Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

*Andy hasn't read any Harry Potter books.
As with everyone, I heard of the darkening of the stories from friends who knew.
What a change, Harry and friends have all grown up.
No longer innocent school kids, they now face the reality of life.

Chris Columbus did the first and the second, Alfonso Cuaron did the third, the fourth was done by Mike Newell and the fifth, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is by David Yates.
Who are these people whose names I’ve mentioned?
They are the directors of course.

Oh… you didn’t think they matter do you?
I cannot deny the fact that what matter the most is Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe).
He is after all the main character of the series.
You might even care for his two best friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and even Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), but seriously if there is no director then there is no character.
It would be like reading a Harry Potter book only not written by author J.K. Rowling.

Are you getting me yet?

If you do please read on… If not please take another moment to think about what I’ve said.

The adventure or plot of the Harry Potter series is only going to get darker.
If you are to be still stuck in the realms of innocence and magic of what Chris Columbus has created on screen with the first two Harry Potter films, namely “the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” then you’re hereby warned.

If you are to be in the mood to argue that Alfonso Cuaron’s “Prisoner of Azkaban” or Mike Newell’s “Goblet of Fire” is the best you’ve seen, then you are warned as well.

With a different director at the helm at “Order of the Phoenix” and the continuation of a darkening story, you should be able to feel the differencing treatment as early as when the movie opens.
It feels like a horror movie rather than a children fantasy adventure.

Harry is seen sitting on a swing in the middle of a playground.
His cousin Dudley and gang came and started antagonizing him.
In anger, Harry whipped out his wand and pointed it straight up Dudley’s throat.
All of a sudden dark clouds formed and everybody started running.
Harry and Dudley found shelter beneath a tunnel but two ghostly Dementors located them and started sucking the souls out of the poor boys.

Harry managed to fight off the Dementors with a Patronus spell but was later informed of his expulsion from Hogwart.
He had violated the rules by using magic in the presence of a muggle (or beings without magical powers).

But he was later rescued by Dumbledore’s Order of the Phoenix, a secret society formed in the times of Harry’s father as a resistance against the evil Voldemort.

The story will move away from an atmosphere of magic and wonder from the previous films and into a more grown-up stressful fashion.
Before even fighting the evil of an advancing Voldemort, Harry and friends will have their hands full with a new teacher who would slowly gain control of Hogwart.
She is Delores Umbridge, played in truly self-absorbing fashion by actress Imelda Staunton.
Here is one character that gives all who loves pink an evil sense of deportment.
All of what will happen is due to Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge’s refusal to acknowledge the fact that Voldemort is back.

The ignorance of those in positions of leadership can be so frustrating to those who truly knew better.

It will fall to Harry and his friends to take matters to their own hands.
As the tagline suggest: “The Rebellion Begins”.
On the suggestion by Ron and Hermione, Harry will gather like-minded schoolmates and friends to form “Dumbledore’s Army”.

Like in all Harry Potter’s film, the evil Voldemort will surface right toward the end with a climatic battle between good and evil ensuing.

Good and evil will be very trying for Harry.
This is the darker theme that will follow our poor wizard hero.
The film will be very much focus on Harry’s internal battle.
Just what is Voldemort’s relation with Harry, and why is Voldemort unable to kill Harry is what the Order of the Phoenix will set you in ponder.

The prophecy says, "Neither can live while the other survives".

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is very well produced.
There is a beauty in the cinematography seen from the capture of every scene.
They were well thought and well edited.
The details on the set of the Ministry of Magic, with its glossy black look is chilling yet cool.

Look out for new character, Luna Lovegood, played by the wonderful Evanna Lynch.
She is the character that Harry will be relating to the most.
They share the common perception of the word, death.

Although the movie is at 2 hours and 18 minutes long, it is the shortest among all five in the Harry Potter series so far.
A lack of action and cinematic wonder made it felt long though.
“Order of the Phoenix” is more inclined to the thinkers than those who are watching for the visual adjuration of the active kind.
Maybe it is due to the lack of Quidditch in this one.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will leave you with anticipation to the next one, which is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

All shall be revealed, soon, only two more to go.

Movie Link: