Movie Talk,  MovieMuse Reviews by Erin

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Musing on Movies (Pre-Blog) Newsletter

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In a Nutshell: To borrow from my friend Annette, it’s grand! Better than the first, in my opinion.

Quick Plot: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are back, ready to learn more witchcraft and wizardry, and save the school (and the wizarding world) from evil once more. This time, a strange force is roaming the grounds, hunting “muggle-borns.” Several school inhabitants have already been petrified, with promises to kill scrawled on the walls in blood. If the culprit is not caught, Hogwarts will have to be closed.

In Detail: Wow! I had so much fun at this movie. Again, filmmakers seemed to have plucked characters and settings straight out of my imagination and pasted them directly on the screen. Chamber of Secrets (CoS) is, in fact, my least favorite book, and I still loved the movie. Better than the first by far. It was still a kids movie, without being quite so childish. Perhaps this is aided by the maturity of the stars. The voices of Harry and Ron have now broken, though Harry wears his new tones a bit more easily than Ron. Less “baby fat” appears on all three stars, especially Hermione. Watch out, she’ll be breaking hearts soon! Draco Malfoy, once the smallest of the group, is now the tallest, adding even more menace. My second favorite character in the series makes his debut in CoS: Mr. Weasley. (Sirius Black is my fav; we’ll see him next time.) Though cut to even less of a part than he had in the book, Mr. Weasley’s geniality, generosity, and fascination with muggles is not in question. Lucius Malfoy, played by Jason Isaacs, also makes his first appearance, and what a brilliant casting job that was. His patented sneer was perfect, and he pulls off the white-blond hair as if he were born with it. Wonderful! Even Dobby was less annoying than I expected. Sadly, this is one of the last performances by Richard Harris. It will be interesting to see who is chosen to replace him. Several names are being thrown around (Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart (my fav), to name a few), but nothing definite has been announced. There is no “in memory of” because the film had already gone to print when he passed away.

The film is 2.5 hours, but I did not find it dragging in the slightest (unlike the film for Sorcerer’s Stone). Several of the, um, oversized creatures were enough to give me the willies, especially at the very end. Quite creepy. I certainly don’t recommend this film for children under 5 or 6, but you know your kids best. Be sure you stay through all of the credits (and there are a ton of them) for a small little clip at the end.

Will I Buy It? Absolutely! I really do love this world created by J.K. Rowling, and watching the movie is a great reminder of how much (and why) I love these books. Can’t wait for the DVD!