Review : Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2002 03:22 am
I wrote this review for another site I participate in....

Last Friday night, I was thrilled to recieve an invitation to a special preview to Happry Potter and the Chamber of secrets, which, not surprisingly was gladly accepted !!

First the good parts
The movie stays faithful to the book - or so I was told (I havent read the book myself)
Dobby the house elf is fab, and the way he punishes himself all the time is endearing
Kenneth Baranagh is absolutely fabulous as the untalened yet charming Gilderoy Lockhart (he is hilarious, I think it is one of his best performances)
And so is Moaning Martyle - she is really really funny
Jason Isaacs brings the just right amount of "high handedness" and false pride to the character of Lucuis Malfoy

And now for the bad parts

The movie is way too long (close to 3 hrs, really tests your endurance, though as an avid watcher of Hindi movies, I should not be complaining, also there was gin and tonic flowing during the screening so....)
The effort to cram too much in the movie clearly shows, in fact it is jarring, there is no flow to the story, and the movie moves from incident to incident like checking off all the chapters in the book
The special effects, specially the monster of the chamber of secrets, leave a lot to be desired. He looks like a rubber monster (for those of you who havent read the book, I wont tell you what it is) which is being made to move using strings like a puppet. He does not appear to be menancing at all (apart from small kids - there were plenty of squeals and cries in the theatre)
Richard Harris looks tired, breathless and listless - guess that is understandable, given that he was severly ill during the filming of the movie, and passed away shortly afterwards
Hagrid has no role to speak off, and that was a disappointment, considering that he is such a lovely character (is it like it in the book as well ???)
Harry, Ron and Hermione looks considerably older !! Do children grow so fast ?????

Overall, yes the movie is worth watching once, but at the end it felt like I would not have missed much if I had not seen the movie. Philospher's stone was much much better. Maybe the novelty has worn off, or maybe it was too much gin.......
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Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2002 11:55 am
Children do grow fast! It is truly shocking.

I'm going to a late night showing tonight, though the thought of a three hour movie is not inspiring. There will be no G&T's flowing either (unless I sneak some in... which I won't).
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Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2002 02:25 pm
I will unlikely make a trip to a theater to see "Harry Potter II" and I think Chris Columbus would have benefited by making three of the episodes at once a la LOTR. I received the extended version of FOTR but haven't watched it until I have a group over. Thanks for the review but I'm really more anticipatory of "The Two Towers."
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Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2002 06:21 pm
I felt pretty much the same way you describe about the first movie. I have read all four books and was enchanted, but found the movie disappointing. I was hoping they had learned by now to let the story and characters build and develope with the story instead of just filming the scenes and cramming them together. (The second book was my favorite of the four.)
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Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 09:03 am
Yeah, what Edgar said.

I shouldn't watch movies that start after 10pm, especially those that last three hours. I did fall asleep and dreamt I was on an airplane. Not a good dream.

There were some cute scenes and the children in the audience seemed pleased. I was totally grossed out by the spiders and the slugs. Having been talked into going with this group who went to the first show I don't know if I'll continue the "tradition"... I liked the Harry Potter books, but, the movies? Ugh.

As a side note, the costuming and the landscapes were gorgeous. The car was a humorous sidebar. Guatam, I didn't think the kids had aged THAT much, but that's a mother for ya.
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Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2002 10:23 am
I saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my 11-year-old niece. I agree that it was entirely too long - 2 hours and 40 minutes plus previews and commercials. And it started 20 minutes late to boot!

However, my niece loved it. She was a little scared in the scary parts, but not really. They were littler children screaming and crying however.

I'd say that the movie is great for kids who can sit thru it and probably worth renting next year for interested adults.
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Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2002 02:25 pm
I have been regretful that I did not grow up with these books. I love them as much as the kids. Despite my reservations I will get it on DVD and watch it anyway.
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Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2002 02:56 pm
My Daughter loved the movie.
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