Thursday, 20 November 2008

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I have two words for you:

Imelda Staunton

Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the movie adaptation of this book really makes this book, which is overly long and really not the best Harry Potter book in my opinion. However, Imelda Staunton goes a long way to redeeming it.

I believe she is the best portrayed of the ill-fated Defence of the Dark Arts teachers we've had in the movie versions so far, although in the upcoming Half-Blood Prince she may be well-challenged by Alan Rickman when Professor Snape takes the position. I do think Alan Rickman makes a fantastic Snapey ... oooh Professor Snape. Sorry, Dumbledore.

Staunton is admirable, but if you want a really good Staunton movie, go watch the movie adaptation of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals where she plays Mother. It's a much funnier, quirkier movie and the book is excellent too.

The first problem with the Order of the Phoenix is the book is really far too long, and even Rowling has admitted she could have trimmed it.

Also, the story isn't nearly as riveting.

OK, I liked some of the ideas. The whole take-off of bureacracy with Umbridge's silly self-constraining decrees (and the question whether this would mean she could actually stop people playing Exploding Snap in class because of her own decree), and the sadistic Umbridge quill was pretty good. And the side plotline of abuse of authority through prefects seemed to work too - even if it was a little overplayed.

Cho was wet and annoying, thank goodness Harry seemed to grasp this. And Neville grew up in this one - somthing good to see.

By the end of the book it was more like a trek than anything else - and the problem with the movie was it felt more like a sequence of sketches, rather than a really good, strong, well-developed storyline.

All in all - not a fave Harry Potter of mine and despite being the longest of the lot, one of the more forgettables, to me.

No comments: