Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix



I didn't like this movie anywhere near as much as I liked the previous one, The Goblet of Fire. I was disappointed with the characters used for Umbridge and Tonks. For Umbridge I had imagined someone like that admin woman in Monsters Inc, remember her (see image, right)? She's a slug-like one but convert her to a toadish image and you have Umbridge.

Umbridge's outfits were apt and so was her acting. But where's her bow? She wasn't wearing one, I searched.

Tonks was too normal looking. I'd imagined someone like Cyndi Lauper with all the coloured hair.

Kreacher was quite as expected. I thought they chose the girl for Luna Lovegood very well! Perfect, her looks, her acting. The thestrals were good, though I thought they could have been shot better--angles, revealed better, etc.

I liked Ron and Hermione better than Harry (his hair was too short and neat). The Weasley twins' exit was spectacular as expected, though it all happened too fast, because so many scenes were cut. The Malfoys have always been sleek, and deliciously 'bad'. Love Lucuis Malfoy's hair, and Draco's looks as well. They've been chosen well .

Both, Grimmauld Place and the Room of Requirement were too slow and noisy in appearing. Grimmauld Place was great in its gloom and black interiors though. I liked the DA practicing inside the Room of Requirement, that was quite as I'd thought. The patronuses were cool.

The Order was not noticeable at all. I'm sure people who haven't read the book, just watched the movie, must have wondered what the Order was, and where it was in the film. The Ministry of Magic was pretty good, the lifts, the memos flying in and out.

Hagrid's cups were beautiful and slightly larger than usual but not like little buckets as they're supposed to be. And I didn't like Grawp at all! He looked so computer generated. Voldemort wasn't scary at all except for when he seems to be standing on Platform 9¾. He doesn't do this in the book, but it did work to enhance his presence in the scene.

And what was all that in the last battle when the Order arrive? All the death eaters had black smoke-like emissions when they cast spells, and the Order and the good guys had white smoke! That was pretty awkwardly done--the director needn't have dumbed down the audience like that. Kids are so smart and Rowling knows that very well. The directors of the Harry Potter films must not forget this important fact.

I couldn't make what was happening, who was doing what, with all the smoke going round. And suddenly, Sirius is dead--no action, no heart-thudding suspense. Just suddenly, oh, that chap is dead, ok. I didn't feel anything, no emotion. When I read that scene in the book I cried and cried!

Another poor choice of character I thought was Bellatrix Lestrange. Having seen Helena Bonham Carter in roles where she is sweet and demure like in Howard's End, I simply couldn't accept her as a death eater. And here she is supposed to be Bellatrix, no less! No amount of frizzy black hair and screaming can make her as evil and chilling as Bellatrix is supposed to be. Big disappointment, this one.

When she and Voldy (I have to call him that, he was so not-scary!) didn't have the important impact they were supposed to, the only things I found creepy were the dementors, which have been shown much more scabby and horrible. Inspiration, I'm guessing, from the Mummy movies. Dudley was too slim! And even Dudley wouldn't taunt Harry with "Where's your mum, Potter? Where's your mum? She dead?" Not in character.

I felt like I was inside the room in the initial scene in 4, Privet Drive. That was nice. Felt this again when the three of them are in The Burrow, the room upstairs. The camera work responsible for that effect was neat.

I think I'll stop the nitpicking now. I can come up with more points but they are minor. Overall, it was good to be immersed again in the Potter world. I always miss Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore; he suited the character perfectly.

I'd give this movie a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Samprita said...

I don't know how I missed reading this post. Nice reading that some of the points I felt strongly about were covered in your post. Starting with Harry's extra neat hair cut. I wish they'd had Harry and the Weasley twins keep their hair like they had it in the Goblet of Fire (or ordered them to maintain the look ;) ). Luna, i also felt was v well chosen, as you said. Good depiction of Umbridge - yes that would have been v apt..they should have paid attention to detail like the bow and to get someone with a bit more of a toadish look..but her acting I thought was v much like the book, so I didn't feel v strongly about the choice of character I guess. V true about Sirius' sudden death without any build up..very disappointing. I think the Bellatrix character they chose, acted the cold and sly part but that dangerous/evil image doesn't come through..the image we got from the book was of a much taller, and darker (literally/figuratively) woman. Would love to discuss the Goblet of Fire as well..if you care to write about it!