July 11, 2007, - 4:30 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve never read a Harry Potter book and have never seen any of the movies based on them. So when I walked into the screening of the latest silver screen installment, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” I was almost completely ignorant about this passion of so many kids and even many adults. Given that, please forgive me if I get some of the Harry Potter jargon wrong.
Since, as I’ve said, I’ve not seen the other Harry Potter films, I can’t compare them with this one, in theaters today. That said, I found the movie to be both charming and banal. I liked the magnificent sets, wardrobe, and special effects (though a few computer-generated images were obvious). It’s great for kids, but at almost 2.5 hours, I wonder how they sit through it. A long book (900 pages) equals a long movie.
Here’s the plot: Harry must defend himself against using his powers against evil in front of “Muggles” (mere mortal humans without powers). Upon returning to wizard school, an evil woman, Umbridge, manages to take it over from Lord Dumbeldor. She is against teaching the kids how to fight the evil Lord Voldemort, teaching them theory instead of practice. Harry and the kids must fight to depose her and face off with Voldemort.
As I said, very charming and great for kids, but at the same time, also very banal and long. One caveat: I thought it was a little scary for younger kids. But I guess if they’ve already read the book, they’re prepared.
Tags: Debbie Schlussel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Phoenix, Umbridge