Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Another dark movie, not just in content but in design. It starts off with Dudley, who has grown into quite a large lad, threatening Harry (who hasn’t grown quite so much at all) in a playground, and the arrival of the Dementors. All done in a stormy atmosphere, with looming clouds and whatnot. That’s characteristic of the movie throughout. There’s the usual humour of course, and Imelda Staunton’s Dolores Uxbridge is a bright feature amongst all the black (even though her character is in no way as warm as the colours of her clothing), but in general things are dark and getting dark, and the big climax, as in the previous movie, is not only at night, but in a deep dungeon in the Ministry of Magic.
It’s an odd feeling coming back to the same set of characters over and over in a series of movies. I don’t know if there’s ever been any movie plus sequels that worked quite like this, with young characters growing in age, and an ongoing storyline. If there has, nothing comes to mind at the moment. It’s like finding yourself back with relations you haven’t seen for a while. Their lives have been going on, but you haven’t been in attendance all the time.
Staunton is the only major new character in this film, and she revels in the part, taking control from her first scene. Everyone around her seems to be struggling to get their heads above water. Uxbridge is a wonderful and dreadful creation in the book; Staunton makes sure she’s the same in the movie. It’s to be hoped all the other characters manage to stay around for the final two films in the series. There was some talk of Emma Watson not being keen to carry on with the movies. While we could cope with Professor Dumbledore changing (just), I’m not sure that losing one of the main three characters would work. However, latest reports confirm that all three youngsters will be in the next two films. Then, perhaps, they can get on with their real lives. Maybe.

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