If you haven’t already, click the following link to read the previous #Pottermania post: Philosopher’s Stone. This edition will cover the book-to-film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, based on J.K. Rowling’s second book of the Harry Potter series.
Just a quick refresher … the film begins as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is back at the dreaded Dursley abode, hating his summer and counting down the days until he is back at Hogwarts. However, a house elf named Dobby has other plans as he warns Harry not to go back to Hogwarts as his life will be in grave danger. When Harry strongly disagrees, Dobby decides to magically drop a cake on the wife of Mr. Dursley’s important guest, and all hell breaks loose. Harry is triple-locked into his room, is informed that he WILL NOT be going back to Hogwarts, and bars are applied to his windows. However, the Weasley boys arrive in their magical flying car to save Harry and Hedwig.
After arriving at the Burrow, the boys are aggressively lectured by Mrs. Weasley (Julie Walters) and secretly applauded by Mr. Weasley (Mark Williams). The entire gang then make their way to Diagon Alley to get their supplies but Harry epically fails at using Floo Powder. Enter Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), who shows up to bring Harry back to meet the others at the book store. They all meet their new “celebrity” teacher Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), and have a vicious meeting with Lucious Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) and his devious son Draco (Tom Felton).
The next day they’re all off to Hogwarts, but when Harry and Ron (Rupert Grint) try to enter Platform Nine and Three-Quarters they are blocked out by the barrier. The two decide to take the flying car to Hogwarts and end up crashing into the Whomping Willow, which results with Ron breaking his wand and the duo almost being expelled. During their detention Harry hears strange voices and ends up coming across a petrified Mrs. Norris (Filch’s cat), as well as blood writing on the wall noting that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened! Several students are petrified as the school year continues, and the trio all think that the heir of Slytherin is Malfoy. Hermione (Emma Watson) has the brilliant idea to cook up some polyjuice potion, so they can disguise themselves to get information out of Malfoy.
As the potion brews in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom Harry learns that he’s a Parseltongue, so naturally the entire school assumes he is the Heir of Slytherin. On Christmas Day the trio drink the potion, but only the boys succeed as Hermione accidentally transforms herself into a cat. During their chat with Malfoy they realize that he is definitely not the heir, but that a muggle-born was killed when the Chamber was opened 50 years earlier. A few days later Harry finds a diary enchanted with Dark Magic after someone throws it at Moaning Myrtle. The diary was owned by a student named Tom Riddle, and his memory shows Harry a flashback of Riddle accusing Hagrid of opening the Chamber.
Soon after, the diary is stolen from his room and Hermione is petrified after searching for a clue in the library. Ron and Harry decide that this is the moment to finally question Hagrid, but unfortunately his history with the Chamber lands him in a cell at the Prison of Azkaban. But, before he is taken away Hagrid tells the boys to “follow the spiders”, so of course that’s what the they do. Once again they end up entering the Forbidden Forest, and eventually come across Hagrid’s old spider Aragog. Before allowing his colony to attack the boys, Aragog states that Hagrid was innocent and that the girl who died was found in a bathroom. After the flying car comes back to save them, Harry and Ron head to the hospital wing where they find a page in Hermione’s hand that reveals the Chamber’s monster is a basilisk.
They then find out that Ginny has been taken into the Chamber, so they head to Professor Lockhart’s office as he has been assigned to save her. However, they quickly realize he’s a fraud and decide to use him as bait. They head to Myrtle’s bathroom as their assumptions were correct that she was the girl who was killed 50 years earlier, and that the bathroom is where the entrance is located. After entering the Chamber, Lockhart tries to erase their memories with Ron’s wand but he instead causes a cave in after the spell backfires, and ends up wiping his own memory. Therefore, Harry has to enter the Chamber alone where he finds Tom Riddle standing over Ginny’s body.
Tom reveals that he indeed is Lord Voldemort and that he has come to finish what he started. Harry disagrees with Voldemort’s remark that he was the strongest wizard of all-time by stating his allegiance to Dumbledore. As a result, Fawkes (Dumbledore’s phoenix) swoops in to help Harry and drops off the Sorting Hat. Voldemort then summons the basilisk, which Fawkes immediately attacks in order to damage its eyes. After a dramatic cat-and-mouse chase, Harry pulls the sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat and slays the basilisk. However, Harry is unfortunately stung by one of the Basilisk’s fangs in the process, but he uses it to destroy the diary and all remnants of Riddle’s memory. Fawkes once again saves the day as his tears heal Harry’s wound and he carries Ginny, Ron, Lockhart, and Harry to safety.
The film ends as Dumbledore praises Ron and Harry for their bravery, and sends word for Hagrid’s release. He confirms that Harry is different than Voldemort as he chose Gryffindor, and Voldemort would never have swayed from Slytherin’s power. Lastly, Harry is a boss and accuses Lucius Malfoy of putting Riddle’s diary in Ginny’s cauldron back at Diagon Alley. After Harry gives Lucius back the diary he then hands it to Dobby and unknowingly gives him a piece of clothing (Harry’s sock). Therefore, Dobby is FREE and Hagrid returns during the year-end feast, where everyone is happy and all the victims are healed. GO GO GRYFFINDOR!
Favourite Parts of the Film
- The flying car scenes were brilliant! Harry almost fell to his death, the car almost crashed into the school train, and the Whomping Willow gave them a solid beating. Also, it was hilarious when the car threw Harry and Ron out with all their stuff and then tore off into the forest.
- The Quidditch scenes were awesome as usual, especially the rogue bludger scene! Harry was amazing as he wove in and out of the stands trying to avoid the vicious bludger while catching the snitch with a broken arm. Also, Malfoy’s crash made me a lot happier than it should have.
- Neville is the MVP of my heart in this series, because he always gets the raw end of the deal and is adorable anyways. Three of my favourite parts in this film were when he fainted in class, was grabbed by the pixies, and his attempt to tell Ron to open the Howler because ignoring it would be a bad idea.
Plot Changes from the Book
- One part of the film that always frustrated me was Harry’s attempt at using Floo Powder. In the book it made sense that he said the wrong location because he sneezed with all the ash in the chimney. But, in the film he is strongly told to annunciate the word properly and just utterly fails at saying Diagon Alley.
- I liked the change that was made in the film regarding Hermione asking McGonagall about the Chamber of Secrets instead of the ghost teacher. It made more sense as McGonagall discussing its history set the tone for the seriousness of the topic.
- I was a little sad that Hermione was able to get the Polyjuice Potion information from the library without needing the signed form from Lockhart. In the book this extra step continued to show how inept Lockhart was as a professor.
- Another key change from the book was how Hermione figured out the monster was a basilisk. In the film Hermione randomly found it in the library, but in the book Hermione realizes it’s a basilisk when Harry hears the voices after she remembered that he’s a Parseltongue!
1) “I’ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending that I don’t exist.” – Harry a.k.a. Captain Sassy
2) “Well, what did you expect, pumpkin juice?” – Madam Pomfrey
3) “Why spiders? Why couldn’t it be follow the butterflies?” – Ron
4) “Master has presented Dobby with a sock. Master has given Dobby clothes. Dobby is … free.” – Dobby
5) “Scared, Potter?” – Draco … “You wish.” – Harry
6) “Oh no you don’t, boy! You and that bloody pigeon aren’t going anywhere!” – Uncle Dursley
7) [whilst flying out of the Chamber of Secrets with Fawkes, Harry, Ron, and Ginny] “AMAZING! This is just like magic!” – Gilderoy Lockhart
8) “And it’s codswallop to boot. ‘Dirty blood’. Why, there isn’t a wizard alive today that’s not half-blood or less. More to the point, they’ve yet to think of a spell that our Hermione can’t do. Come ‘ere. Don’t you think on it, Hermione. Don’t you think on it for one minute.” – Hagrid
9) “Look everyone, Weasley’s got himself a Howler.” – Seamus Finnigan
10) “Why are you wearing glasses?” – Draco “Oh, uh … reading.” – Goyle “Reading? I didn’t know you could read.” – Draco
As per usual, I have included a couple of bonus items for the HP fans who are looking for a little extra! The first link is for a Buzzfeed article that is the hilarious Chamber of Secrets edition of Dan Dalton’s first time viewing of the second film. The second two images are a tribute to the amazing Madam Pomfrey and Professor Sprout duo. Lastly, the video link is a collage of deleted scenes from the second film!