Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thoughts on Order of the Phoenix

Caution - there be spoilers ahead...

Yesterday, after work, Azura, JL, and I waited in a surprisingly short line to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on opening night. Like the rest of the series, plot took precedence over character and scene development, and we lost a lot of my favourite moments from the book - the swamp (!) and most of Tonks's scenes coming to the fore of my memories here. And, there were some interesting choices made with regard to setting and costume - loudspeakers at Hogwarts? What? However, on the whole, I loved it. It was great fun to see, and I'd love to go back and see it on the IMAX, which was sold out yesterday.

So, some highlights:

  • Mr. Weasley being entirely adorable when he went on the muggle transport and entered the ministry through the visitors' entrance. So incredibly cute and Weasleyish.

  • Grawp - was well done. They expanded the "Hermy" business from the book for a couple of touching and humorous moments.
  • Umbridge's cat-tacular pink office and cat brooch - in the previews I didn't think they made her look toady enough, but she was entirely creepy and horrid and sycophantic and awful and awesome. And cruel, oh so cruel. Oh - and Filch's Umbridge lovefest was super gross and amazing. Very funny.

  • The DA in action - there was an audible gasp of joy from the audience when Neville got his first expelliarmus right. It was lovely.

  • Luna - I CANNOT wait to see her announcing the quidditch in movie 6. Please, please, please, please include that scene! She was just right at being entirely freakish in a very real and harmless way. And, they really brought out her insight, and her way of speaking truth even when she is seemingly off the wall.

  • And another new female character - the thoroughly terrifying Bellatrix Lestrange. Played with aplomb by the usually creepy, and now even creepier Helena Bonham Carter, she was wonderfully psychopathic.

And some plotty thoughts for book seven, after having seen movie 5:

  • There was no mention whatsoever of the two-way mirrors. I'd been thinking they might make a comeback - but if they haven't been set up in this film, it seems unlikely.
  • Ginny - that girl is powerful. It seems to me that they made a point in this film of showing that her spells have a truckload of power behind them. I think this may be important. After all, there are a lot of things that already mark this girl out as special - she is a 7th child (lucky number) and the only girl. She has survived being possessed by Lord Voldemort. She is the beloved of our hero. There's more, I'm just not thinking of it right now. Anyway - they made a point of showing that she was very very powerful.
  • Maybe its wishful thinking about Sirius, but I'm now even more convinced that the "Deathly Hallows" have something to do with the curtained archway in the Ministry of Magic. He didn't so much fall as float through them, and he went somewhere. Very interesting.
  • There was no mention whatsoever of Regulus Black - which seems to indicate that he may not, in fact, be RAB.
  • Kreacher was there, but he was not stealing stuff.
  • There was also no Mundungus Fletcher - if that locket was in the Black house and got stolen, we have no way of knowing at this time from the movies. Interesting...
I forgot to also mention that they left out entirely the part where Harry learns that Neville was originally the other possible subject of the prophecy. I thought that would be crucial. Perhaps not.
But I still maintain that Neville will prove to be a huge player in this final adventure.


Maggie said...

*gasp* If J.K. can find a way to bring Sirius back *that* would make the series! :D

MadJenny said...

I know. I love the series. And I love the characters. But the thought of Harry regaining at least one loved one would be wonderful.
And for poor Lupin's sake. Lupin is one of my very favourite characters in the books. I can't stand him in the movies - not because there is anything wrong with the actor - he is just not my Lupin in the movies. But, he is an amazing character. And, if both he and Harry could have Sirius back, I would be thrilled.

If not, I still think there is something fascinating about that curtain. I really hope it is further explored in book 7.

False Prophet said...

Yeah, I also noticed they didn't make the Neville connection to the prophecy. That's not very heartening.

How off-putting was it that Neville got the most badass bit of dialogue in the whole film?

BELLATRIX (mocking): Neville, is it? How are your parents?

NEVILLE: Quite good, now that they're about to be avenged.

Ah, the 80s action fan in me got more pleasure out of that one exchange than the whole Transformers movie.

MadJenny said...

I read an interview this weekend with Helena Bonham Carter where she said she got so into character at one point that she accidentally rammed her wand into Neville's ear, instead of pointing it at his throat. Apparently it caused internal bleeding. How's that for bad ass?

Of course, all this just goes too prove what I've been saying all along, which is that Neville is way "more than meets the eye"!