Keywords: harry potter film review, harry potter film analysis
The Harry Potter series has always been an attractive choice amongst a wide variety of viewers much with the book as with its film series. Each motion picture brings more adventure and excitement than the previous; audiences are eager to watch how Harry Potter and his friends grow up in each film. Harry Potter returns in his fifth episode of the series in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. The book is actually more complex and much longer than the movie. This film shows how all the young wizards are growing up and how forthcoming adulthood is coming fearfully fast, with some hurdles. Harry is expelled from Hogwarts for using magic outside of the school, although it was for self defense. Once again, the plot as well as the unique talents and personalities of each of its characters, along with a masterful production full of special visual effects, transport us to the magical world of Harry, fulfilling the expectations of a loyal audience of Harry Potter’s fans. The above combination makes each movie a “must see” to the viewer.
- Adaptation from Book to Movie
The process of adapting the book into the movie was very complicated for the screenwriter Michael Goldenberg. Since the book is longer, provides many more details of the story so Michael had to shorten it to create a reasonable timeline for the length the movie. There are many differences between the structure of the story in the book and the structure in the movie. For example, in the actual book, Harry and his acquaintances create a group that becomes known as the Dumbledore’s Army. They need a secret place to gather so they can learn and practice defensive spells away from the intrusive eyes of Dolores Umbridge, so they go to Dobby for help. In the movie, Dobby is completely absent. There is also an alteration of the ending scene where Harry and his team fight the soul eaters and Voldemort himself inside the Ministry of Magic. In the book Harry and his friends have to pass through several magic rooms to finally get to Voldemort and in the movie the magic rooms are left out and take the characters straight to the point of the fight. If the storyline of the movie were to be produced identical as it is in the book, it would be too long and it would exceed any film’s budget.
- Special Visual Effects
In Harry Potter and the order of Phoenix, supervisor Tim Burke made sure the film was done surpassing the previous ones with new creatures and environmental effects, for this he contracted the Movie Picture Company (MPC) and Double Negative which was largely responsible for creating the sets, building environments, and backgrounds for the movie. The Movie Picture Company was in charge of enhancing the magic effects in fight scenes of the movie. The lighting and creation of new magical creatures in the movie was done by Frame store CFC and Industrial Light & Magic. One example where the blend of lighting and special effects editing are brought together in action is the scene where Dumbledore battles Lord Voldemort. In the scene both characters are shooting each other with flaming blasts from their wands, which is an example of a computer generated effect and the part where Voldemort screams and all the glass in the building shatters is a handmade effect by the people who constructed the stage scene. The lighting in the scene is dark since the characters are in a building and it is a dark conflict scene. In all Harry Potter films, the conflict or fight scenes all are with dark lighting. The unique blend of special effects in the movie is what makes the movie very attractive to many of its viewers.
- Set Design/Filming
The set designer for the first four Harry Potter films, Stuart Craig, comes forth to help with the fifth film set design. The overall inspiration of classical architecture of Hogwarts in the film comes from underground subway stations in London. The whole actual set and movie shots are done in the prime location which an old aircraft is manufacturing facility called Leavesden Film Studios located in England. One of the biggest set structures in the movie is the Ministry of Magic. “It is a massive 220 foot long practical city within a city, Consisting of more than 30,000 individually placed tiles on multiple levels” (Horn). There is a big part of the set that was built by hand and there are some portions that are digitally edited in. One prime example of a purely digital made structure would be the Hall of Prophecies room in the school. The final fight scene between Dumbledore and Voldemort takes place in the hall of prophecies. The part where the windows shatter to the ground when Voldemort surrenders is all digitally done, if that were part of a real set structure, it would’ve taken weeks to be re-built. The filming for the movie was done on and off set in various locations around England. The majority of the interior film shots were done in the studio and others such as the flight scenes and Harry’s trial were done at outside locations. The flight scene where Harry and his friends fly to Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, and the flight of Dumbledore’s Army to the Ministry of Magic were done at River Thames in southern England. The creativeness and dedication of the set crew and production really pays off in the end when audiences watch the final product in action.
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix features a world class cast consisting of some original actors and characters along with new ones. The key characters play a crucial role in this movie as well as the previous ones because the overall plot focuses on Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger ( Emma Watson) with whom Harry grew up since his beginning at Hogwarts. Hagrid the gatekeeper (Robbie Coltrane) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) the headmaster at Hogwarts are kept alive throughout the film because they have been helping and supporting Harry since the very beginning. There is a mix of new student characters such as Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) who plays the role of Harry’s new best friend in this movie. The blending of new and original characters in this film is what brings a whole new adventure in the film.
In general, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix is a must watch film for all fantasy lovers. The combination of special effects, acting, and plot make the movie captivating and entertaining. The movie compared to some other sci-fi type films does not overwhelm the viewer with too many special visual effects; there is a brilliant balance between the fantasy and the special effects. The production design and cinematography in the movie is very astounding in their suitability and professionalism