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The GoF and OotP Movies

by Sahar Bala

After the recent release of the excellent movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban, most Harry Potter fans are eagerly awaiting the fourth and fifth movies, The Goblet of Fire, andThe Order of the Phoenix. As for me, I am anticipating the movies just excitedly as everyone else, but I also am hoping for a little variation, perhaps a rating change.

After watching the third movie, I was pleasantly surprised. The director, Cuaron, had not taken the “kid-movie” road I had expected him to follow, as Columbus had done. He put suspense and drama into the movie, it was remotely more frightening than the first two movies. It also seemed more epical than the SS/PS and CoS movies, which were more “adventure” movies.

The first three movies had been filmed to meet a PG rating. I am crossing my fingers, hoping that the fourth and fifth movies will be filmed to meet a PG-13 rating. Not that I don’’t enjoy having younger kids in the movie theater, I just don’t think that the books will be accurately portrayed if the movies aren’t allowed to be a little “scary.”

For example, The Goblet of Fire has some very horrific scenes in it, the graveyard scene being, of course, the most prominent. Firstly, the whole rebirthing of Voldemort takes place in a graveyard. The whole point of having this scene take place in a graveyard, (besides Voldemort needing his father’’s bones) is to set a horribly scary mood. Next, nearly the first thing that happens when Harry and Cedric take the Portkey is Cedric’’s murder. Cedric’’s death adds to the grief and suspense of the scene. How are you supposed to make a dark graveyard and the death of a fellow student less scary? The thing is, they are supposed to be scary.

The cutting of Wormtail’’s hand, Cedric’’s death, the torturing of Harry, and Voldemort’’s and Harry’’s duel are parts that I am expecting to be extremely terrifying. I will be sorely disappointed if either: certain parts are cut (Wormtail’’s hand) or if the entire scene is made less scary to invite a younger audience. I especially like the part where Voldemort rises from the cauldron, a dark silhouette through the potion’’s mist; and also the Death Eaters apparating to the site.

The whole plot of The Order of the Phoenix is based on suspense and darkness. We know that Voldemort is back and that the Ministry is doing nothing to stop him. That has to be a little scary and suspenseful, hasn’’t it? The MoM scene isn’’t for children either; it is a major battle. And we cannot forget the death of Sirius. As I was reading the book, at the part where Voldemort appears in the hall, I was nearly trembling with the suspense. I only hope that the movie will make the audience do the same.

I also hope that the anger and sadness shown in the book isn’’t subdued in the movie. In OotP, Harry shows more anger than he does in any of the other books. Anger at his friends, teachers, Cho, and Dumbledore. I think the anger adds to the suspense and darkness of the book. I really loved the sadness shown in the books. Suddenly, after five books, you finally really feel Harry’s pain of losing his parents and the closest thing to a parent he had ever had. I admit that I sobbed when Harry was sitting by the lake, thinking of Sirius, and I hope the movie makes the audience understand the pain that Harry is going through. I am placing my trust in Daniel Radcliffe’’s acting skills, hoping that he will progress as he has been doing, getting better acting Harry with each movie.

I think it is an insult to J.K. Rowling not to show the suspense that she wrote her books to show. The suspense and gloominess of her books are part of her theme, and I think that changing that just so a few kids won’’t have nightmares isn’’t worth it. Let us hope the directors feel the same way.