22 February 2014

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002
  • Director: Chris Columbus
  • Based on the book by J.K. Rowling
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Kenneth Branagh, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Harry Melling, Richard Harris, Mark Williams, Toby Jones, Julie Walters, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Devon Murray, Alfie Enoch, John Cleese, Luke Youngblood, Sean Biggerstaff, Danielle Tabor, David Bradley, Bonnie Wright, Jamie Waylett, Josh Hirdman, Chris Rankin,  James and Oliver Phelps, Jason Isaacs, Miriam Margoyles, Gemma Jones, Shirley Henderson
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Daniel Radcliffe  The Woman in Black, December Boys, Extras, David Copperfield
    • Emma Watson – My Week with Marilyn
    • Rupert Grint  Driving Lessons
    • Robbie Coltrane – From Hell, Henry V, Black Adder, Tutti Frutti, Absolute Beginners
    • Maggie Smith -  Hotel Marigold, A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Keeping Mum, David Copperfield, Tea with Mussolini, Richard III, Sister Act, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    • Alan Rickman – Alice in Wonderland, Snow Cake, Sweeney Todd, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, Michael Collins, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. The January Man, Die Hard, Romeo and Juliet
    • Kenneth Branagh - Hamlet, Frankenstein, Henry V, Valkyrie, Wallander, Swing Kids, The Boat That Rocked, Rabbit Proof Fence, Shackleton, How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Fortunes of War, My Week with Marilyn
    • Fiona Shaw – The Butcher Boy, Jane Eyre, My Left Foot,
    • Richard Griffiths - The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Gandhi, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Comedy of Errors, Withnail and I
    • Harry Melling – Merlin (Gilli)
    • Richard Harris – Gladiator, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Camelot, The Guns of Navarone
    • Mark Williams – Hustle, Merlin (Goblin’s voice), Stardust, Tristram Shandy, Shackleton, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, Shakespeare in Love
    • Toby Jones – Hunger Games, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Frost/Nixon, The Mist, Infamous, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Finding Neverland, Ladies in Lavender,
    • Julie Walters - Billy Elliot, Educating Rita, Mamma Mia, Driving Lessons, Calendar Girls, The Young Jane Austin, Wah-Wah, Titanic Town, Prick Up Your Ears
    • John Cleese – Monty Python, A Fish Called Wanda, Fawlty Towers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Meaning of Life, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Taming of the Shrew, Silverado
    • David Bradley – Another Year, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend, Prick Up Your Ears, A Family at War
    • Jason Isaacs – Case Histories
    • Miriam Margoyles – Merlin, Modigliani, Being Julia, Lavender Girls, Sunshine, Romeo and Juliet, Immortal Beloved, Dead Again, Black Adder
    • Gemma Jones – Merlin (The Cailleach), Bridget Jones’s Diary, Longitude, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, The Merchant of Venice, The Devils
    • Shirley Henderson – Taming of the Shrew Retold, Tristram Shandy, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 24 Hour Party People, Train Spotting, Rob Roy
  • Why? It’s Harry Potter!
  • Seen: Four or five times. Now: February 21, 2014
       They’re already bigger, Harry and Ron’s voices are just a little deeper, and the story itself is getting darker in spite of the hilarious and exciting flying car episodes and the delightfully obnoxious self-loving, fraudulent and cowardly Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in the form of a blond smug Kenneth Branagh.
        Enter Dobby to warn Harry of danger and to resort to drastic means to get him to stay away from, then leave, Hogwarts.  Enter Lucius Malfoy who together with his son Draco, now vicious instead of just smarmy and nasty, spread their insidious racism against Muggles and Muggle born magicians. In other words, the stage is being set.
       The story is quite convoluted and sometimes it seems unnecessarily contrived – the potion to turn Harry and Ron into Crabbe and Goyle just to get a little information and a few laughs, for example, but the strengths of the film are many: Kenneth Branagh (as always), meeting the Weasley family, meeting Dobby, seeing more of Ginny. And Ron’s classic lines: “Why couldn’t it be, ‘Follow the butterflies?’” And “Can we panic yet?”
       Most importantly the emergence of Harry the hero, Harry the speaker of Parseltongue, Harry the confronter of Voldemort.
       There is humour and excitement, and a feeling of pending conflict and doom in this second film.
       And the ending, when Hagrid returns from Azkaban to be united with his young friends, brought even more sniffs and tears to this blogger than the first film.

5 * of 5

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