Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Okay–I know this is rather late in coming, but I finally saw the latest Harry Potter last night, and I wanted to talk about some of the things I noticed in it. First off, some elements were handled much more deftly than the book. I’m talking about the never-ending Umbridge scenes. In the book, it felt like those were going to last forever. Just when you finished one, you’d have another which was pretty much just like the last one. It’s like that old “second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse.” Blech. In the film, the Umbridge scenes were handled with montages. Fantastic. You got the exact message you were supposed to get–what Umbridge was doing and how she was so horrible–without having to be shown every little horrible scene. Bravo.

The ending of the movie, on the other hand, had some difficulties. Difficulties which I wrote at length about, and then Livejournal decided to get rid of my draft. Grr. Suffice it to say that my biggest complaint was that the main villain of the movie was set up to be Umbridge. She’s the one most of the conflict focused on. Voldemort was more of a sideline until the end. The problem with this approach is that I didn’t feel invested in that conflict as a viewer, so when that was all that was left, I lost some interest. Plus, Voldemort was pretty weak in this film. He didn’t get a chance to really take control. I know that happens in books 6 and 7, but I think perhaps Rowling brought Voldemort out too soon in the series. It relegated him to a fairly unimportant role this time around, and necessitated all the filler about the ministry, which–while interesting–wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.

I had some other interesting observations, but I’m too lazy to repost them. 🙂

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