Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Dir: Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Only the Lonely)
Regular Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis
Additional Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Jason Isaacs, Toby Jones, Shirley Henderson, Bonnie Wright, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Hugh Mitchell
2002, UK/USA/Germany

Originally Seen: I believe originally seen at what-was-then the Paramount, and then a second time at the Revue

Revisited: * June 14 & 15th, 2009

The second film in the Harry Potter series is a lovely extension of the world we are introduced to in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Where the first film allowed us to see a magical world the second provides us with an opportunity to get more grounded in it.

The friendships between Harry, Hermoine and Ron are strengthened, and we also have the growing tension with Draco and the Slytherin house by the introduction of many of their family members who may have only had brief or no screen time in the first film. This is a brilliant way to keep the film and characters real as that is what happens with actual friendships at that age. It also provides the view with the opportunity to see various dynamics of the magical families. I will admit my favourite one is the Weasley’s. Who wouldn’t want to live at their crazy house? Molly Weasley is on my favourite film characters list but after seeing this one I am a littlee sad I left off Ron's father Arthur from the list. I love his earnest and strongly curious nature and of course his openness and sense of adventure.

Although we are introduced to various new things about the wizarding world, the second year at Hogwarts doesn’t feel too much different from the first. It has a gentle progression of the world, new ways of getting into trouble and a lot of disruption. The plot is strongly tied to a mystery element, and even though the first film does the same thing, I wonder if that is one reason why people don’t tend to like the second film so much. I think it is even safe to say that it is the least liked of the series, but not for me. Perhaps it’s the age as second year is all about being 12, a very awkward age of not really a kid but not yet a teen and that is mirrored by themes of planning, patience and needing help. Again, no favourite or fun things in that list for many. The trio is still are very young, and I think getting to true darkness would be too early for those still in the land of crushes and branching out to only a few new experiences.

The trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione is well played in this film and they really feel like a solid group friends at this point and it is great to see that friendship grow. We are also introduced to some wonderful new characters in this film, and one of my favourites is the charming and smug Gilderoy Lockhart as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher played by Kenneth Branagh. Wow, what an infusion of light and goofy energy this adds to the film. He has a sense of ease and confidence but so superficial. As a polar opposite we get to see Lucius Malfoy (played brilliantly by Jason Isaacs) as Draco’s father whom sheds light to families whom aren’t quite as good natured as say, The Weasleys. A few notes on the smaller but beautiful casting choices with Shirley Henderson as the shrill Moaning Murtle and Hugh Mitchell as ever enthusiastic photographically inclined Colin Creevey.

I think I like the second film more than most and it was a treat to revisit. In fact after the film was done I left the DVD running in the player and just the menu music is soothing.

Shannon's Overall View:
I love it
I own it in glorious full screen DVD
I'd recommend to fans of magic, fantasy and adventure

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

* in anticipation of the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Wednesday July 15, 2009, I am doing a weekly countdown to watch & review of the first five Harry Potter films


Jamie said...

Oh, I absolutely love what you said about how the film mirrors that natural progression of how you meet kids and then their families at that age. Fascinating! So true!

I'm enjoying this countdown with you. Maybe it will make time go faster. I can't wait to see the next film!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! I love the commentary on the kids' families and the deepening friendship between the 3 main characters! I'm looking forward to rewatching this movie myself!

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