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|
|Box office||$879 million|
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 monster that petrifies the school's denizens.
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.
The film was released on 15 November 2002 in the United Kingdom and North America. It was very well received critically and commercially, making US$879 million worldwide. It is the seventh-highest-grossing film in the Harry Potter series and the 34th-highest-grossing film of all time. It was nominated for three BAFTA Film Awards in 2003.
Harry Potter has spent all summer without receiving any letters from his friends at Hogwarts. Going to his room while the Dursleys are hosting a dinner party, Harry meets Dobby, a house-elf who warns him bad things will happen if he returns to Hogwarts, and reveals he intercepted his friends' letters. Harry chases him downstairs, where Dobby destroys a cake. The Dursleys imprison Harry in his bedroom, but Ron, Fred and George Weasley rescue him in their father's flying Ford Anglia, taking him to their home, the Burrow.
Later, Harry and the Weasley family go buy school supplies in Diagon Alley, where they encounter Rubeus Hagrid and Hermione Granger and go to a book signing by celebrity wizard Gilderoy Lockhart who announces he will be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Harry also encounters Draco Malfoy and his arrogant father Lucius, who slips a book in Ginny Weasley's belongings. The Weasleys depart to board the Hogwarts Express but Harry and Ron are blocked from entering Platform Nine and Three-Quarters so they use the Ford Anglia to fly to Hogwarts, where they crash into the hostile Whomping Willow. Ron's wand is damaged, and the car throws them out before driving off into the Forbidden Forest. They are allowed back into school but face detention.
While serving detention with Lockhart, Harry hears voices and finds caretaker Argus Filch's cat, Mrs Norris, petrified, and a message written in blood announcing the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and threatening "enemies of the Heir". Professor McGonagall explains that one of Hogwarts' founders Salazar Slytherin supposedly hid a monster which only his heir can control in a secret Chamber to purge the school of impure-blooded wizards and witches. Harry suspects Malfoy is the Heir, so Hermione suggests using a Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as Malfoy's friends, Crabbe and Goyle, and ask him directly. Their makeshift laboratory is in abandoned toilets haunted by Moaning Myrtle. A camera-wielding first-year pupil, Colin Creevey is found petrified shortly after.
During a wizards' duel, Draco summons a snake, which Harry talks to in Parseltongue, something Salazar Slytherin could do, convincing some students Harry may be the heir, especially after he finds student Justin Finch-Fletchley and ghost Nearly Headless Nick also petrified. At Christmas, Harry and Ron use the Polyjuice to become Crabbe and Goyle and learn that Malfoy isn't the Heir after all but he mentions that the Chamber was last opened fifty years before, and a girl was killed. Harry finds an enchanted diary, owned by a former student named Tom Riddle. When Harry writes in it, the diary responds, showing him a flashback to fifty years before, where Riddle accused Hagrid, then a pupil, of opening the Chamber. The diary is taken from his dormitory and Hermione is found petrified, prompting Harry and Ron to question Hagrid. Professor Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, and Lucius Malfoy arrive to take Hagrid to Azkaban, but he discreetly tells the boys to "follow the spiders". Lucius also has Dumbledore suspended. Harry and Ron venture into the Forbidden Forest, finding a colony of Acromantula led by Aragog who backs Hagrid's innocence and reveals that the girl who died when the Chamber was opened before was found in a bathroom. The spiders then attack Harry and Ron but they are rescued by the now wild Ford Anglia.
They find a library book page in Hermione's hand that reveals the monster is a Basilisk, a giant snake that can instantly kill those who make direct eye contact with it, and realise that all the victims so far were only petrified because they saw its reflection or looked at it indirectly. Hermione has also discovered that the Basilisk has been using the water pipes to get around the school. The school staff learn Ginny was taken into the Chamber, and convince Lockhart to save her. Harry and Ron find Lockhart, revealed as a fraud, planning to flee, and they drag him to Myrtle's bathroom as they have figured out that she was the girl killed by the Basilisk. Finding the Chamber's entrance hidden under the sink, the three go in, but Lockhart tries to inflict a memory charm on the boys using Ron's still damaged wand which backfires, wiping his memories, and causing a cave-in.
Harry enters the Chamber alone and finds Ginny unconscious and dying guarded by Tom Riddle. Harry realises Riddle is the Heir and he used the diary to manipulate Ginny and re-open the Chamber. Riddle then reveals his full name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, from which he created the anagram for a new identity: "I am Lord Voldemort". After Harry expresses support for Dumbledore, Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes flies in with the Sorting Hat and Riddle summons the Basilisk to kill Harry. Fawkes blinds the Basilisk and the Sorting Hat produces a sword with which Harry battles and slays the Basilisk before being poisoned by its fangs.
Realising Tom Riddle's appearance stems from the diary, Harry stabs it with a Basilisk fang, destroying Riddle and reviving Ginny. Fawkes' tears heal Harry, and he returns to Hogwarts with his friends and a very baffled professor Lockhart. Dumbledore, reinstated as headmaster, praises them and orders for Hagrid to be released. Dumbledore explains to Harry that although Voldemort accidentally transferred some of his powers to him when he gave him his scar, Harry chose to be put in Gryffindor House rather than Slytherin House, proving himself to be different. Dumbledore also shows him that the sword that appeared in the hat was Godric Gryffindor's own sword. Harry accuses Lucius Malfoy, now revealed to be Dobby's master, of putting the diary in Ginny's cauldron and tricks him into freeing Dobby by giving him a sock hidden in the diary. The Basilisk's victims are healed, and Hagrid returns to school to the applause of the students and staff.
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 Defense 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.
- Christian Coulson as Tom Riddle, a student of Hogwarts, in fact a young Lord Voldemort.
- 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.
- Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, Harry's arrogant and conceited school adversary.
- Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father.
- 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.
- Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.
- Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle, a Hogwarts student who was killed by the Basilisk in the past.
- Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley, Ron's father, a Ministry of Magic employee fascinated with Muggles.
- Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley, Arthur and Molly Weasley's daughter, and Ron's sister.
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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