Best of
lMovie Review
"Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets"
By Mira Harber

Now we can get on with the story…The first Harry Potter movie was mostly about exposition - setting the story up, introducing the characters and the magicians' school Hogwarts, and telling a story, but somehow it missed the charm and magic of the book. Not so in this second film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We get right into the thick of things, so if you haven't seen the first film, stop now, rent it, and then see the film.

Something evil is loose in Hogwarts. Even the professors all seem worried. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are on a mission to find out the answers to some questions. Is there really a Chamber of Secrets? If so, is there really a monster inside it? Is it true that only a true descendant of Slytherin (one of the original co-founders of Hogwarts) can open the Chamber? What does Tom Riddle's book (a former student), complete with magical writing, have to do with all of this? These questions and many more will be answered in The Chamber of Secrets There are some delightful new additions to this movie. First and foremost is the idiotic, egotistical magic professor Gilderoy Lockhart (played splendidly by Kenneth Branaugh) author of his own autobiography Magical Me.  Another creepy addition is the malevolent Lucius Malfoy, father of bad-boy Draco. 

The entire magical world of Hogwarts is superb. This is what special effects should be all about, in my opinion. They serve the story - never get in the way of it. Right from the early moments of the film when Ron Weasley and brothers fly up (and I do mean fly) and rescue Harry from his horrid Muggles relatives we're drawn effortlessly into a magical, fantastical world.

The three principal young actors have grown nicely into their roles and seem more assured and suited to their parts than ever. The usual casts of professors of magic and secondary roles are all on hand too and add delightfully to the mix. I especially like the giant Hagrid - more about him soon.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is a wonderful movie, and if your child is old enough, or made of stern enough stuff (because it can be pretty scary in parts) then don't miss it.


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