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Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

July 18, 2007

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
Director: David Yates
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon
Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Action, Fantasy

Harry Potter…for some it’s just a character that has become famous worldwide, but for most others it’s a symbol of Love, Friendship, Courage and so on. Whatever maybe the case, the series and image of Harry Potter is surely a huge cash register for the publishing/production companies. And the release of the fifth part of the series almost at the same time when the whole world is talking about how’s it gonna end…well there couldn’t have been a better time to release this flick! Although I am not too sure how far the director of the movie, David Yates has been able to get an accurate version of the book on the screen (I haven’t read the book)…but as a genuine movie buff, I would give a thumbs up for the flick in general. He incidentally has been confirmed to direct the next version of the Harry Potter series….

Harry and his friends are in the fifth year in Hogwarts, and the incidents back at home lead to Harry’s usage of a dangerous spell especially infront of a muggle. This prompts the Ministry of Magic to expel Harry from Hogwarts, but he will go through a formal hearing to prove all the charges. Before attending the hearing, Harry meets his Godfather, Sirius, who warns him about Lord Voldemort and that Voldemort is trying to build an army. During the hearing, Professor Dumbledore supports Harry for what he has done and convinces the Ministry to clear Harry of all charges and send him to Hogwarts. Back in school now, the students are told that Hagrid is on a temporary leave and that Dolores Umbridge would be the new teacher for Defence against Dark Arts. She represents the Ministry and gives an impression to everyone that the Ministry is trying to take control of Hogwarts. In her first class, Harry becomes angry at her, and she inturn asks him to come to her chamber after the class and makes him write “I will not tell lies” ; and asks him to write as many times as he can until the message sinks through.Slowly day by day, she begins to impose new rules starting from her own class, where the students are just given theoretical knowledge without any practice for defense incase of danger. Now, with full Ministry’s support, she furthers imposes new rules on the conduct of the students and also the way they are taught, under the pretense that the standards are falling down in Hogwarts. Meanwhile, Harry begins to get illusions about Lord Voldemort trying to find a secret weapon with which he can become all the more powerful from the vault of Department of Mysteries. Harry along with his friends Ron and Hermoine, encourage others to learn magic spells and they form a secret society called “Dumbledore’s Army” and they find a place in the main building where they can practice without anyone knowing it. In the meantime, Hagrid returns and tells Harry and his friends that Dumbledore had sent him on a secret mission to convince the giants to join their side if at all a war with Voldemort takes place and he introduces a Giant, his half-brother to the three students. Back in Hogwarts, Dolores suspects some foulplay by Harry and extracts the truth from Harry’s love interest Cho. They are immediately taken to Dumbledore where the Ministry tries to send him to the Prison of Azkaban; but Dumbledore escapes with the help of the Phoenix. Then Dolores tries to extract the secret out of Harry of what they were doing all this while; Hermoine and Harry trick her to come along with them to the Forbidden Forest by telling her that they know the secret weapon of Dumbledore.

There in the forest, Dolores insults a herd of Centaurs and she’s inturn taken away by them. Harry who had already saved Ron’s dad and Sirius from Voldemort through his visions, is convinced that the secret weapon in the Department of Mysteries. He and his friends reach there and after a thorough search they find the thing they were looking; it’s the prophecy that “either must die by the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives”. Right when Harry is trying to leave with his friends, Lucius Malfoy confronts him accompanied by his other friends. The two groups engage in a severe battle of spells and magic; finally they fall into the Chamber of Death where Lucius threatens Harry that if he doesn’t give him the Crystal Ball which has the secret, he will kill all Harry’s friends. Right at this moment, Sirius and the order come to rescue Harry and his friends and in the fierce battle, Sirius is killed. Potter out of rage follows the killer to another chamber where Voldemort himself comes and tried to kill Harry. Out of the blue Dumbledore comes to Harry’s rescue and there is a faceoff between the two and eventually Dumbledore is successful in trying to stop Voldemort. But Voldemort tries to get inside Harry’s mind and soul; but Harry fights back with all the qualities of Love, Friendship in him. Voldemort leaves him saying he will lose everything that’s precious to him. Right at this moment, the Ministry sees his presence and acknowledges the fact that Voldemort is back. The minister is forced to resign, Dolores is thrown out of Hogwarts, Dumbledore and Harry are cleared of all charges against them. And the students leave the school to come back for their penultimate year of their study.

I saw this film in a cinema hall named Rex in Bangalore; in the beginning was quite apprehensive as to how students would receive the movie…but I think, most of them were hardcore Harry fans…everyone was so immersed in the story…they clapped when something spectacular was happening on screen, they laughed and cheered when the students manage to break rules…an exciting crowd actually. And I more or less followed them…the movie is good in the sense that, this is where Harry and the rest of his friends are more mature and now, they realise that things are gonna get much darker; a good base to what promises to be a great combat with the dark lord! Although, I haven’t read any of the books, some of my friends tell me that the movie is kinda incomplete; anyway, it was an enjoyable flick.

On the other side, I thought Harry’s grown a lot! His boyish looks of yester films is gone….I would still prefer Harry from part-1…!!…Anyway, except for Harry, all others have got a relatively lesser screen presence especially Ron and Hermoine; I had kind of expected to see them in almost every frame as that of Harry…anyway, no worries, both of them are good in their roles. Dolores, played by Imelda Staunton steals the show with her performance…be it her cunning laughter, or the simplicity with which she imposes all kinds of rules under the pretext that opposing her would mean opposing the ministry and her wickedness in giving punishment to those who disobey….Sirius and Dumbledore inspire….and so do all others.

A British gentleman once said, that Potter teaches the values of Love, friendship, courage especially to children who think he’s an icon…I think he’s right! All credit to Rowling for developing that image of Harry and others which makes it so immensely popular….no wonder millions of fans don’t want to believe that Harry might die in the final battle…although it seems unlikely, one must wonder, if such thing happens, will people learn of Sacrifice??…or would they think there’s No Hope left!…that debate is for future…and the secret shall be revealed on July 21st when the final book hits the stands. Maybe the best thing to do, would be not compare how good the book is compared to the movie…of course if there’s a factual error one cannot help pointing out such things. Overall, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie coming just at the right time!…..

For more reviews….click here

Photo and info courtesy: Wikipedia
One of the trailers of the movie….

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