Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has its flaws, but its strengths are often overlooked, making it the most underrated episode.
the Harry Potter The franchise contains seven books, a play, plus 11 movies and more. The different installments all have their ups and downs, which means certain stories are continually ranked higher or lower in fan and critic rankings. Near the bottom one can often find the second installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. While there are several reasons for this, ultimately the reviews led to this story being overall underrated. It deserves a lot more credit than it got, so let’s break down its reputation and where it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
One of the main criticisms of the second Harry Potter outing is that it’s actually the shortest book, yet the film adaptation has the longest runtime of the original eight adaptations. This is the result of pacing issues that can be found in both the book and the movie. In the book, the story seems to jump in time from plot point to plot point without the same fluidity and flow as the first book or those that followed it in the series.
Jumping from point to point makes the story less rounded than the other books, which are more full of life and personality. Chamber of Secrets also seems to suffer from issues common to second installments. Since the first book was such a phenomenon, there was pressure for the second book to be published quickly and to meet the same standards. As a result, it almost reads more like a series of extended bullet points instead of a novel.
The movie then had to adapt those plot points and do its best to insert personality and build bridges between scenes. A movie doesn’t have the luxury of jumping chapters to jump in time or space in the same way. That’s why the film’s pacing has such a stop-and-go momentum that makes the length of the frame feel more like a chore in some cases than an experience.
However, the reason the movie has to be so long and the book has so much intrigue is that every beat in the story matters to the rest of the series. The most underrated aspect of Chamber of Secrets that’s how much this sets up for the series going forward, meaning some of the biggest moments to come wouldn’t be possible without this piece of the puzzle.
For example, he introduces the concept of Horcruxes via Tom Riddle’s diary, but not by name, before anyone has any idea what a Horcrux is and therefore lays the groundwork for Voldemort’s return and demise. ultimate. More importantly, it also includes several weapons capable of destroying Horcruxes. If Harry hadn’t stabbed the basilisk with the Gryffindor sword, then the sword couldn’t have taken its venom. Thus, the Nagini Medallion and Serpent would never have been destroyed and Voldemort would have survived the Battle of Hogwarts. The dead basilisk also lends its fangs to destroy Hufflepuff’s cup, again aiding in Voldemort’s death.
Beyond these crucial plot setups, the character work found in Chamber of Secrets really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. For one, it features a fan-favorite character in Dobby the House-Elf. Dobby appears a few times throughout the series, but most notably when he helps Harry and his friends escape from Malfoy Manor and tragically dies in Harry’s arms. His appearance and death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would not have had the impact they have had without the foundation established in Chamber of Secrets.
Plus, Ron Weasley really shows off his skills in this movie. First, he enlists the help of his brothers to steal a flying car to save his best friend, which may be a reckless decision, but full of good intentions. The greatest proof of his merit is when he accompanies Harry to the Aragog Sanctuary. The thing Ron fears the most in the whole world is spiders, and yet when Harry asks him to follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest to help save the day, Ron doesn’t even hesitate. He may be reluctant, but he shows up anyway and does whatever it takes to do the right thing. This is again crucial character content that is overlooked because Chamber of Secrets is underestimated.
Despite its flaws, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the most underrated slice of the Harry Potter franchise. The plot points are absolutely crucial to the series as a whole, and the character moments are some of the most heartwarming and impactful on the show. It’s time for fans and critics to re-evaluate their views on the book and film and start giving it some well-deserved kudos.
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