Continuing on my new section From Book to Media, I recently finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and also finished listening Harry Potter and the Sacred Text: Season Two, so of course that meant I had to re-watch the movie adaptation. It was another great stroll down memory lane!
Memory Lane: My husband (back then boyfriend) and I began watching the Harry Potter movies during our first few dates!
Here are my thoughts of this movie adaptation:
The casting was stellar again! The cast from the previous movie was great and loved that they continued on with amazing performances. I thought the actor who played Gilderoy Lockhart, Kenneth Branagh, did a fabulous job in playing this self-centered and egotistical man who is just annoying to be with, lol. But, the best part of his acting was when Gilderoy’s memory charm backfired at the end. I liked his acting in this short time because I actually felt bad for a few seconds until I remembered that he was about to perform this strong memory charm to a couple of preteens and have performed the memory charm to several others in the past.
I also think that the little romance building between Ron and Hermione (played by Rupert and Emma) was perfect! I feel like at that age when you have a crush on anyone it’s already awkward, but when you’re friends already, it can be even more awkward.
I noticed that the specific arrangement for music continued as each place and/or people was shown in this movie, like the first one. In this one, though, I did notice it a bit less, but I think this was probably just me (I was a little sleepy when I started to re-watch Chamber of Secrets 😮 )
I found the dynamic between Harry and the Dursleys in the movie version compared to the book interesting. In the book, the relationship is more abusive and heartbreaking. Though it is heartbreaking in the movie version too, there’s almost a comedic aspect to it as well. This is probably fitting since the main plot line isn’t the abuse, it’s more of Harry’s journey in learning who is he, his role in the wizardry world, and this overarching theme of good versus evil where the evil is of course Voldemort and his followers.
There were a few aspects of the movie that I felt could have been improved.
- One would be how much the movie hinted that Lucius Malfoy owned Riddle’s diary and placed it in Ginny’s hand; it just seemed too obvious right from the beginning.
- Another one, and I’m pretty sure the book as well, was how did Professor McGonagall know that Ginny was the one that was kidnapped and brought to the Chamber of Secrets? Did Moaning Myrtle say something?
- There were also a couple of lines that two of the characters’ said that were kind of stiff and unnatural – Arthur’s retaliation toward Lucius at the bookshop and Hermione pointing out how Draco’s dad had to buy his way into the Quidditch team. Each scene had an awkward pause mid-sentence. Both are wonderful actors, but I just wasn’t sure why they had to pause with their respective lines.
- Lastly, I really found it irksome that almost every time a character came into scene, someone had to state the character’s name. I think that the writers were probably trying to help those who haven’t read the books to explicitly identify each character, but since I already knew, I cringed each time.
It would be neglectful if I didn’t mention how much I loved that the writers/producers gave Hagrid more time when returning to Hogwarts. In the book, Hagrid coming back from prison is just sort of glossed over and I felt bad that there wasn’t something more for him. So, when I saw the last scene where everyone is cheering for Hagrid and his return, it warmed my heart.
The essence of the book is definitely here, even with some deleted scenes, and other than these few scenes, I really enjoyed how the movie was presented.
Scenes I Missed:
One of the biggest scenes that wasn’t in the movie was the Deathday party with Nearly Headless Nick. I don’t know how much this would have added to the plot in general, but I thought it would’ve given the ghosts a bit more depth.
Is it bad that I kind of wanted to see the fight between Arthur and Lucius at the bookshop?
I know fighting never solves anything, but how can Lucius get away with causing the kidnap/possession and almost death of an eleven-year-old girl while Hagrid is thrown in jail while being innocent? The least Malfoy deserves is a few good hits!
I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but felt there could have been some improvements. Most likely, I will watch this movie again in the future, which is very exciting. It was a great continuation into the wizarding world!
If I had to give this book-to-movie adaptation a rating, I would give it an 8/10 attempts of Dobby saving Harry’s life!
Thank you for tuning in! Until next time!