The young wizard Harry Potter is back for the fifth time on screen. After the return of the dark Lord Voldemort in the previous installment, the Ministry of Magic tries every methods to deny his existence. To make things worse, Dolores Umbridge has been sent by the ministry to take control of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is finally introduced to the Order of the Phoenix, the secret society found 14 years ago by Albus Dumbledore, head of Hogwarts, to fight off Lord Voldemort and his followers the so-called Death Eaters. Harry and his friends also form Dumbledore’s Army to practice magic in case of a battle with the dark lord.
The movie is directed by the new director for the series David Yates, who previously known from his direction on the film Underworld. Michael Goldenberg replaced the writer of the first four films Steve Kloves as the screenwriter. The familiar ensemble of the cast is back including Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger.
Like the previous adaptation of Harry Potter series from book to film, the movie suffers from severe editing and alteration of the original story. It’s obvious that 255,000 words long book couldn’t be squeezed into 138 minutes of film. This Harry Potter Book 5 has never been my favorite as I detested the growing of Harry into a teenager full of unreasonable behaviors. I understand how uncomfortable being a teenager and J. K. Rowling portrayed it perfectly in her book. However, with limited screen time, the movie fails to capture this vital element. We only see older Harry Potter (with weirdly short hairstyle) and his friends, in fact they are too old comparing with the age of their characters in the book.
That being said and leaving the book behind, the film is enjoyable to watch, especially the last fighting scene at the Ministry of Magic. Imelda Staunton’s interpretation of Dolores Umbridge is a true scene stealer as she made me hate her character even more than when I read from the book.
All in all, the movie portrays the darker and more grown-up version of Harry Potter. With love and death on the scenes, the film is suitable for more mature audiences. Luckily, young readers who used to read the book and watch the previous films would probably grow up as well.
4 Stars out of 5 – recommend to all Harry Potter’s fans and followers. Even though there are lots of differences from the book, you couldn’t resist Harry Potter’s charm on the screen.