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CoS Review

November 18th, 2002 · No Comments

Okay, after having seen the movie three times and having enough time to
digest it (and enough rest to recover from this weekend), I finally
have time to write an extended review. Spoilers abound, of course.

First off, the acting. Daniel Radcliffe, who I thought did a decent job
first time out, was spectacular here. He had a few off moments, but
nothing that was completely jarring. If he (and the rest of the trio)
don’t do the rest of the movies, I will stop seeing them. Siriusly.

Rupert Grint was spot-on as Ron, although I’m looking forward to PoA,
in which he doesn’t spend so much time being scared. Rupert does scared
very well, mind, but Wimpy!Ron is getting on my nerves a bit. Emma
Watson is also improved, although she overacts in quite a few place.
Her “Mandrake, or mandragora” speech not very well delivered, and
sometimes she starts looking scared before there’s any reason for her
to be scared. But I still liked her. Her reaction to the
“Mudblood” scene was really good. Alan Rickman made the most of every
moment he had on screen. I agree that there wasn’t enough of Snape, but
considering that Snape isn’t even in the book all that much, and that
the scenes that feature him most heavily had to be cut (namely, when
Hermione steals the boomslang skin and bicorn horn), I’m surprised he
got as much screen time as he did. The dueling club was perfect. You
could just see the Lockhart loathing written all over his face.

Which leads me to Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart. It would be
very, very difficult for anyone to do a better job than he did. They
even kept one of the “Harry, Harry, Harry” lines! And the paintings and
photos of him were all hilarious, especially the one on the broomstick.
His “odd place, this,” speech after he lost his memory will forever be
etched in my mind.

Even Richard Harris was a pleasant surprise. I disliked his Dumbledore
in the first film, but he does much better here. Still a bit to stiff
for my taste, but better. The scene in Hagrid’s cabin with the
invisibility cloak was spot-on. It’s nice that his farewell performance
was improved.

And Christian Coulson. Christian Coulson. Perfect. I couldn’t
have asked for a better Tom Riddle. He was incredibly creepy. And very
cute. Just as he should be.

Bonnie Wright was great as Ginny. She made the most of all her scenes,
especially the Chamber. Plus she’s just so cute. I’m really
looking forward to seeing more of her.

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy. He was AMAZING. Siriusly, people, I
can’t imagine anyone else in the role now, although I had some of my
own ideas before the movie. He was incredibly creepy and evil. That
stick-turned-wand of his is used to great effect. I didn’t even mind
the long flowing hair, which jarred me at first.

Now for the movie itself. There were a few random things that bothered
me (why, oh why, is Moste Potente Potions not in the Restriced
Section?), but they didn’t bother me enough to detract from the
overall goodness of the film. So I won’t dwell on them here. I also
won’t go into depth on what I thought were excellent scenes– Dobby,
the rescue at the beginning, the Burrow, the Whomping Willow,
Quidditch, the Polyjuice, and the spiders, were all very well done.
Instead, I want to focus on the best two scenes in the movie: the
flashback and the Chamber.

I love the flashback scene. The sepia tones were very effective,
epecially because Harry himself was still in color. It was creepy to
see Tom watching poor Myrtle being carried out. Tom was very convincing
in his frame-up of Hagrid as well. He seemed genuinely worried and
valiant. Of course, we all know the truth. But it’s easy to see
how Harry was convinced.

But really and truly, it’s all about the Chamber. Goodness, the H/G
moments abound. Daniel Radcliffe was simply spectacular in this scene.

Well, let me just list my favorite moments in this scene:

Harry saying “Ginny!” when he sees her on the floor of the Chamber.
Harry sprinting to Ginny after saying said line.
Harry saying “please wake up” and touching Ginny’s hand.
Tom being all creepy.
Tom not giving Harry his wand.
Harry saying “we have to save her!”
Harry disbeliving of Ginny’s involvement.
Harry getting all mad at Tom.
Tom getting creepier by the second.
Tom writing his name in fire in the air, then rearranging it.
Tom looking completely evil as Harry figures it out.
Harry saying “I bet Dumbledore saw right through you.” (great delivery
by Daniel)
Fawkes arriving.
Fawkes’ theme music.
Harry sprinting back to Ginny after evading the Basilisk for the first
Harry holding Ginny’s hand.
Tom declaring that he will be “very much alive.”
Harry killing the Baslisk.
Harry dying.
Harry holding Ginny’s hand again.
Harry stabbing the diary.
Harry looking quite vindictive while stabbing the diary.
Ginny waking up.
Ginny saying “Harry, you’re hurt.”
Harry acting all heroic and telling Ginny not to worry and to get
herself out even as he knows he’s dying.
Harry saying “You were brilliant Fawkes. I just wasn’t quick enough.”
Ginny looking amazed at Phoenix tears.
Harry saying “It’s over. It’s just a memory.” And smiling really cute
at Ginny.
Ginny holding on to Harry’s waist on the journey back from the Chamber.
Harry putting his arm protectively around Ginny’s shoulders on the
journey back from the Chamber.

So basically, the whole scene. :)

Let’s see, is there anything else? Oh, yes. The freeing Dobby scene was
wonderful. This scene is why I said that Lucius was EVIL in my
preliminary review. *BIG SPOILER HERE* After Harry frees Dobby, Lucius
starts doing Avada Kedavra, only to be prevented by Dobby. I’ve
read quite a few different reactions to this. Many people think it is
OOC for Malfoy to be doing an Unforgivable Curse in the middle of
Hogwarts. Others think the offense is not enough to warrant it. Here’s
my take on it. In Lucius’ eyes, Harry has just ruined everything. Now,
he already didn’t like Harry to begin with. All that stuff with
You-Know-Who, after all. Then he foils Lucius’ plans for this year. He
had gotten rid of Dumbledore. Hagrid was in Azkaban. Muggle-borns were
dropping like flies. 16-year-old Voldie was almost completely back. The
Weasleys were on their way to being, if not discredited, at least
dreadfully hurt at the loss of their only daughter. This were going
very well for him. Then this 12-year-old waltzes in and messes
everything up. Then on top of all of that, he frees Dobby. In the book,
Lucius is extremely angry and is about to curse Harry. We don’t know
what this curse is. I can totally see Malfoy, in a moment of rage,
spouting the first spell that comes to his head– The Killing Curse.
Even if he were to get caught, Harry would still be dead. There would
be nothing that could change that. (Although, my dad and I have our own
theory about what might have happened had Dobby not stopped him. We
think the curse would have just bounced off, probably hitting Malfoy.
Harry is permanently protected from the Killing Curse, in my opinion.)
I don’t think it’s OOC at all. In fact, I think it’s a great example of
just how evil Lucius is.

So that’s it. I loved it.

Oh, wait. The Ron/Hermione non-hug. Brillilant. Blatant. I’d really be
interested to see how H/H’ers explain that one away. Because I
personally think it can’t be explained away.

I need to see it again. :)

Tags: Virtual Parchment

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