21 November 2010

The Harry Potter Retrospective: Part V

The Order of the Phoenix – David Yates

Imagine if a phoenix actually held the meetings, like he was a talking phoenix and was really clever and had glasses and everything. See if i was J.K. Rowling, i would of fucked up this whole franchise by now and would of included really weird and pointless characters who don’t mean anything and just pop up here and there to say stupid things and then just run off into the night. Yes, i know, i apologise, i’m tangeting right now, but that’s because we’ve come to another instalment of Potter Retrospective and we’ve come to one of my least favourites, The Order of the Phoenix. Featuring one of the most hated characters ever invented in a book and a film, Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, who really has grated me every time i sit down to watch this film. Sure she is meant to be this horrible and she’s meant to be hated, but she annoys every part of me for every second she’s on screen. I can sit and watch Radcliffe’s horrible acting and i can sit through Emma Watson whinging and crying her way through the film, but as soon as her face just appears i want to throw myself at her, not to punch or to kick, just my body, it’s like an uncontrollable urge.

Number five in the series, The Order of the Phoenix directed by David Yates, his first directorial feature within the Potter universe and not his last! He almost seems to take complete control of the series after this film considering it’s not even the best film. The storyline is much weaker compared to others which have multiple things going on and they do really well to balance it out over two hours worth of film. Year five sees the familiar faces to return to Hogwarts even after the revelation that Voldemort is back, but people don’t believe it, especially the Minister of Magic who employs Dolores Umbridge to act as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at the school. Her methods and thinking is not well liked and it soon finds the school being completely run by her, the way the ministry believes it should be run. The film builds up until Harry brings together an army underground which learn to defend themselves in a more aggressive way leading to the formation of Dumbledore’s Army. They soon find their first fight through visions Potter has of Sirius being in danger whilst in the Ministry of Magic and they travel to help him and find this prophecy which reveals why Harry survived Voldemort’s attack. Dumbledore’s Army fights against some death eaters and a massive shock ending where a major character dies and finally, Dumbledore and Voldemort fight it out and it’s great. The last 20 minutes make up for the rest of the film, considering it’s roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes; it’s just not good enough.

The end is great and it really excels the story into the next film especially one someone massive dies, it fuels the fire into why you side with Potter as he takes down evil but in a long way. It’s a story of overcoming the things that hurt the ones around you, but it takes time to do that. It doesn’t take one day to do it all, there are ups and downs. And i like that about this tale. It’s gonna take 7/8 films just to tell the tale of revenge over a man trying to kill a boy and the boy coming back to kill him. It’s simple but effective. It continues to get darker with the themes, especially the whole use of violence, it really does get a bit chilling, like the pen where you write it and it carves it into your hand or arm, pretty weird shit. But overall, not the best Potter film, i’m looking forward to seeing the latest Half Blood Prince, which will be the second time I’ll be seeing the film since seeing it at the cinema. A lot of people had different views of the film, but i stay strong by mine, which you’ll get to see next time in the Retrospective!

Simon Childs

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