Exactly 15 years after its theatrical release.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix remains one of the most loved films by fans, as demonstrated by the box office, since it is in third place, with almost a billion dollars grossed in all. the world. But already at the time the critics underlined the changing and gradually more and more dramatic atmosphere of an episode which, in fact, is a watershed between the first and second part of the Trilogy. Having said that, it must be recognized that for once David Yates proved capable of a certain audacity, but above all that the film abandoned the softer tones of a classic teen drama, to embrace a dramatic escalation with meanings that were anything but superficial.
Harry was alone against everyone
This fifth chapter of the adventures dedicated to the most famous wizard ever, came exactly after the Goblet of Fire , after the Triwizard Tournament, with the resurrection of Voldemort and the death of Cedric, as well as with the discovery of a massive conspiracy to recreate the dark horde that had allowed the ultimate villain to amass a power never seen before.
Harry Potter at first risked not only being expelled from Hogwarts for simply being defended in the “normal” world by two Dementors, but he was faced with a climate of suspicion, marginalization and hostility on the part of almost all the other students, persecuted by a blind and defamatory media machine, carried out by the Daily Prophet. And here is the materialization of the Order of the Phoenix, an organization headed by Dumbledore, and including Sirius Black, Remus Lupine, Severus Snapeand several others who have long struggled against the dark lord and for maintaining the balance between the two worlds. It should be noted above all how the film presented us this time with a villain totally different from those we had been used to previously, in the guise of a ruthless bureaucrat, who has the gossipy and impertinent face of Imelda Staunton , in the role of the detestable Dolores Umbridge. From the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, she will eventually become the Headmaster of Hogwarts, establishing a real reign of bigotry and terror among the students, and substantially rising to the symbol of everything hateful a school can represent, including paternalism, hypocrisy and violence. In a nutshell Harry finds himself besieged on two fronts, inside the school that had always been a safe haven for good or bad, and outside where the Death Eaters try in every way to lure him into a trap, in the presence of the Dark Lord. , who wants nothing more than to take revenge on those who led him to an ignominious defeat while still a newborn.
A profound variation of atmosphere and themes
The secret behind the perfect balance of this film lies in the screenplay by Michael Goldenberg , able to perform real acrobatic miracles between Rowling’s original material and the need to adapt it to the cinematic medium. If you think this is something easy, just see how the many films dedicated to the magical universe created by the British writer, to a cold and neutral eye, appear incredibly inconstant in terms of quality and rhythm, despite their status as a transgenerational icon. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixinstead everything works perfection, from the beginning you are captured by an atmosphere that makes the mystery the main engine, with which you do not give particular certainties to the viewer, increasing curiosity and above all empathy towards the characters.
But as remembered by many, this fifth film of the Saga was above all the one in which we managed to put in place a very important metamorphosis, in which the return of Voldemort was the proponent of a total break with respect to what was the saga up to shortly before, with the increase of drama, dangers, and the beginning of a profound connection with an atmosphere of death, tragedy and claustrophobia that will then probably find its climax in the Half- Blood Prince . It is also the chapter in which Sirius Black finds death , undoubtedly the true father figure of reference for Harry Potter, as well as one of the most loved characters of the saga. It is still a very important moment today because it also marks the definitive loss of the innocence already cracked by the death of Cedric, not only for his protagonist but also for all the others. But Harry above all will see himself here connected to a feeling of deep guilt for the feeling of having even indirectly caused it. Among this, the search for evidence as to why the obvious connection between Harry Potter and Voldemort, the film appears to be a gigantic treasure hunt, but it would perhaps be more correct to say a thriller. Much more than other films, this one resembles a kind of fantasy thriller in which Harry and his friends follow a lead in search of a truth, which then turns out to be the harbinger of a somewhat sinister conclusion:
A rebel against the system
Unlike other films in the saga, in particular the last two episodes, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has a very effective, evocative direction, capable of great incisiveness both for what concerns the interior scenes and for the most spectacular, in particular the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort, perhaps the most exciting of the Saga.
In fact, however, Harry Potter becomes a rebel here for the first time, he is a subversive against a system that has been infected from within Voldemort’s servants, and which on more than one occasion winks at the worst of Fascism and totalitarianism.
Dolores Humbridge does not have much to envy in terms of language and characteristics, to certain hierarchs that even cinema has reminded us to be above all mediocre, squalid people, who seek the remedy for their insecurity through the exercise of the most all-encompassing power.
On more than one occasion, the ensemble when set inside Hogwarts, and when it talks about the students’ rebellion against this corrupt and cruel teacher, winks at Peter Weir’s Fleeing Moment, with the Room of the Needs that reminds us a little of that cave in which the society of the Extinct Poets met to exercise creativity and free will.
This can also result from certain points of view as a variation of the teen drama genre, which has had a flood of films centered on students’ willingness to go beyond the rigid and often obtuse rules of the educational institution.
All this, however, cannot put aside the fact that this is perhaps the first film in which Harry Potter is truly alone, he must face considerable trials that cast doubt on his faith in himself and also his relationship with Dumbledore. Above all, he has to move within a universe where he doesn’t know who he can trust. 15 years later, the real regret is the fact that if we exclude The Half-Blood Prince , the grand finale of the saga did not imitate this film in the ability to give that quality that was expected for such an important and so loved narrative universe.