Directed by David Yates and based on the fifth book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their fifth year at Hogwarts, only to find that the magical community is in a state of denial about his recent encounter with the sinister Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Suspecting that Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) may be fueling the rumours, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy) entrusts newly arrived Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) with the task of keeping a protective watch over the wizarding school. With the school failing to provide the students with the tools that they will need to defend Hogwarts against the powers of the Dark Arts, the trio takes it upon themselves to recruit a small group of students to form “Dumbledore’s Army”.
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book and my comparison of the film to the book soon.
Whilst there is so much to love about this film, I can’t help but feel that this is one of my least favourites instalments because of how gloomy its premise and progression is. Sure, the creation of Dumbledore’s Army is something to be excited by, but what this instalment spends its time doing is to really build up the darkening atmosphere that the state of the magical world has been left in with the inevitable return of the Dark Lord.
And maybe it’s because of this sense of dread and fear that this instalment constantly leaves you feeling that this is such a difficult instalment to love, as it may do a lot in terms of the plot in the context of the whole franchise, but it doesn’t leave you with much hope.
That’s not to say that The Order of The Phoenix isn’t a brilliant addition to the franchise, however, as it does do a lot in the way of development, with the final half an hour, especially, driving the story forwards. It’s just an instalment about emotion rather than action, highlighting the change in the times, which does make it a more difficult film to watch when we’re used to more fun and optimism.
This instalment sees the addition of even more great talent, too, with the introduction of the phenomenal Helena Bonham Carter, and a powerful performance from Imelda Staunton who will really get under your nails.
However, it also sees the death of my favourite character in the franchise. We’ve seen death in the franchise before this, but this one really leaves a mark.