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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


In Harry Potter's fifth movie, the adults in Harry's life form the Order of the Phoenix to fight Voldemort, while Harry (as always) and his friends are condescendingly dismissed. So they take matters into their own hands at Hogwarts...

What I Thought

Every review mentions this is the longest book so far and shortest movie. This wouldn't be an issue with a master movie maker such as Alfonso Cuaron who chose to reinterpret rather than adapt the third book into his movie.

However, this movie feels like it was adapted, then adapted some more, then adapted some more. So much that what's left is a movie that feels like it was made from cuts. Cuts here, cuts there, cuts everywhere.

***semi-spoilers to follow***


I love that they kept the same dark silvery look from the previous two movies. Harry's world is getting darker, and I love that the surroundings are correspondingly dark and mysterious (and not in a safe way!).

But the cuts are a problem. Whole chapters in the book are condensed in one heavily accented sentence! Important character-building scenes gone!

Of course we understand you have to cut, but in this case the cutting was done awkwardly, there was one scene that REALLY should have been in the movie, and the few changes that were made were pretty dreadful.

They cut the visit to St. Mungo's, so we don't meet Neville's parents. To me that was an inexcusable cut. It was one of the most adult and poignant moments from the book. Unforgivable.

In terms of changes, there were two offensive differences from the book: 1) Cho was the one who turned the DA in, and 2) Harry and Luna are the only ones who talk about the Thestrals, there is no Hagrid's class about them.

In terms of positives, I already mentioned the look and feel of the movie. Dolores Umbridge was perfect. She even got the "hem hem" chillingly right!

The Ministry of Magic looked fantastic with its gorgeous black tile, and I'm glad they removed the silly "feels like a computer game" choose-a-door scene when Harry and company search the Dept of Mysteries. And the fights at the end between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix, and then later between Voldemort and Dumbledore, were fantastic.

So this movie was a bit of a mixed bag. I still liked it, it was still better than the first two gold-colored pieces of fluffy candy. But if you haven't read the books, the cuts and condensations made really hurt the storyline and the ability to follow along.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.