Name: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Running Time (minutes): 138
Description: After a lonely summer in Privet Drive, Harry returns to a Hogwarts full of ill-fortune. Few of the students and parents believe him or Dumbledore that Voldemort is really back. The Ministry has decided to step in by appointing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that proves to be the nastiest person Harry has ever encountered. Harry also can’t help stealing glances at the beautiful Cho Chang. To top it off are dreams that Harry can’t explain and a mystery behind something Voldemort is searching for. With these many things, Harry begins one of his toughest years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
And so the violent decline of the franchise begins. The story is mostly told rather well. I especially liked the humour this time, particularly the fireworks scene. A few things really bother me, though: it is mentioned that Cho betrayed the DA because of Veritaserum. So why did Harry forget all about her in the film world? Did he just decide over the summer she was totally useless or what? But wait, the team talked to a bereavement counsellor, so it’s all good. Also, the prophecy plot really is handled extremely clumsily, a terrible mistake given its importance. But wait, the centaurs have their own language, so it’s all good. At times, I didn’t really like Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Radcliffe and even Emma Watson’s performances. There’s just something dark, something… depressing and raw about this film that I can’t appreciate.
And the score… Hooper’s work really annoyed me. He clearly feels very comfortable writing upbeat music (most of it is very nice too), which is kind of problematic if you’re working with a director who doesn’t seem to understand words such as joy, emotion and happiness and if you’re doing a story that’s anything but amusing. Someone once wrote that Hooper’s music ‘fills space’. I think that’s a huge compliment. At times, his music is just completely counterintuitive: Harry’s expulsion from Hogwarts receives comical music, the flight sequence is scored in such a way you’d think Harry and co were going on a little holiday, the DA meetings sound like a playground get-together… What’s more, Hooper seems unable, or unwilling, to use the full power his orchestra could unleash, it’s all so superficial and simple. Yates really, really doesn’t understand the function of music either, no matter its mood. So much stuff that has musical potential is left unscored, maybe because they realised Hooper just wasn’t up to the task: Harry sulking at the Dursleys’, Harry seeing Voldemort at the station (and as Hermione is looking concerned, cheerful Hedwig’s Theme variations kick in!), Harry being rushed to Dumbledore after the snake vision, DUMBLEDORE AND VOLDEMORT DUELLING… And then about this so-called possession idea. It’s introduced during Harry’s final vision. Great setup of a theme. Williams, Doyle and Desplat’s themes all registered immediately when I first watched the films, but Hooper’s possession idea never did. Granted, Possession isn’t bad at all, but its setup is the huge problem. He also completely forgets to include Umbridge’s theme, which underplays her dangerous side by the way, in key moments. Why? Why did WB approve Hooper? Or Yates for that matter? And what happened to all the previous themes of this franchise that could be used here? No, Hedwig’s theme isn’t the only thing written for this series… Or are the characters too ‘different’ for them?
Di Langford described some actions before they happened again, but what was a bit more annoying was how she kept her information about the Occlumency lessons deliberately vague: ‘happy and terrifying memories’… Overall, not bad at all, though.