Harry Potter and The Girl who Just Watched Them

My thoughts on the Harry Potter franchise.

Lauren Mccloy, Staff Writer

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You would think, being a sophomore in high school I would have already seen all the Harry Potter movies. But up until this weekend I hadn’t! Elementary school me refused to watch anything that had to do with Harry Potter, my dad even bought me a wand from Universal and still, I would get bored within the first minute of it. So, I decided that I should finally watch at LEAST the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And from that moment on I was hooked. I had been on the rides, heard my friends and family talk about it, but now- now I really knew what it was about. So here’s a ranking of all the eight Harry Potter movies from someone who just watched them, 18 years after the first one came out. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets(movie #2)

The lengthy film coming into about 161 minutes, is the longest one of all eight and I guess it makes sense as it’s also the last to try and fit basically everything from the book into the movie. And while the film isn’t bad, it is way too dragged out. But Dobby, the funny and irritating adorable CG character, made it a lot better. The movie further defined the wizarding world with information from the issues of Hogwarts’ dark past. But while Chamber of Secrets is enjoyable, it doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the seven other movies. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1(movie #7)

As difficult as it is to judge a film that is half a story, I did. And it falls under seventh place for me. Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is interesting, seeing these characters out and about in the “muggle” world is a good change for the storyline. But it loses that interest in its second half, because Ron, Hermione, and Harry on a directionless hunt as they fight amongst themselves just wasn’t that compelling to me. And the conflict is necessary for part 2, watching it just wasn’t as good as I anticipated. But it showed that these are kids who have the weight of the world on their shoulders. And for that, it was a good film but not the highest on my list. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire(movie #4)

In this movie the students took their big first step towards adulthood, introducing a wizarding world much larger than Hogwarts while giving the first major onscreen appearance of Voldemort or he-who-must-not-be-named. And there is always the highs and lows with plenty of drama for Harry, Ron, and Hermione with the looming ball and arrival of foreign students. But in my opinion Voldemort’s arrival isn’t as terrifying as it could/should have been. It’s far from a bad movie, but there could have been more in depth moments in the film. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(movie #5)

A new important character introduced in this movie switched things up a bit. The themes of power and corruption through Dolores Umbridge, who is disgusting, disarming, and terrifying all at once, and her impact at Hogwarts gets Harry and their team of assembled students to start taking matters into their own hands. Order of the Phoenix is a different film, in the summer, in a new location, with a confrontation between Harry and Dudley. It all comes to the Voldemort and Dumbledore fight and the issues involving Ministry of Magic. This film was confusing in some parts but the end of the film was drastic and impactful to all the other films to come.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone(movie #1)

As the first movie, the one that got me hooked onto watching seven more, I would have to say this movie, while it may not be as flashy or impressive as the rest of the films, deserves so much credit for setting up this series. By laying a great foundation off of which the other films could be built from. The incredible cast, fit each character perfectly and lasted for seven more movies. This film is basically told through the eyes of 11-year-olds, but it fits well. Sorcerer’s Stone was a fantastic entry in the Potter franchise, that gets more flashy as it goes on. The development and getting to know the characters through their charm and smarts, and seeing the founding of a great made this movie one of the best. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(movie #6)

This movie is one series lightest and darkest of all eight. Half-Blood Prince is certainly the funniest film, with romantic comedy, a goofy quality to Professor Slughorn, and the whole  “Hermione’s got nice skin” conversation between Ron and Harry. But still the devastatingly dark plot and moments surface to the top. The story builds to Dumbledore’s death and Snape’s “betrayal” , as well as Voldemort’s backstory and the introduction of the horcruxes. This movie can make you go from laughter to tears at a flick of a wand. The humor, thrills, and emotional connections between characters makes this one of the best and a tough act to follow.

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (movie #3)

The importance of this film is beyond words. This is the movie that established the creative direction for all the films that followed, the POV rule put into place for this film and hence forward was unforgettable. The characters really come into their own as actors made these characters their own. This film marks the creative highpoint of them all. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is pure magic.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2(movie #8)

This film never lets up, it is interesting throughout the whole thing, and seeing as it is the final one, it lived up to expectations. Wrapping up the most popular franchise since Star Wars is a very difficult task. But it was done beautifully.  Not only are all of the scenes exhilarating and meaningful, but they are with characters that everyone got to know and grown to love over the seven films. And the deaths along with them. There are emotional moments that reassure us what we have known for a couple of films, to he-who-must-not-be-named Harry’s purpose is to die. The highs and the lows of this film made it spectacular, with not one dull moment in the wizarding world. But the last scene, years later, when they all have families and are sending their children to Hogwarts, thats what pulled the whole thing together for me. 

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