Saturday, 8 November 2014

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Part 5

So we come to the end of the fifth Harry Potter film, and what an end! I’d forgotten just how much I love this film. Hopefully I’ve already watched and started writing up the film review for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, otherwise this is going to seriously eat into my NaNoing time. Hopefully I’m still working on that at least. Look out for an update there tomorrow!

Last week saw Harry having a vision of Sirius in trouble, an attempt to break into Umbridge’s office go wrong, an attempt to get rid of Umbridge go right, and a jaunt to London to discover just what’s inside the Department of Mysteries. In this post everything gets wrapped up quite neatly, but not without a casualty along the way.

139. The Deatheaters seem to swing from wanting to kill Harry to trying to recruit him. I wonder if that’s because they’re hedging their bets in case he’s a darker wizard than the one they’re with.

140. Harry declines Lucius’s offer and the crew use their newly acquired Defence Against the Dark Arts skills to attack all the Deatheaters popping up left, right and centre.

141. Ginny really is powerful with the Reducto spell. A lot of prophecy balls are sacrificed here. It’s quite pretty with lots of flashes of light and tinkling of broken glass balls. It would’ve been nice to include snippets of the prophecies as they broke.

142. I can’t help but feel that they’re kind of setting up Luna/Neville in these bits here. They’re always together, offering a hand to the other to get away. It’s kind of sweet.

143. Despite all this excitement all gang get out alive with the prophecy intact. They find themselves in a big room with an archway. Harry and Luna can hear voices coming from it. We have exactly zero time to ponder this before the Deatheaters show up again.

144. The Deatheaters each grab one of the gang, except Harry, and point their wands at them. Lucius decides to switch from enticing Harry to give them the prophecy to threatening him. This time he’ll kill all of Harry’s friends. Harry looks at Ron and his other friends apparently contemplating how much he likes them. It’s no question and he hands the ball over.

145. And then there’s a flash of light, Sirius shows up with ‘Get away from my Godson’ which is just awesome. Lucius has a moment of epic fail and drops the prophecy, smashing it, thus proving he’s pretty much useless for Voldemort.

146. There are lots of flashes of light and the gang get away from their captors, Sirius tries to get Harry to leave but then they’re attacked by Lucius and a friend. I love the shots of Harry and Sirius fighting side-by-side.

147. Sirius calls Harry James, which Harry barely has a chance to reflect on before Bellatrix Avada Kedavra’s Sirius and he falls through the archway.

148. Remus grabs Harry and the almost total lack of sound apart from the music, coupled with the sad music is heartbreaking. A moment later Harry’s running through the Ministry chasing Bellatrix and trying to Crucio her. He hears Voldemort goading him, and low and behold, there he is.

149. Luckily Dumbledore shows up to save the day here. I love that he calls Voldemort Tom, he refuses to acknowledge who he has become and reminds him of the schoolboy he once knew.

150. A battle ensues between Dumbledore and Voldemort. There’s red and green lights and a big swirling snake fire. Dumbledore puts it out by encasing Voldemort in a big ball of water. Voldemort breaks out and smashes every bit of glass in the place, sending it all right for Harry and Dumbledore. This shows Dumbledore is as powerful as Voldemort because he creates a barrier to protect them and the glass is all broken into sand. That’s going to take some sweeping up!

151. Voldemort disappears and then sort of possesses Harry to taunt Dumbledore and torture Harry with flashbacks of all his tragedies; losing his parents, Cedric, Sirius. It’s good acting by Daniel Radcliffe as he writhes on the floor, quite snakelike.

152. The gang finally get back upstairs and this prompts Harry to remember the good times through lots of flashbacks to previous films. Harry says that ‘you’re the weak one, and you’ll never feel love, or friendship, and I feel sorry for you’ but I think it’s clear he’s not talking to Dumbledore here; it’s to Voldemort who’s possessing him.

153. Voldemort is kind of there in the building for a second just as Fudge and all his friends show up. I love the look of horror on his face as he realises that what everyone’s been saying for the last year is true. Voldemort’s back.

154. We’re then treated to a bunch of Daily Prophet headlines telling up You Know Who has Returned, the Minister is going to resign, Dumbledore’s back, Umbridge is under investigation. It’s a neat way to wrap things up without lots of talking.

155. Harry’s packing stuff up and then Dumbledore finally takes the time to talk to Harry about how distancing himself from the teenager was probably the wrong thing to do. Yah think?

156. Harry has realised that either he or Voldemort is going to have to die to fulfil the prophecy. He questions why Dumbledore didn’t tell him this before. Dumbledore told him he cared too much to cause him more pain… like it’s not going to cause him pain sooner or later when he did have to find out. Bad move Dumbledore.

157. Harry walks through the castle and stumbles upon Luna who is looking for her possessions which have been stolen by other people. It makes me sad that this kind of bullying goes on in Hogwarts, especially to Luna who is awesome. Luna offers reassuring words and finds her shoes. She leaves them where they are and skips away after telling Harry the things we lose have a way of coming back, if not in the ways we expect. Harry ponders this.

158. Then everyone leaves for the train home. Because the film needs to end on a positive note Harry expounds on the fact that they have something Voldemort doesn’t have ‘something worth fighting for’. I suppose that’s a matter of perspective because Voldemort and his followers seem to be pretty keen on their beliefs and willing to fight for their cause just as hard as the good guys. I expect that they’d argue that Voldemort is worth fighting for because with him Wizards will be all powerful and Muggles and anyone who isn’t Pureblood will be subjugated to their will. Also it puts the song ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’ from Mulan in my head, which is completely different from this scene here.

159. Anyway, the train pulls out and we get a nice view of castle before the screen goes black.

160. These end credits look a little like the decree signs that went up on the walls of Hogwarts. Smart and a nice link back to the events of the film, but still not on quite the same level of cool as the credits from Prisoner of Azkaban.

And so ends the final part of the not-really-live-blogging film review for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Next week we’ll make a start to what promises to be an equally long review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

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