Thursday, July 12, 2007

Film: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Remember how I said the movies take a dark turn at the end of Goblet of Fire? I loved it, and I thought it was the perfect move for the story. This film continues that darkness, carries it all the way through, and broke my heart with it. I'm intensely impressed.

I thought (having only recently caught up with the story) it was possible that the story remained in the arena of entertainment, light and fun for the majority, not daring to jump into the dark places of real storytelling. I was totally wrong. And I love that.

This movie was slower, less thrilling, more depressing than its predecessors. But everything was so intensely felt, the experience was completely satisfying. It felt like a slow burn. It felt like the middle of something epic. It was also sophisticated, looking both to the outside world and to personal mythologies. The consolidated authority held power over all of our outcast heroes. It treated them unfairly. But so did the world. Everyone in this movie was an orphan. But they've learned to work together, and there's nowhere to go but up. (Which doesn't mean it isn't going to suck, and be really hard to deal with, and kill people and make you cry. It is. But I think this was the loneliest sustained point of the story.)

I don't know what happens next, so I don't know if the story will deliver on all its promises. But I'm holding out hope that it will.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
dir. by David Yates, 2007

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