Directed: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Harry is in his fifth year at Hogwarts, no one believes Harry’s story about Voldemort’s return. The Magic of Ministry isn’t helping things by trying to keep it all under wraps.
This was my favorite book. I was worried about how everything that was crammed into the hugest book in the series was going to make it into the movie. What I loved in the book that Harry was a complete ass. I loved that J.K. Rowling made a beloved character act like a true teenager. He was so angry at being kept in the dark all summer long while Ron and Hermoine knew what was going on, and would lash out at them all year long. I loved his irrational anger at them both becoming prefects while he wasn’t chosen. He was angry that Dumbledore had kept him in the dark about the Order and the increase in Voldemort’s activity, and really upset that he wouldn’t look him in the eye. That anger didn’t come through in the movie as intense as it came up in the book. It was there slightly in bursts, but it doesn’t last long. I can understand how it was calmed down a bit since it would make the movie really long and not have a lot of action if we were just lost in Harry’s thoughts.
They did an excellent job with Umbridge. She was so evil in the book and Imelda Staunton did a great job making her just as evil in the movie. She bugged me so much in the book and I couldn’t wait for her to get her due, but I loved having her as an antagonist for the kids. She brought Hermoine out of her shell and she was actually willing to rebel against someone who was taking away her rights rather than blindly following the rules set before her.
Umbridge also led to the formation of Dumbledore’s Army, which was entertaining in both the book and the movie. It gave Harry a chance to flirt with his crush Cho and gave Neville a chance to actually do something right. It also showed that Ron’s little sister Ginny is growing up. For those that have read the books, they know where that is leading.
One of the items that was cut from the movie that was in the book was the Quidditch matches, which is a shame only for Ron finally getting on the team. Beyond that, I didn’t miss the matches. They have never been my favorite part of the books. I felt there was enough other action going on to sustain my interest. That other action was all in the very end of the movie at the Ministry of Magic. We were able to really see how evil Bellatrix Lestrange could be, and she even seemed scarier than Voldemort. I thought the movie missed the mark on the tension in the fight scenes. The loss of life seemed to happen too quickly and if you blinked, you would miss it.
One area that I thought lacked on both the movie and book end was the entire fight scene with Harry and Voldemort. I always felt the lack of love in Voldemort’s heart was cheesy and it came across that way in the movie too. There was all this build up and then just a tidy ending to wrap up the story, but keep Voldemort around for the next book. All of the cheese is explained better in the final two books, but I didn’t buy it at the time and the movie couldn’t do any better with it.