Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Return to magic. Return to Hogwarts. We now make it to 2nd year at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. We follow Harry and his friends in another school year full of adventure, magic, and mystery.
When the film opens and I see Harry and Hedwig, already I feel a warm feeling inside. It feels good to see these characters again and to know that I’m about to join in anther harrowing tale with them. Already I feel a distinctive bond with Harry and his plight. The Dursleys are gloriously annoying. I share in Harry’s discontent for them and relish it. Then, this creature shows up and I’m plunged into instant intrigue. I like the expansion of the wizarding world here. Things like the presence of a class-based separation dive a little further into the world and show the different levels and elements to it. Suddenly this magical world is a lot deeper and feels more alive. It’s clear that this story is going to pull back the curtain more and really set itself into this strange, new world. The idea of this hidden chamber within the school is an interesting one that is shrouded with enjoyable secrecy. The mystery that plays out in this story is very engaging and interesting all the way through.
Characters are once again the breath of the film. The Weasley family is made up an a way that makes them feel charming, warm, and relatable. Rupert Grint, as Ron, really steps up the comic side of his character. He uses the awkward stage of his developmental stage to his advantage. Alan Rickman once again brings both subtlety and intensity to Snape make it an effective and engaging role. This time though, it’s Kenneth Branagh that shines through in this movie. His portrayal of Professor Lockhart is genius. His mastery of the dramatic arts provide a performance of comic gold.
So the world of Hogwarts still feels every bit as magical as it did before, but it’s lightheartedness and warmth are starting to dim. The journey that Harry is taking in his new life is starting to take on a more serious note. There is still lighness and innocence to it but, make no mistake, things are heading toward grim. The story revolving around the very metal looking Chamber of Secrets,