Monday, April 14, 2008

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy adventure film, based on the novel of the same name, by J. K. Rowling. Directed by David Yates, produced by David Heyman's company Heyday Films, and written by Michael Goldenberg, it is the fifth film in the Harry Potter film series. The story follows Harry Potter in his fifth year at the magic school Hogwarts. The Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of Lord Voldemort and appoints bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge as a teacher at the school

Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Studios in Watford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects. The film's budget was reportedly between GB£75 and 100 million (US$150–200 million).Warner Bros., the distributor of the film, released it in the UK on 12 July 2007, and in the US on 11 July, both in conventional and IMAX theatres.

It is the sixth-highest grossing film of all time, and a critical and commercial success, acclaimed by Rowling, who has consistently offered praise for the film adaptations of her work, as "the best one yet". In general, critics received the film well. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "the best of the series so far, [with] the laughs, the jitters and the juice to make even nonbelievers wild about Harry".The film opened to a worldwide 5-day opening of $333 million, third all-time, and grossed $939 million total, the second to Pirates of the Carribean: At Worlds End for the greatest total of 2007


Harry Potter and his cousin Dudley Dursley are attacked by two Dementors, and Harry drives them off with a Patronus charm. Shortly, thereafter, the Ministry of Magic detect the act of underage wizardry and attempt to have him expelled from Hogwarts immediately, but this is modified to a trial later in the summer. After experiencing horrible nightmares depicting the evil Lord Voldemort's return, Harry is awoken by the arrival of an advance guard of wizards who escorts him to headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organisation founded by Dumbledore. It is only now that harry discovers that, under the Ministry's influence, the newspaper The Daily Prophet has launched a smear campaign against anyone who claims that Voldemort has returned, leaving Harry feeling isolated and betrayed by the wizarding community

With the help of Dumbledore and Harry's neighbour, Mrs. Figg, Harry's name is cleared of all charges at the Ministry and is allowed to return to Hogwarts. However, the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge has appointed a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, a Senior Ministry official who refuses to teach practical magic to her students, as the Ministry fears Dumbledore will organise his own personal wizard army. As Umbridge's control over the school increases, Ron and Hermione aid Harry in forming a secret defence group, calling themselves "Dumbledore's Army" or DA for short.

Harry's nightmares continue, including a dangerous attack upon Arthur Weasley in the Department of Mysteries. Fearing there may be a connection between Voldemort and Harry, Dumbledore immediately initiates Occlumency lessons (given by Professor Snape) to close Harry's mind from the Dark Lord's influence.

Promoted to High Inquisitor, Umbridge, Filch and her loyal Inquisitorial Squad, including Draco Malfoy, uncover Dumbledore's Army after interrogating one of the students, Cho Chang for whom Harry had developed intense feelings. Dumbledore is questioned and makes an impressive escape as Fudge orders his arrest. With Dumbledore gone, Umbridge becomes the new Headmistress, and her sinister dominance over the school continues.

During an O.W.L. exam, Fred and George launch a firework display causing chaos for Umbridge. As the students cheer joyously outside, Harry suffers a vision of Sirius trapped within the bowels of the Ministry. Umbridge, soon after, catches the trio attempting to use the Floo Network, and begins interrogating Harry. Hermione leads Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest in search of a faux weapon when a herd of centaurs emerge and carry the Headmistress into the darkness. Finding Ron and other DA members, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, and Ginny Weasley, they fly to London by winged-horses named Thestrals

The six enter the Department of Mysteries, where they uncover a prophecy involving Harry and Voldemort, but are soon ambushed by Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius's deranged cousin. A battle erupts as the Death Eaters try to stop the students from escaping, resulting in Sirius's death at Bellatrix's hand. Back in the Atrium, Harry corners Bellatrix, where she struggles with his desire to enact the Cruciatus curse. Voldemort himself appears, ready to kill Harry when Dumbledore emerges.

A brief but furious duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore takes place, in which Bellatrix escapes through the Floo Network. When Voldemort disappears, and the battle seems over, Harry suddenly finds himself possessed by Voldemort-- recalling images of his past, of his family and his friends--but throws off Voldemort's influence. Ministry officials, including Fudge, arrive mere seconds before Voldemort disappears.

In the aftermath of this battle, the Ministry is forced to end their smear campaign and Umbridge is removed from Hogwarts, awaiting a formal investigation. Dumbledore explains that he had attempted to distance himself from Harry all year, hoping it would bring less risk as Voldemort would not try to invade his mind. The film ends as Harry tells his friends that they have one thing Voldemort does not: love, a power worth fighting for.

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