I see you’re not trying to kill me…Posted: July 12, 2007
As mentioned earlier, I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Tuesday night. And I really enjoyed it. OotP is easily my favourite Potter books and thus you would think it would be the hardest of the films to please me. Yet it seems the opposite is true. Because I enjoyed this one far more than any of the other Potter films.
Oh sure, they liberally messed with Rowlings plot and many other fanish quibles but fundamentally this was a good adaption of a difficult book to adapt. Oh sure Lupin barely got one line of dialogue. The Department of Mysteries battle was limited to only one or two rooms. Harry wasn’t as angry or as big of jerk as in the novel, but you know, do those fanish issues really matter? Sometimes, maybe (ok, usually). But not for this film or this novel.
I just damned excited that some of my favourite bits of the whole Potter experience were finally visualized. Or sure, these events and these characters were well visualized in my head but there is just something about seeing some piece of fiction that you love visualized on the screen.
This is what the whole Harry Potter mythos does to me, it makes me wax sentimentally.
Anyway, the acting was solid. The part of Luna Lovegood was well cast and well acted (oh sure, the girl they cast as Luna looked nothing like how I pictured her in my head, but again, who cares?). The special effects were well-done, more or less, except for the Grawp stuff which looked fake. But I never really cared for Grawp so it didn’t bother me.
As I noted before, the plot of the film was well reshuffled from the book, so many of the events and characters from the book were left out or placed in a different context. Most of the characters not discarded by the writer & director were handled well, except for poor Cho. Miss Chaing gets pushed aside very fast, almost as though they could have just cut her and lost virtually nothing.
Of course, this downplay of Cho gives my preferred Harry love interest Ginny more room to breathe. In fact in almost every scene that Ginny is in an extended visual hint that its likely that she and Harry are going to get together (Look: she’s powerful! Look: she’s dedicated to fighting Voldemorte! Look: she likes him!). I think I may have noticed this only because I am a big fan of the whole Harry/Ginny dynamic (and I know that is not necessary a popular nor common view in the extended Potter fan community but I am a big fan of the Luke/Mara parring too…).
As for a final verdict, I would say this film is well-worth seeing for most Potter fans. Though many may not be able to stomach the many changes and revisions (for film) made by the creators on Rowlings orginal work.