the moment Harry walks out of the Dursleys home (after blowing
up his 'Aunt' (last seen as the Headmistress in Matilda ) and
catches the night bus driven by Jimmy Gardner and Lenny Henry,
we know we have a different take on the story. The pace is fast
and furious and there are lots of little scares on the way.
On the train to Hogwarts, Harry is attacked by a Dementor and
saved by the mysterious new teacher Prof Lupin (David Thewlis
-the new Dark Arts instructor).
Harry's life is in constant danger, Sirius Black is already insdie
the Castle and could strike at anytime, but he survives with the
aid of his pals , Hermione's cunning and despite his school enemies.
There's a walk on part with Julie Christie as Madame Rosemerta,
which makes two 'blockbusters' with her in them this year (Troy
was the other) and all the great British stalwarts agumenting
their pensions with various parts. Potter requires a great of
hamming and who better than Robert Hardy as the Minister of Magic
or Timothy Spall as - oops, mustn't give the game away.
All the regulars are there, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Alan Rickman
as Snape , Maggie Smith as McGonagall and they are irreplaceable,
Gambon as Dumbledore is suitably bewhiskered enough so we can't
see he isn't Richard Harris anymore. But in the end it's a thrilling
and often comical adventure with Harry and Co that matters and
even though you know he is going to live, it is exciting all the
way. Watch out for the little Bluebird of paradise....
kids. Just go and enjoy something yourself that has no poltical
motives and knows exactly how to be fine escapist entertainment.
(Maybe take someone to hold hands with though - just for the scary
Alfonso Cuaron is to be congratulated his accomplishment in taking
over what has become a great international institution.
© SN June 1st 2004
The Evil Dementors
The Night Bus