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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Revisited

1 week before the movie was shown in theaters, I read the book for me to refresh my mind of what were the significant events of the book. July 11, 2007 marks the beginning of the end of the Potter series, and sad to say that there will be more deaths in the upcoming movies. The book was by far the longest book of the entire series and focused more on the individualization of the chaacters - there was character development - there was an in-depth look of the emotions of the characters concerned.
OOTP, the movie, was supposed to exceed my expectations. But then...

Again, we are brought back to Potter’s world, a world where magic is both a delight to those who view it so, and a horror to those who were maligned by it. The Dursleys are back after being absent from Movie 4. We see Dudley once more and the Dementors. Ms. Arabella Figg makes an appearance - and her cats as well. The whole plot of the movie is how would Harry and the Order to convince Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic, that You-Know-Who, aka Voldemort, is back, literally. That was the whole essence of both the movie and the book.
OOTP is now directed by David Yates, this is his first Full-Length Movie. This is the biggest mistake Heyday Films has committed: Putting a neophyte on a such grand movie. Yate’s resume only extends to a made for TV movie which was shown on HBO, thats it. He wasn’t able to capture the feeling of Harry Potter which was present in all of the 4 previous films. Instead, he resorts on using all the techniques used by other directors: 1.) The glass transitions which was used first by Alfonso Cuaron; 2.) The scenic shots by Michael Newell; 3.) and the aerial shots of Christopher Columbus. These were all used but then, the results are disastrous. There was no originality behind it. Nothing.
Many of the readers of the books may have watched the movie to see how would they translate the events that took place in the Department of Mysteries; the duels of the Order against the Death Eaters; the death of Harry’s godfather, Sirius; and most of all, Dumbledore’s fight with Voldemort and the disclosure of the Prophecy, which is the most important part (supposed to be!) in the movie. The Finale, though filled with amazing special effects is very bland. Everything just went through that a non-reader would find himself completely lost.The death of Sirius Black was reduced to a silent scream from Harry, mostly, it would work, but not with this one. It worked in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where Galdalf dies, but not with this one. There were no vanishing acts with Voldemort and Dumbledore’s fight; no interference from the statues, no duel from Sirius and Bellatrix, she just scream Avada Kedavra and Sirius went though the veil and dies. There was no drama in his death.
Screenplay plays a vital role in making a movie. It is the blue-print which guides the director on what to shoot at. This is the first movie in which Steve Kloves was not the one who wrote the screenplay for the Potter series. There was a new man for the job and I believe that he has made a very rought script. I can forgive the alterations and I feel sorry for Cho Chang for getting the blame of revealing Dumbledore’s Army (in the book, it was Marietta, Chang’s friend, who told Umbridge about the DA meetings). What I could not forgive is that the movie is made out of clusters of events that are not well-crafted. Yes, the 4 previous movies are also made of these clusters, but then, there is coherence behind it, and in OOTP, it seems that there are events that just jumps one into another. It is a good thing that Steve Kloves will be back for Half-Blood Prince.
The acting improved for the Trio, but we see less of Ron though. I commend for the portrayal of Professor Dolores Umbridge and Bellatrix Lestrange, these are exactly what I pictured out of who they are. I certainly hoped that Umbridge has more bitchin’ in the movie, she was certainly more "hatable" in the book than in the movie, in which I view her more like a comic character than hateful. Harry’s character has only 1/4 of the anguished and anger featured in the book, but then, who can we blame if this is what the producers want.
The questions remains unanswered. How could JK Rowling leave her marvelous book to these mongrels who has not have any Potter blood flowing through their veins? Couldn’t they make a new movie for this, just for its sake? Rowling, don’t let this happen to Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. I still have little faith left in the movies. Don’t let it end up in the garbage.
GRADE: B-

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