Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was my favorite book, simply because the idea of a resistance army fighting overwhelming odds against the dark forces just blows me over. The images from the book of the final faceoff in the Ministry of Magic have stayed with me.
Watching the movie version tonight, I’m happy to report that those images were translated wonderfully onscreen, filling me with the same kind of excitement and emotion when I finally saw the final fight. I was awestruck, and felt incredibly childlike, like seeing something amazing for the first time.
Maybe I was tainted by Daniel Radcliffe on Jay Leno last night, saying how this new director took the movie and made it his own (at the same time being consistent with the franchise). I, being sorely disappointed with Chris Columbus’s cliche versions and always looking for directors with a unique POV, was not disappointed. Within the first ten minutes, I immediately noticed the change in David Yates’ directing style. Here, finally, was someone who wasn’t afraid of oblique angles, long shots, and extreme close-ups, and most importantly using them when you least expect. But the direction wasn’t artsy-fartsy at all. In fact, it was just right. He’d do little things, little surprises, but they were all acceptable for mainstream movies. He just made it better, that’s all. I loved how he totally removed music from the final battle. And how he swelled the music during that one event (the one that most affected me while I was reading the book, you know what I’m talking about) but let some cries through, effectively breaking the ‘mute all sounds and swell music during dramatic parts’ cliche.
Squared, my officemate who’s a big fan and HP purist, launched into a tirade of the things they changed from the book. I’m sure they changed a lot (my memory’s horrible, LOL) but I was watching the movie as a movie, by itself, and enjoying it. So I think it’s awesome. It’s now my favorite Harry Potter movie, and since this same director is doing movie # 6, things are just going to get better (though story-wise it may get a lot worse…)
Oh, and P.S. Luna Lovegood was cool! And every time Harry would say, “Luna”, I’d jump in my seat 😛