Friday, August 10, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the film)

Don't you just love the character of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter stories? I'm glad to say that the casting folk on the HP movies have got her spot on. Anyway...

HP&TOOTP is, of course, the longest and most boring of the HP books. The actual essential plot is fairly straightforward, but there are far too many distracting sub-plots that get in the way. So, in order to make a coherent two-and-a-bit hour movie, you would have thought that they could just drop most of the sub-plots and stick to the main story. Nope, sorry. Most of the sub-plots are nodded to here, so the actual story gets a bit lost in the mix.

My wife hasn't read the book, after watching the film she commented that there was no plot at all in there. I've read the book so understood all of what was going on, but thinking back on the film, for those who haven't read the book, there is almost no explanation of the significance of the visions Harry is experiencing, occlumency is kind of side-lined, and its not totally clear what all the fuss is about regarding the prophecy at the end. We also don't get Dumbledore's explanation at the end so, unless you've read the book, you are left thinking 'so what'.

Umbridge is fantastically evil though. However, they should have conveyed her racism with regard to half-breeds and magical creatures a bit earlier on, it would make her end a bit more dramatic.

But having said that, it is a better film than 1 and 2, not as good as 3 and I'd have to watch 4 again to be able to comment on which is better there. But if the director can make a half-way decent film out of the over-long and muddled mess that is the book of OOTP, then I have high hopes for his ability to do a good job on the next film, based as it is on a much better book.

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