Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


DVD eases entrance into ‘Order of Phoenix’

Rising from the ashes of the series finale in July, "Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is now available on DVD for all Rowling
fans yearning for a cinematic fix of their favorite boy-now-turned-teen wizard.
The film focuses on Harry's battle against an unforgiving, unfriendly wizarding
world, as well as the growing darkness inside him. Still, not all is doom and
gloom in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" — a slew of lighthearted
special features adds a little magic to the film's dark tone.

From the very ominous beginning of "Order of the Phoenix,"
young Harry's world seems to be in more disarray than usual. Within the first
several minutes, he and his cousin are attacked by soul-sucking Dementors,
which eventually results in Harry's temporary expulsion from Hogwarts. To make
matters worse, the Ministry of Magic has begun a slanderous campaign,
converting many of Harry's previous allies into skeptical enemies. Still, the
former hero's abysmal situation only gets worse when he learns Voldemort, the
most evil wizard of all time, has begun to invade Harry's psyche through the
scar permanently burned into the young wizard's forehead. In general, Harry's
fifth year at Hogwarts is far less magical and lighthearted than his first
four, an aspect Potter-film loyalists have used to discredit the film's

Despite the film's generally dark, depressing and
introspective theme, "Order of the Phoenix" is a quality film. In fact, it's
quite good. The grainy cinematography during Harry's summer stay at the Dursleys'
captures the futility of life at No. 4 Privet Drive, as well as the
conspiratorial tone of the first Dumbledore's Army meeting at the Hog's Head
Inn. This cinematic adaptation also neatly diminishes Harry's incessant whining
in the novel while still depicting the wizard's struggle with the dark force
that grows within him.


Perhaps most striking about this particular cinematic
adaptation, though, are the battle scenes, most notably the wand fight between
Dumbledore and Voldemort. Continuous shots of magical lightning bolts, a
towering waterfall of shattered glass and an electric hiss fill the Ministry of
Magic's main lobby as both wizards battle for Harry's soul. Impressive and
exciting wand wars like this set "Order of the Phoenix" from the four previous
Potter films, giving this fifth film into a more thrilling and ultimately more
mature role.

Still, the most exciting portion of the "Order of the
Phoenix" Special Edition DVD lies in the disc's special features. Although bonus
scenes offer little more than additional camera angles and a humorous clip of
Professor Trelawney's bumbling mannerisms, other bonus features like the studio
tour "Trailing Tonks" or the nearly hourlong "The Hidden Secrets of Harry
Potter" allow viewers to delve deeper into the world of Potter. But the best
additional feature, "Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing," allows viewers young
and old to create their own cinematic magic by mixing a short film clip with
audio tracks and background.

The film version of "Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix" shows the world that its favorite boy wizard has begun his journey
into manhood. Striking fight scenes and a pervading theme of despair and choice
highlight the descent into darkness as Voldemort begins his control of the
wizarding world and even Harry's psyche. Still, fans of the first four Potter
films' fantastical nature need not be discouraged — the behind-the-scenes
glimpses and unique film production features of "Order of the Phoenix" add
enough whimsy to please even the lightest of hearts and the strongest of Potter

3 stars out of 5

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *