Tuesday, December 6, 2011

3 Short Paragraphs: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

2002, Chris Columbus -- download

This one is my least favourite of the series, and the last one by the director of the first.  It is also the most stand-alone of the series, following on the coat tails of Harry's first defeat of "he who cannot be named" and during a short period when Harry believes he must be destroyed.  But of course, the legacy is still there and the danger very apparent.  The movie is really about adding to the milieu of the series, introducing us to details of the story that will continue for the rest of the films, but without much explanation. While I love the elements, I found the directing lackluster and was glad it was Columbus's last one on the series.

At the beginning, Harry is shown back at his Aunt & Uncle's house but now he actually has a bedroom.  I guess his muggle family is a little worried about pissing off the new wizard in the family, but not so much to stop treating him like a servant. Then we meet Dobby, an elf (man, this series does not treat it's non-human species prettily) who wants Harry to not return to Hogswart.  It's dangerous y'know.  Of course Harry refuses which causes no end of trouble. Of course he goes back to Hogwarts and of course there is danger and of course Harry and his friends cannot help but get mixed up in it.

The "episode" is all about the danger that lurks within the halls of Hogwarts, something that is presented not only in the lurking shadows of Voldemort but also in seemingly random elements of the school itself. Magic, whether light or dark, seems to come with a dangerous element that cannot be avoided. Things are discovered and deemed dangerous, but not destroyed or removed, just controlled and/or hidden. Also, this movie introduces the idea, which gets worse and worse, of the political involvement in Hogwarts and wizard affairs. Not shown as dark or light, they are meddlesome, controlling and insidious in only a way politicians can be. It seems, even in a world where Dark and Light can have capital letters, politics is its own form of evil.