Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
|Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|Directed by||Chris Columbus|
|Produced by||David Heyman|
|Screenplay by||Steve Kloves|
|Based on||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J. K. Rowling
|Music by||John Williams|
|Edited by||Peter Honess|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||160 minutes|
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the second instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts as the Heir of Salazar Slytherin opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a deadly monster that petrifies the school's pupils. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and is followed by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It was released on 15 November 2002 in the United Kingdom and North America. The film was very well received at the box office, making US$879 million worldwide and is the 34th highest-grossing film of all time. and the seventh highest-grossing film in the Harry Potter series. It was nominated for three BAFTA Film Awards in 2003.
Preparing for a visit from a potential client of Uncle Vernon Dursley's, the Dursleys send Harry to his room. Harry finds Dobby the house elf, who warns him against returning to Hogwarts. When Harry refuses, Dobby causes havoc in the house, thereby ruining Vernon's meeting. Vernon locks Harry in his room to prevent his return to Hogwarts. That night, Ron, Fred, and George Weasley arrive in their flying car to rescue Harry from the clutches of Uncle Vernon, who discovers the rescue and tries to pull Harry back into his room. The Weasleys succeed and take Harry to The Burrow, their home. Harry meets Ron's younger sister, Ginny, who is about to begin at Hogwarts and has a crush on Harry. Harry also meets Ron's father, Arthur Weasley; he had met Mrs. Weasley the previous year. Harry and the Weasleys travel to Diagon Alley by Floo Powder. While shopping, Harry meets Gilderoy Lockhart, a famous wizard and author, and later Draco Malfoy and his father, Lucius, who praise Voldemort and deride Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys.
At King's Cross Station, though the rest of the Weasleys reach Platform 9¾ without trouble, Harry and Ron find the magical barrier blocked; as a result, they miss the Hogwarts Express. Harry and Ron take the flying car and reach Hogwarts, but accidentally land in the school's violent tree, the Whomping Willow, which damages their car in the process. Ron's wand is broken and the car behaves erratically, ejecting the boys along with their bags and pets before driving itself into the Forbidden Forest. When Harry and Ron enter Hogwarts they are seen by Mr. Filch who takes them to Snape, who scolds them for flying the car to Hogwarts and nearly expels them. Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore arrive and McGonagall defends the boys and tells them they will receive detention only.
Shortly after the start of term, Harry begins hearing an ominous, icy, cold voice coming from inside the walls, starting in his detention with Lockhart. Harry, Ron and Hermione find the message "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware" written in blood across a wall and discover that caretaker Argus Filch's cat has been petrified, who blames it on Harry and attempts to attack him but is stopped by Dumbledore and McGonagall. Legend has it that the Chamber of Secrets can only be opened by the Heir of Slytherin; it is said to be the home of a monster that will only obey the Heir. Harry suspects the Heir is Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart, hired to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, offers a dueling club. At the meeting Draco conjures a snake that Harry discovers he can talk to. Hermione explains that he is a Parseltongue like Salazar Slytherin, a connection that causes the school to believe Harry is his Heir. The three brew Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as Malfoy's friends Crabbe and Goyle, and interrogate Malfoy, but learn that he is not the Heir.
In Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, Harry finds a book with nothing written in it that belonged to someone named Tom Marvolo Riddle. Through the enchanted book Harry sees events that happened fifty years ago when Tom was a student. Tom's memories incriminate Hagrid as the Heir, and a girl who died in that era.
Over the course of the school year, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, the Gryffindor ghost Sir Nicholas and even Hermione are all found petrified, Tom Riddle's diary goes missing, and Harry is injured in a Quidditch match. Harry soon learns that Dobby is the one who sealed the way to Platform 9¾ and was also the one who caused Harry's injury. Harry and Ron decide to ask Hagrid, but before Hagrid can answer the real identity of who opened the Chamber, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge and Lucius Malfoy arrive. While Ron and Harry hide, the visitors tell Hagrid they are suspending Dumbledore as headmaster and arresting Hagrid under suspicion of having opened the Chamber. Before Hagrid is taken away to Azkaban prison, he tells Ron and Harry to follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest for the truth. They do so and meet Aragog, a giant spider thought to have killed a student fifty years ago. Aragog reveals that he is not the monster who killed the girl and that Hagrid is innocent. Aragog's sons and daughters attack Harry and Ron, but the flying car rescues them and they escape the forest. After that, the car leaves them again.
Harry and Ron learn from a piece of paper in Hermione's hand that the monster is a basilisk, a giant snake that can kill anyone just by looking at them in plain sight and it is using the pipes of plumbing system to move through the walls throughout the school. They also overhear the teachers saying that Ginny has been taken into the Chamber and another message has appeared saying "Her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever". Lockhart is sent to find the Chamber and save Ginny, but tries to escape until Harry and Ron caught him. It turns out Lockhart is a fraud; he used memory-erasing charms on witches and wizards to take credit for their accomplishments. The three discover that Moaning Myrtle is the "girl" who died and the chamber's entrance in the bathroom and enter to find a giant snake's skin. After he faints, Lockhart makes a desperate move by trying to stop Harry and Ron by using a memory charm, but because he used Ron's broken wand that he snatched, it backfires. Lockhart loses his memory and part of the Chamber caves in, separating Harry from the others and forcing him to rescue Ginny alone. Harry finds Ginny unconscious, and slowly dying, then Tom Riddle appears, explaining that he is a memory preserved in the diary. Tom tells Harry that Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber, sent the basilisk to attack and wrote threatening messages on the walls because he ordered her to. Harry learns that Tom is Slytherin's Heir and is Lord Voldemort in his teenage form. Tom sends the basilisk to kill Harry after telling him that it only listens to Tom but Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, attacks the basilisk's eyes blinding it. Fawkes gives Harry the Sorting Hat, from which he draws the sword of Godric Gryffindor. Although, Harry kills the basilisk by driving the blade up through its head, a fang embeds itself in his arm and poisons him.
Harry destroys Tom/Voldemort by piercing the diary with the fang. Ginny regains consciousness and finds Harry dying, but Fawkes heals Harry's wound with his tears. Dumbledore resumes his post as Headmaster and sends in the paperwork to have Hagrid released from Azkaban. Dumbledore assuages Harry's concerns of his worthiness to belong to Gryffindor House by pointing out that only a true member could have summoned Godric's sword. Learning that Lucius gave the diary to Ginny and that Dobby serves the Malfoys, Harry tricks Lucius into freeing him from servitude and advises Dobby to never try to save him again. At the year-end feast, Hermione along with all of the basilisk's victims are back to full health, and Hagrid receives a standing ovation as he returns to Hogwarts.
In a post-credits scene, a new Gilderoy Lockhart book is on display at Flourish & Blotts, entitled "WHO AM I?" and depicting an amnesiac, confused Lockhart in a straitjacket.
Main article: List of Harry Potter films cast members
- Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
- Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Harry's best friend.
- Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Harry's other best friend and the trio's brains.
- Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, a celebrity author and Hogwarts' new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Hugh Grant is said to have been the first choice for the role but due to reported scheduling conflicts he was unable to play the character. On 25 October 2001, Branagh was selected as Grant's replacement.
- John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick, the ghost of Gryffindor House.
- Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwarts' Groundskeeper.
- Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick, the Charms Master and head of Ravenclaw House.
- Richard Griffiths as Vernon Dursley, Harry's Muggle uncle.
- Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, the Hogwarts headmaster and one of the greatest wizards of the age. Harris died shortly before the film was released.
- Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father
- Christian Coulson as Tom Riddle, a student of Hogwarts.
- Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, the Potions Master and head of Slytherin House.
- Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley, Harry's Muggle aunt.
- Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall, the Transfiguration teacher and head of Gryffindor House.
- Julie Walters as Molly Weasley, the Weasley matriarch and a mother figure to Harry.
- Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley, the Weasley patriarch and a father figure to Harry.
- Harry Melling as Dudley Dursley, Harry's Muggle cousin.
- Julian Glover as the voice of Aragog, an Acromantula.
- Toby Jones as the voice of Dobby, a house elf.
Production designer Stuart Craig returned for the sequel to design new elements previously not seen in the first film. These included the Burrow, Dumbledore's office (which houses the Sorting Hat, The Sword of Gryffindor and Dumbledore's desk), Borgin and Burkes, and the Chamber of Secrets.
Production for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets began on 19 November 2001, just three days after the wide release of the Philosopher's Stone. The first three weeks of shooting consisted mostly of second-unit work on special effects, primarily the flying car scene. First-unit photography then began in Surrey, England, at Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, for scenes taking place at the Dursleys' home. Filming continued on location at the Isle of Man and in several places in Great Britain; Leavesden Film Studios in London made several scenes for Hogwarts. Other locations were shot in England, including a Hogwarts Express set in King's Cross railway station Platform 9¾. The famous cloisters of England's Gloucester Cathedral were used as the setting for Hogwart's School. Principal photography concluded in the summer of 2002, while the film spent until early October in post-production. In a change of cinematography from the first instalment, director Christopher Columbus opted to handheld cameras for Chamber of Secrets to allow more freedom in movement.
Due to the events that take place in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the film's sound effects were much more expansive than in the previous instalment. Sound designer and co-supervising sound editor Randy Thom returned for the sequel using Pro Tools to complete the job, which included initial conceptions done at Skywalker Sound in California and primary work done at Shepperton Studios in England.
John Williams, who composed the previous film's score, returned to score Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Scoring the film proved to be a difficult task. Williams had just completed scoring Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Minority Report when work was to begin on Catch Me If You Can. Because of this, William Ross was brought in to arrange themes from the Philosopher's Stone into the new material that Williams was composing whenever he had the chance. The soundtrack was released on 12 November 2002.
Footage for the film began appearing online in the summer of 2002, with a teaser trailer debuting in cinemas with the release of Scooby-Doo. A video game based on the film was released in early November 2002 by Electronic Arts for several consoles, including GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The film also continued the merchandising success set by its predecessor, with the reports of shortages on Lego's Chamber of Secrets tie-ins.
The film premiered in the UK on 3 November 2002 and in the United States and Canada on 14 November 2002 before its wide release on 15 November, one year after the Philosopher's Stone.
The film was originally released in the UK, US and Canada on 11 April 2003 on both VHS tape and in a two-disc special edition DVD digipack, which included extended and deleted scenes and interviews. On 11 December 2007, the film's Blu-ray version was released. An Ultimate Edition of the film was released on 8 December 2009, featuring new footage, TV spots, an extended version of the film with deleted scenes edited in, and a feature-length special Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 2: Characters. The film's extended version has a running time of about 174 minutes, which has previously been shown during certain television airings.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets broke multiple records upon its opening. In the US and Canada, the film opened to an $88.4 million opening weekend at 3,682 cinemas, the third largest opening at the time, behind Spider-Man and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It was also No. 1 at the box office for two non-consecutive weekends. In the United Kingdom, the film broke all opening records that were previously held by The Philosopher's Stone. It made £18.9 million during its opening including previews and £10.9 million excluding previews. It went on to make £54.8 million in the UK; at the time, the fifth biggest tally of all time in the region.
The film made a total of $879 million worldwide, which made it the fifth highest-grossing film ever at the time. It was 2002's second highest-grossing film worldwide behind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the fourth highest-grossing film in the US and Canada that year with $262 million behind Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. However, it was the year's number one film at the non-American box office, making $617 million compared to The Two Towers' $584.5 million.
The film's reviews were very positive and it currently holds an 83% "Certified Fresh" approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes (the fourth most favourably reviewed Harry Potter film on the site) and a score of 63 out of 100 at Metacritic representing "generally favourable reviews" (the least favourably reviewed Harry Potter film on the site). Roger Ebert called The Chamber of Secrets "a phenomenal film" and gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, especially praising the set design. Entertainment Weekly commended the film for being better and darker than its predecessor: "And among the things this Harry Potter does very well indeed is deepen the darker, more frightening atmosphere for audiences. This is as it should be: Harry's story is supposed to get darker". Richard Roeper praised the directing and the film's faithfulness to the book, saying: "Chris Columbus, the director, does a real wonderful job of being faithful to the story but also taking it into a cinematic era". Variety also said the film was excessively long, but praised it for being darker and more dramatic, saying that its confidence and intermittent flair to give it a life of its own apart from the books was something The Philosopher's Stone never achieved. A. O. Scott from The New York Times said: "instead of feeling stirred you may feel battered and worn down, but not, in the end, too terribly disappointed".
Peter Travers from Rolling Stone condemned the film for being over-long and too faithful to the book: "Once again, director Chris Columbus takes a hat-in-hand approach to Rowling that stifles creativity and allows the film to drag on for nearly three hours". Kenneth Turan from the Los Angeles Times called the film a cliché which is "deja vu all over again, it's likely that whatever you thought of the first production – pro or con – you'll likely think of this one".
The film was nominated for three BAFTA Awards. These were for Best Production Design, Sound, and Achievement in Visual Effects. The film was also nominated for six Saturn Awards in 2003 and in 2004 for its DVD release.
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