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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix July 17, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

So far, the previous Harry Potter movies have appealed to the child in me and they have been increasing in appeal for the adult part of me as well. Though it has enough to keep Potter fans happy, this film disappoints the child in me and I am sure the next two will too. I have not read any of the books but I guess the books get increasingly darker too but I definitely would have liked to have it both ways. This one has a lot of magic but it doesn’t remain magical anymore.

I felt that a couple of the earlier films felt slightly disjointed but I thought this one had a nice flow. That is something considering that this is supposedly Rowling’s biggest book of the lot. Kudos to writer Michael Goldenberg who is new to the franchise. Director David Yates, who is also new to Harry Potter, delivers a well-made film that has an appropriately dark tone that brings about the disquieted feel. Among my gripes with the film is the reduced screen time for Ron and Hermione. Both are relegated to the background and the fun interactions between them, which were present in each of the films so far are missed here.

Though it is a bit unsettling to see them grown up, the acting from the kids has improved over time and they get more scope to perform now. Apart from Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) who have gotten comfortable in their roles, newcomer Evanna Lynch does well as Luna Lovegood. The supporting cast is filled with names like Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Alan Rickman (Snape), Emma Thompson (Sybil), Gary Oldman (Sirius) and Maggie Smith (Minerva) who need no further praise. Additions to the cast include the superb Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Shakespeare in Love) who gets considerable screen time and audience abhorrence as Dolores Umbridge and the quirky Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Big Fish) as Bellatrix.

Recommendations and plot summaries are unnecessary for the Harry Potter movies. As I see it the remaining movies in the franchise including this one are strictly for those who have been following the series carefully either through the books or the films. Since the plots get more complicated and the number of important characters keeps increasing, it is difficult for those who’ve forgotten the previous films to follow. For the rest of them, it is hard not to watch how it all concludes. However, it would be good to prepare for this one by reminding yourself that the child appeal is significantly reduced.


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