Once again, I saw this film shortly after it was released. I also spent a lot of time afterwards playing the games that came with the awesome Chamber of Secrets DVD that I was given which folds out and has pretty pictures. I still wasn’t very much a Harry Potter fanatic at this point, though. I was just a kid who liked the movies. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released in 2002 and was directed by Chris Columbus , written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The film still has a magic feel about it, just as the first one did, but it is a lot darker in the scene’s in which Harry or a friend is in danger. The CGI (if that’s what they called it back then) was amazing for the time. Up to that point, all giant spiders in movies looked completely fake but in Harry Potter they actually looked fairly realistic. I also liked the way the basilisk was done and especially Dobby.
Just like the first movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is very true to the book with only a few slight differences. One of these main differences was the amount that Harry was shunned that year because everyone thought he was the Heir of Slytherin. These scenes got cut for some reason but you can still see them in the deleted scenes. I think the lack of these scenes really detracts from the overall way in which Harry felt throughout the year.
The acting of child-star Rupert Grint is definitely showcased in this film, especially in the Whomping Willow scene. Some new actors in this film are Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle), Hugh Mitchell (Colin Creevy) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny ). Branagh, Isaacs and Coulson did very well in their respective parts and I’m very pleased with how alike their characters are to the ones in the novels.
Despite this, the film still has the childish feel that the previous movie has which means that has a very limited audience. I would have assumed that the darker scenes would have made the film scarier but it didn’t really. They didn’t show the true danger that the characters were in and so didn’t draw you in as well as they could have. In this way it once again appeals to a younger audience.
The music for the movie was once again composed by John Williams, and though he keeps the original Hedwig’s Theme for some parts of the movie, most of the new score was found to be lacking. The songs in the score all sounded very similar to each other and didn’t have such a magical feel as the Philosopher’s Stone score was. A lot of them seem to have sound effects in them rather than actual music. I don’t really know why, but most of the score seems to be cold and empty. It just didn’t fit and could have been a lot better than it was.
Overall the movie doesn’t have much of an identity. I tend to put it in the same category as Philosopher’s Stone because it is so alike. This could be seen because as a positive because it fits in with the film saga, but I see it as a negative because the film comes out as being ‘meh’. It doesn’t have much of a wow factor and doesn’t stand out. It was just, ok.
Favourite character/portrayal: Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson)
Least favourite character/portrayal: Dudley Dursley (Harry Melling)
Favourite scene: When Dobby is freed!
Least favourite scene: The ending with Hagrid (a mixture between awesome and cringe-worthy)
Rating; 3/5 stars