Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

July 17th, 2007 | by Sqotty |

Sunday was a bit unusual for us in my household as my wife and I haven’t been to the movies since our daughter was born nearly two years ago. Now, I am sure we could get a baby sitter so we could go out, however I am willing to bet that dear little Anna would scream her heart out for hours if Mama left her for any length of time. With that in mind, we decided to try tag-teaming (so to speak) going to the movies in town, with Sue going first while I kept our daughter entertained. Surprisingly, it worked. We both got to see the new Harry Potter film.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the latest film in the Harry Potter series to hit the screens. Like the previous films we see the return of all of the other regular cast members in their roles for the series. It has been interesting watching the kids grow up and develop into fine actors (and they were quite good to begin with).

This fifth film weighs in at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, which although longer than most typical films these days, seems a bit light compared to the weight of the book it is based on, which is an astonishing 870 pages. One is left wondering how they decided to trim details out of the novel and still make a good adaptation for the screen. Some of the finer details had to be clipped or glossed over; however, with a bit of artistic license, excellent production values and outstanding performances from the cast, they managed to pull it all off.

The one flaw I find with the film is that we never get an explanation of what brought on the Dementor attack on Harry, something that is made clear in the book by the end of the story. This particular point being missing is of distinct importance to the ongoing story and the conflict between Harry and others in the saga.

Dolores Umbridge, portrayed by Imelda Staunton, was delightfully evil and totalitarian. She makes it obvious from the moment she steps onto Hogwarts that she is up to something no good and hates Harry Potter, and most of the other students at Hogwarts.

A new character, Luna, is introduced on the side of Harry; Luna is a bit “odd,” which may be an understatement, but is also very helpful to Harry and company. Her background is not as well fleshed out in the movie as it is in the book, but that goes back to the book having nearly 900 pages to flesh out the finer details.

Snape, portrayed by Alan Rickman, continues to be a nemesis of Harry’s, while still trying to be at least somewhat helpful.

This fifth film continues the trend of the series to portray a world growing darker as evil takes on greater strength, and the powers involved show their hand in different ways.

One final thought: If you haven’t already read the books, do so. They are all excellent and well worth reading. It also beats the heck out of having to wait two years for the next film, or four years for the final film in the series.

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