing and putting together everything neatly into a package where we know enough to get the story and to move the plot. Sure, we just don’t get the full wham of the book. This is understandable, as in almost all cases of book-turned-movie; the book will always be far superior to the movie. It’s incomparable.

I really enjoyed this movie, and my husband (a non-Potter reader) seems to enjoy it as much as I did. I liked the fireworks scene with Fred and George Weasley, and the duelling scene at the end between the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters. The wand duelling was almost a great big dance, with ultra cool moves and stances. I like!

Harry, well what can be said for Harry. Harry is a bit more matured (especially his voice - no more squeaky talking). I feel his pain, anguish, frustration, but I’m at times missing the scar. Perhaps the director thought it wise not to make it too obvious on his forehead. Sure it’s there, it just happens to be a bit inconspicuous.

As for Ron and Hermione, I love them both. The voice of reason, Hermione has grown into a beautiful young woman who takes control and is one of Harry’s biggest advocates. Ron is also comfortable in his role as best friend and provides comic relief.

There is one scene that is still on my mind. This was where the three were discussing Harry’s kiss with Cho which took place earlier. Harry, Hermione and Ron ended their conversation with a great hearty laugh. There’s something about that laugh that made me love them all the more. And after some snooping around, I found out that that laugh was a real laugh from Daniel, Emma and Rupert after they’d said their lines. It was a great laugh that the director kept the film rolling to capture it.

This movie also introduces some new characters, which I truly enjoyed watching. Luna Lovegood couldn’t have been more perfect. The faraway look on her face and her at-times wistful voice is exactly the way I thought she should be. Luna was among my favourites. Bellatrix Lestrange was her crazy self, but perhaps not as crazy as I had imagined. Perhaps there’s more to her in the next movie. And Umbridge, with her pink clothes, and her kittens, and her throat clearing “hmm hmm” was really so annoying and mean that I felt like asking her to write lines! A great portrayal indeed. Other characters had too little screen presence to make an impact (like Tonks).

One thing that I thought was glaring was the incident with the Thestrals. Among the six students from Dumbledore’s Army who went to the Ministry, only Harry and Luna were supposed to be able to see the Thestrals. So how did his friends ride the Thestrals if they couldn’t see them? This was explained in the book, but in the movie, no one seems to have noticed that the kids are all flying on the Thestrals. Hmmm….

The movie was great for me. I think it was dark enough to be the successor of the Goblet of Fire. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was worth the wait. I can’t wait for next year’s Half Blood Prince!

A must watch for Potter fans. And to non-Potter readers and non-fans, give it a go, you never know…. You might enjoy it yet.

1 comment:

Z said...

We missed this on opening weekend and I had all but forgotten about it with all the hype surrounding the final book. I love your reviews, so thoughtful and succinct. Now I want to see this movie that much more!