I love/hate Harry Potter mania. For instance, when I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
at a theater with a sadly smallish screen. An older guy kicked at the back of my seat. Another turned up his iPhone so loud, I could
hear Madonna. But as the theater
darkened and as the film’s plot unfolded, I was in awe, the I’m-inside-the-movie
Order of the Phoenix is an instant classic, no doubt. Over of the next few days, I’m going
explain why I think it’s the best movie in the Potter series.
The first reason: The Plot. J.K. Rowling is not only a terrific writer, she’s a smart writer. As Harry matures from childhood to ‘tween to
teen, the plot grows darker – just like real life grows darker as I grow
older. Since director David Yates followed
the book fairly faithfully, the story of Order of the Phoenix goes beyond the “ooh and ahh” factor
of Harry’s discovery of magic and the ability to wield spells.
The film is more about the relationships between people, er, wizards than it is about
the visual thrills of spellcasting and Quidditch matches (which always bored
me). In this movie, Harry is an outcast, something we’ve all felt now and then. Harry also wonders if the girl he’s let into his
life is truthworthy. And, Harry realizes
how tough it can be to deal with haughty authority which mishandles its
power. (Real life adults can make the
analogy: Maggie Smith’s Minerva McGonagall = George W. Bush.) So
beyond the glitz of special effects, Order of the Phoenix has one of the best stories ever to
his a fantasy franchise – ever. Can the adaptation of Half Blood Prince top it? The bar has been set really high.
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