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Movie Review - Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

Manaswini Garimella

In watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone the first time, I winced during scenes where dialogues had been left out or changed and when I came out of the theatre was not overly impressed by the movie. However, while watching the Chamber of Secrets, I realized that the acting, especially that of the children, had come a long way from the first. The characters seemed far more comfortable in their roles; they did not seem to be playing a part outside themselves. Finally to sum it in a nutshell, the movie ended on a cutesy note, and while many people may not be fond of happy endings, it will definitely bring a smile to Harry Potter fans.

The beginning was made quite well with comic tragedy brought in the form of Dobby, the house elf. Completely computer animated, the elf brought an element of wry humor symbolized perfectly in the book and movie when Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) says “ Just promise me Dobby, NEVER to try and save my life again!” The animation and special effects were done very well, even better than the first, in which Fluffy, the three headed dog (some sort of relation to Cerberus), seemed to be as fake as Scooby Doo in the recent movie, though perhaps more disgusting. Of course, you have to expect such, as live animals are quite difficult to do, and even Fawkes, the Phoenix, wasn’t quite as realistic as could have been wished.

The atmosphere of suspense one wishes in a mystery movie didn’t quite exist either, as the only moment in the movie which built tension was the showdown between Lord Voldemort, the bane of wizard civilization, and Harry. Even here though, the acting left much to be desired. The villain seemed far too detached, or far too randomly angry, while the book seemed to project a different mood, more that of an insane madman taking delight in sadistic torture. More humor was supplied by the inane Gilderoy Lockhart played by Kenneth Branaugh, and while not being as good looking as some girls were looking forward to, he was definitely as oblivious to people as in the book. Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), added to the humor. His brilliant expressions when petrified, horrified or disgusted never ceased to amuse, as well as the break in his voice. Of course being Harry Potter, it wasn’t all fun and games. Scenes at the end with the Basilisk and the spiders were definitely nail biting and suspenseful, unlike the first which never seemed to take off. And of course they must be a moral and a lesson supplied by Dumbledore at the end, when saying, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

All in all, it was an excellent use of the two and a half hours, far superior to my normal job of being bombarded by homework. Some humor such as when Ron voice keeps breaking, when going to find spiders, some suspense, the basilisk and a sound set of morals makes it worth watching with a couple of other Harry Potter addicts.

P.S. Daniel Radcliffe really should get some green contacts !

Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by David Heyman
Written by Steven Kloves
Running Time: 2:40. Rated PG
for scary moments, some creature violence and mild language.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry James Potter
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley
Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall
Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart
Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid
Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape

Manaswini Garimella is a Sophomore at the Lexington High School.Her interests include playing the violin, learning Bharatanatyam and reading Science fiction

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