With the final chapter of Harry Potter right around the corner, we bid the franchise adieu for taking us on a magical ride for the past 10 years and bringing us into J.K. Rowling's wizarding world unlike any other. As Harry finally closes in on the evil Lord Voldemort in "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2" for what is touted as the best of the franchise, we compiled all of the "Potter" movies in chronological order to shed light for the concluding chapter that will surely leave a 'scar' in our hearts.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The first movie introduced audience to the bespectacled 11 year-old orphan boy who discovers he's a wizard and has gained admission into the witchcraft and wizardry school of Hogwarts. The movie serves as an introduction to Harry's miserable life with his aunt, uncle and cousin until he meets the gentle giant Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwart's headmaster Albus Dumbledore and finds friendship in Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is then he stumbles upon the truth of his parent's death; they were murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort while he managed to survive as the sole adversary who can defeat the dark wizard. The movie is most noted as the most faithful instalment of the saga, sometimes, even word-for-word. The accurate portrayal of the façade of the Hogwarts school, Diagon Alley, Platform 9 1/3, and the Quidditch sport on broomsticks, managed to bring the novel into the big screen visualisation it deserved, even if the acting skills of the young stars has its cringe worthy moments. Still, the movie grossed a whopping US $974 million at the worldwide box office.
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2002)
When audiences watched Chris Columbus' second entry in the franchise, like a fine aged wine, they preferred "Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets" compared to the first movie. This time around, our beloved trio Harry, Ron and Hermione shelved some of the awkwardness they had in the first movie, and progressed more in regards of their noticeable acting skills. Apart from the great moments such as the flying car sequence, Kenneth Branagh as the hilarious professor Gilderoy Lockhart and the Quidditch match with the rogue bludger, it was here that we first met with the timid yet adorable house-elf Dobby. The story follows Harry into his second year in Hogwarts where he encounters Tom Riddle's (Voldemort's) diary, which actually talks to him through the pages of the book and after some mysterious attacks on the pupils of Hogwarts, leads him to the Chamber of Secrets which houses a giant basilisk, leaving Harry to slay the gigantic serpent and destroying the diary which is discovered to consist a part of Voldemort's soul.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, "Prisoner Of Azkaban" marked the transition of the "Harry Potter" films from childlike fantasyland into a much more darker setting to match the maturity of the actors as they aged. Its the movie that introduces us to Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, David Thewlis as Remus Lupin; the Defense against the Dark Arts professor, and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, who took over the role of Richard Harris who passed away the year before. The movie saw Harry encountering escaped convict Sirius Black who is blamed for the death of his parents and is actually wrongfully imprisoned. As the movie explains more on Harry's family history and introduces Hagrid's latest pet Buckbeak, a wild 'Hippogriff' of mythical origins that is similar to a Griffin, which plays a pivotal role in saving Sirius from death, we are also introduced to the Dementors, the ghostlike guards of Azkaban that Harry has to fend with at the end of the movie.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005)
Adapting 636-page book is not an easy feat, however director Mike Newell, did somewhat a decent job with the movie, as it did try to include every important section of the book onto the big screen. Voted as fan's favourite "Potter" book, "Goblet of Fire" as Harry's fourth year in college sees the boy wizard thinking that the year will be a pleasant one until he gets mysteriously thrown into participating in the Triwizard Tournament. The event is participated by all magical schools as their representatives battle among one another in a series of deadly tasks that include, diving underwater in land of hostile mermaids, stealing a dragons golden egg and a colossal maze with danger lurking at every corner. It is also where British actor Ralph Fiennes makes his entry as Lord Voldemort in the flesh. By the end of the movie, we find out that it was Voldemort's plan all along to get Harry into the tournament and to kill him, but as Harry narrowly escapes, another participant by the name of Cedric Diggory (played by Robert Pattinson) gets killed. Well, at least we now know how Edward Cullen came to be a sparkly vampire in "Twilight".
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (2007)
In Harry's fifth year in Hogwarts, he deals with aftermath of the Triwizard Tournament and the return of Lord Voldemort as everyone doubts if he's telling the truth. With the interference of the Ministry of Magic (the magical world's governing body), Headmaster of Hogwarts; Dumbledore, is replaced by Dolores Umbridge, which is just about the most annoying character in the series, ever. The mean witch (which rhymes with another word that well describes her), confines the student of Hogwarts into a tightly controlled web of rules and finds sadistic pleasure in punishment. As Harry then leads a group of pupils for a revolution by the name of 'Dumbledore's Army", he defies Umbridge and heads on towards the headquarters of the Ministry of Magic to battle corruption and save his kidnapped godfather, Sirius. The event then turns into another trick of Voldemort's to capture Harry, as the Dark Lord's sidekick Bellatrix Lestrange (played by Helena Bonham Carter) ruthlessly kills Sirius. The movie then features the fireworks display of duelling between Voldemort and Dumbledore where Harry manages to escape once again with a prophecy stolen from the Ministry in hand. The ending of the movie reveals the contents of the prophecy that states neither he or Voldemort can survive, unless either one dies by the hand of the other.
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)
As Harry deals with the death of his godfather, Sirius, he then deals with ways to finally destroy Lord Voldemort. As he goes by his classes in Hogwarts, he then stumbles upon a potion book that belongs to a mysterious person by the name of the 'Half-Blood Prince'. "Dumbledore then reveals to Harry of Voldemort's dark past in Hogwarts and how he turned evil. It is discovered that Voldemort split his soul and created seven Horcruxes, which is basically random objects that safeguards a portion of the creator's soul, granting him immortality unless the Horcrux is destroyed. The first Horcrux is discovered to be Tom Riddle's diary in the "Chamber Of Secrets", and the second is a ring which Dumbledore finds and destroys, leaving 5 Horcruxes remaining. When Harry has a vision of another Horcrux (a locket) hidden in a cave, he journeys with Dumbledore to retrieve and to destroy it. They discover the locket is a fake and rush back to Hogwarts only to realise that the school is invaded by Voldemort's followers; the Death Eaters. Snape reveals himself to be the 'Half-Blood Prince' and kills Dumbledore as Harry is stunned and immobilised from saving him.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Due to Dumbledore's death in the last instalment, Harry along with his best friends Ron and Hermione abandon Hogwarts as it gets taken over by the Ministry of Magic. In this movie which is touted to be the best of the franchise, we see the actors grow up like never before; both in their appearances as well as their characters who build up to their emotional peaks. Harry, Ron and Hermione travel to the Ministry of Magic to retrieve the original locket for which Dumbledore died for, and figure out ways to destroy it. They also discover that Dumbledore has bestowed them with 3 things in his will, which leads to the Deathly Hallows, a mysterious trio of magical objects. Whoever possesses the three objects will be a master of death, and to Harry, it's his one chance to beat Voldemort. The objects are discovered to be a Resurrection Stone, a Clock of Invisibility and the Elder Wand, which is buried with Dumbledore's body. As the trio then battle the Death Eaters who had closed in on them, Dobby the house elf helps them to escape, but at the cost of his life. The last scene of the film shows Voldemort breaking into Dumbledore's tomb and stealing the Elder Wand to defeat Harry for the conclusion we will only see in the upcoming movie "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2". Just like the first movie, "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1" grossed US $954 million worldwide.
Cinema Online, 11 July 2011