Character Journey: Albus Dumbledore – The Eccentric Headmaster

Character Journey

Albus Dumbledore: The Eccentric Headmaster

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Order of the Phoenix, reached its climax with an epic battle between Good and Evil, of Light versus Dark. On the Dark side, there was Voldemort. On the Light side, there was Albus Dumbledore. The two wizards were so powerful, young Harry could only sit on the sidelines and watch as the two most powerful living wizards of their time send curses after hexes after jinxes towards each other.

It was strange to see Albus Dumbledore, who takes on an appearance of an old man, managing to appear so strong against Voldemort, who is decades younger than Dumbledore in terms of age and physical appearance. In the first and second Harry Potter fare, Dumbledore was portrayed as a mild, benevolent, and aged headmaster, though this might be attributed mostly to the performance of the late Richard Harris, the first actor who played Dumbledore on screen. Harris portrayed Dumbledore as a kind-hearted mentor who patiently advised young Harry about the evils of the world and taught him it was his choices in life that made him different from his nemesis, Voldemort. Harris’ successor, Michael Gambon, portrayed a different Dumbledore. His Dumbledore was more brusque and more eccentric. Infinitely more lively, too. Which Dumbledore is the real Dumbledore?

Believe it or not, both actors’ Dumbledore is true to the canon. Through their interpretations, the audiences have the chance to feel the nuances in Dumbledore’s personalities tangibly, just like in the book. This is a man who is both astute and reckless, a teacher who is eccentric and sensible at the same time, and a wizard who is elderly and yet still powerful. In this sense, Dumbledore is more than a match for Voldemort. Which is why, Harry constantly needs Dumbledore’s guidance to defeat the evil wizard.

Dumbledore has always been there since the beginning of the boy wizard’s journey. He was the one who placed Harry in the care of the Dursleys (questionable decision, but not without a good reason) and passed along Harry’s family heirlooms, along with the advice on how to deal with the possible dangerous magical object, Mirror of the Erised, in Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. Dumbledore showed faith in Harry in Chamber of Secrets and encouraged him to investigate the Basilisk attacks when the Ministry threatened to close Hogwarts that was Harry’s home. He gave Harry and Hermione a clue on how to save Sirius Black and Buckbeak the Hippogriff using the Time-Turner in the next movie. In Goblet of Fire, it was through Dumbledore’s Pensieve, an object that stores his memories, Harry learned the existence and identities of Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Although initially he avoided Harry in Order of the Phoenix and hurt Harry’s feelings by keeping him at arm’s length, he solidified his support for Harry by fighting Voldemort at the MoM.

Under Dumbledore’s tutelage, Harry continues to grow as a stronger wizard in Half-Blood Prince. There’s apparently more knowledge to pass on to Harry in this next installment. Dumbledore is going to try and help Harry discover more about Voldemort’s history by showing him those memories he had been keeping in the Pensieve. A younger Dumbledore will appear in front of our eyes, so we, too, will be able to discover more about this great wizard’s background. But how long will it take for Dumbledore to teach Harry? Surely, he can’t hold Harry’s hand forever. There will be a time for Harry to fight the war alone, without Dumbledore. That time may come sooner than Harry, and all of us, might think.

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Credits and disclaimers: This article was written for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Indonesia. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission.

Character Journey: The Sidekicks’ Journey

The Sidekicks’ Journey

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RON WEASLEY

Sorcerer’s Stone. Became Harry’s friend after sharing a compartment on the Hogwarts Express. A wizarding chess enthusiast, who later won them a game against Transfigured chess pieces. Established sidekick status by sticking to his side for all kinds of adventures.

Chamber of Secrets. Drove his father’s magic flying car all the way to Hogwarts after he and Harry failed to board the Hogwarts Express. Hates spiders, but loyally followed Harry to the Forbidden Forest for an audience with Aragog, an ancient, giant venomous acromantula. Infiltrated the Slytherin dorms, as one of Malfoy’s cronies, to investigate the attacks on Muggle-born students. Rescued his sister, Ginny, from the Slytherin’s Chamber of Secrets with Harry.

Prisoner of Azkaban. Fought almost daily with Hermione over their pets. Thought his pet rat, Scabbers, had been eaten by Crookshank the Kneazle. Later on discovered that Scabbers was Peter Pettigrew, the cowardly Animagus who betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort. Overall awkward around Hermione.

Goblet of Fire. Furiously jealous of Harry for being a Hogwarts champion at the Triwizard tournament. Went to the Yule Ball with Padma Patil (Afshan Azad). Sulked when he discovered Hermione dated Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski). Abducted and was appointed as Harry’s precious object to be retrieved at the second task of the tournament.

Order of the Phoenix. Defended Harry against the skeptical crowd who wouldn’t believe that Voldemort had returned. Formed Dumbledore’s Army with Harry and Hermione. Fought against the Death Eaters at the Ministry.

Half-Blood Prince. New girlfriend, potions, poisons… but most important, he’s going to play Quidditch. Here comes Weasley, our king.

HERMIONE GRANGER

Sorcerer’s Stone. Friendless, know-it-all pushover. Had no friends until Harry and Ron rescued her from a troll. Established her status as the ‘brain’ of the Gryffindor trio by providing the answers to the many mysteries surrounding the philosopher’s stone.

Chamber of Secrets. Suggested and brewed the Polyjuice Potion Harry and Ron drank to change themselves into Crabbe and Goyle. Petrified by a basilisk. Even then, still managed to assert her intelligence by solving the mystery of the attacks on Muggle-born students.

Prisoner of Azkaban. Was given the Time-Turner, a device to travel back in time, which she used to attend her many classes. Later on, used the Time-Turner to bring herself and Harry back in time to rescue Sirius Black and Buckbeak the Hippogriff. Started throwing longing looks at Ron.

Goblet of Fire. Underwent a metamorphosis, from bushy-haired girl to fairytale princess, for the Yule Ball. Became Viktor Krum’s object of affection. Rendered everyone green with jealousy, most especially Ron.

Order of the Phoenix. Started breaking school rules by suggesting the formation of the Dumbledore Army. Fought with Harry and Ron in the Ministry of Magic.

Half-Blood Prince. Her awkward situation with Ron will reach its peak. Watch out, there’s sexual tension ahead!

GINNY WEASLEY

Sorcerer’s Stone. Said good luck to Harry when he was about to pass through the barrier to Platform ¾ at King’s Cross Station.

Chamber of Secrets. Influenced and possessed by a mysterious old journal. Had her soul and energy ‘consumed’ by an echo of Tom Riddle. Drove Harry to fight a basilisk in her rescue. Her status was elevated from ‘his best friend’s sister’ to ‘his friend’.

Goblet of Fire. Went to the Quidditch World Cup with her family, Harry and Hermione. Went to the Yule Ball and danced with Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis).

Order of the Phoenix. Threw a longing look whenever Harry showed interest in Cho Chang. Impressed the hell out of Harry and his brothers by using the Reducto curse during DADA training.

Half-Blood Prince. Forget Cho Chang – she’s going to be Harry’s new kick-ass girlfriend!

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Credits and disclaimers: This article was written for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Indonesia. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission.

Character Journey: Harry Potter – A Die-Hard Gryffindor

Character Journey

Harry Potter: A Die-Hard Gryffindor

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The first time we see Harry Potter in The Sorcerer’s Stone he was a small boy with huge, dorky round spectacles who lived with his irritating relatives. Harry’s physique, added with the unfair treatment he received from his uncle, aunt and cousin, would beg for sympathy from anyone who saw him.

Then, in the midst of ‘celebrating’ his eleventh birthday on a cold hard floor in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, a giant of a man called Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) crashed through the door and announced, “Harry, you are a wizard.” Thus into a magical world Harry entered and, along with him, so did we.

Harry found his true home in this world, namely Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where young witches and wizards learned all they needed to become proper magic users. Besides magic, Harry also learned of his true identity. He was the Boy-Who-Lived, the only human ever to survive from Lord Voldemort, an evil wizard who had murdered many people, including Harry’s own parents, for his own private ambitions.

Every year at Hogwarts Harry went through all kinds of exciting, yet life-threatening, adventures. In his first three years at Hogwarts alone, Harry had gone through battles with a biting three headed dog, a lethal basilisk, a group of venomous acromantulas and soul-sucking creatures called Dementors. Even before he reached the age of 14, Harry had faced the lord of terror in various shapes numerous times. Despite all that, he won all his battles and could breathe easily in those first years he spent as a young wizard living in a magical environment. Unfortunately, things were about to change in his next year at Hogwarts.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which depicted Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, was a turning point in Harry’s story. Young Harry was forced to make a leap into adulthood, seemingly at the blink of an eye. After spending the whole year dealing with the repercussions of being framed into participating in the Triwizard Tournament, Harry finally met his nemesis, Voldemort, and even reluctantly took part in his resurrection. The end of Harry’s innocence came when Voldemort killed Harry’s schoolmate and fellow Triwizard champion, Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), right in front of his eyes.

Harry’s world subsequently became much darker than before. In Order of the Phoenix, tragedy occurred one after another for Harry. Dementors came to his Muggle neighborhood. He was nearly expelled from Hogwarts and tried by the Wizengamot at the Ministry of Magic. The Ministry, disbelieving of his claim that Voldemort had risen again, also made Harry’s life a living hell by sending Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) as High Inquisitor to Hogwarts in order to seal his and his mentor Dumbledore’s mouths. It wasn’t a great wonder that Harry, who was still reeling from Cedric’s death and Voldemort’s return, sunk into depression and a self-imposed exile, distancing himself from those who cared for him the most.

There were some bright moments in this tale that is considered to be the darkest in the Potter saga. The first was when Harry and friends formed the Dumbledore Army to fight back Umbridge’s stifling influence. The other was when Harry’s unrequited crush with Cho Chang (Katie Leung), which began in the previous tale, became rather requited. The two of them shared a (admittedly wet) kiss after a clandestine Defense against the Dark Arts lesson. In the end, however, the strongest blow was delivered to Harry’s stomach: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Harry’s godfather, died at the hands of a Death Eater.

Voldemort’s shadow still looms… out there. There’s a double threat closer to home at Hogwarts. One of them is Draco Malfoy, Harry’s rival from Slytherin. Behind Draco, there is Severus Snape, the one teacher Harry despises. With his friends Ron and Hermione entangled in a web of romance politics and unresolved sexual tensions, Harry finds company in an unusual new ‘friend’: the so-called ‘Half-Blood Prince’, who is actually… a tome. And now it begs the question: is this new friend trustworthy? It remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, we can all be reassured that Harry will never give up. He isn’t called ‘Boy-Who-Lived’ for nothing. Harry is more than just a person who refuses to perish from evil; he is an inspiration. If only everyone were that daring and strong… cowards would never exist. Can anyone blame us for adoring such a hero?

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Credits and disclaimers: This article was written for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Indonesia. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission.

Opening: Harry Potter – A Never-Ending Sensation

Harry Potter: A Never-Ending Sensation

by Amanda Aayusya

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Has it really been eight years and five movies already? It seems like only yesterday that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released. Now the franchise adapted from British novelist J. K. Rowling‘s best-selling books is reaching its peak. And instead of winding down, the Potter mania rises even higher in anticipation of the sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Among the plethora of movies based on young adult books offered to the audience, Harry Potter, with its leading young star Daniel Radcliffe, still reigns supreme.

In 2007, this franchise has earned a total of 4.48 million dollars in the box office. The sixth movie will surely add to that number. A marathon of all the movies, starting from the first (Sorcerer’s Stone) to the fifth (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), takes 719 minutes combined. With the sixth movie predicted to be 153 minutes long and speculated to earn a lot of money in the box office, it promises to not only be a moneymaker for Warner Bros., but also an epic cinematic treat for the audience.

The Potter franchise, however, doesn’t just churn out money. It produces a commodity that is hotter than cash: talent. The sweet, innocent-looking children that made up the the youthful Potter cast in the first and second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, have now become major headliners and are all over the place – film, fashion, theater, music… you name it and the Potter stars have it covered.

Other than Radcliffe who made a name for himself performing in the provocative play, Equus, and stripping naked for his part on stage, his fellow Potter co-stars also made headlines elsewhere. Emma Watson, who plays the bookish and bushy-haired Hermione Granger, is fashion’s new it girl. She’s one of Karl Lagerfeld’s new muses and has been appointed to model for Burberry. Meanwhile, Emma’s on-screen would-be boyfriend, Rupert Grint, who is the resident comic relief in the Potter movies in his role as Ron Weasley, has been trying edgier roles in other movies. The latest is in Cherrybomb, which will have plenty of sex and violence. And then there’s Tom Felton, who’s become a bit of a phenomenon on the Internet, ever since he started releasing his own videos on YouTube and selling his songs on iTunes. It’s safe to say that, with each movie that is released in this franchise, their stars shine even brighter than before. Before we know it, they’ll be higher than the moon and brighter than the sun.

Unfortunately, the characters they play on screen aren’t so lucky. Entering the sixth movie, Harry’s life and his adventures will become even darker. It’s true that, compared to the fifth movie (and book), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was David Yates directorial debut in the franchise, the sixth will come across a bit lighter. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry received pressure from all sides. In this latest movie, perhaps not so much. However, the light still hasn’t shined for Harry at the end of the tunnel. After all, in Half-Blood Prince, Harry will find that his archenemy, Lord Voldemort, is still at large, terrorizing the wizarding world out there and possessing plenty of secret weapons in his arsenal.

Now, Harry’s mission is to uncover those secrets in Voldemort’s life. With his mentor, the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Harry is going to enter the melancholic and dark world of the wizarding world’s scariest villain and attempt to discover his weaknesses in order to defeat him once and for all. And that is indeed a difficult feat to accomplish for the 16-year-old boy wizard.

What’s interesting from this installment is that, besides Voldemort, there are a couple of other characters that will create a circus in Harry’s life. If the spotlight has so far been heavily shining on the Gryffindors, this time around the Slytherins will get their chance to step forward and join Harry & Co. under that light. This is why, before you walk into the cinema and join the excitement, it would be wise to know who will dominate Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July 2009.

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Credits and disclaimers: This article was written for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images are copyrighted by Warner Bros. Indonesia. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission.

Introduction

Hello and welcome to my… nth blog. (I assure you, I’m not a blogging whore – well, maybe I am, but seriously I have a very good reason for doing this.)
This journal was created on 13 July 2009 by me.

I created this blog because I needed a place to post articles and upload scans from a certain work I recently did for a magazine called FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia. I’m a contributor to the July 2009 edition – Issue 18, in which I wrote 14 pages worth of articles on the new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia
July 2009, Issue 18
On newsstands 11 July

Then, after I told several people about this ‘gig, they expressed their interest in seeing my work… which was fine with me, although I admit that it’s kind of embarrassing. Why were they asking, you wonder. It’s mostly because I did an interview (by e-mail) with one of the young actors of the HP movies, and because I did an essay about ‘the Potter vs Twilight debate’.

I also owe a few people a huge favor,so I just wanted to let them know how much that their assistance to my first ever HP feature is hugely appreciated by showing them the end result of my work.

So, in the next few days, along with the release of the new Potter movie, I’ll be posting those articles I wrote about. The articles are officially published in Indonesian, my native tongue, but apparently I write/think better in the international language, so I originally wrote all the articles in English. Believe it or not, I came up with the whole feature – all 14 pages of them – in 3 days. (Yeah, major Potter geek alert.) But translating them from English to Indonesian took about 3 weeks. I have a few theories on why this was so, but I’ll spare you the details.

Since the issue is relatively new (it was published in Indonesia last Saturday, 11 July 2009) I waited for a few days until it has had a chance to be distributed before I started posting my articles. Even now, I will post the articles in English, as to not make people lazy to buy the magazine! Then, I’ll be posting in installments (but only because I’m quite busy and probably won’t have time to post everything in one go).

If you live in Indonesia, do buy the magazine. It’s really good! Not only that there’s all this HP stuff in it, but this issue also bears an image of a topless Taylor Lautner, a.k.a. Jacob Black in New Moon, and a feature on Public Enemies, the massively star-studded gangster flick featuring two of my absolute favorite actors in the whole wide world, Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. I guarantee you, you will LOVE this issue.

If you don’t live in Indonesia, that’s fine. At least now you know the existence of this magazine.