As we all know The Chamber of Secrets is the 2nd film in the Harry Potter series and is the 2nd (and last) time I’ve paid what I find to be an extortionate amount of money for this live Orchestra experience.
I bought tickets the first time at £50 (money my friend still owes me nearly a year on) because it seemed like a novel idea. I’m not a Harry Potter fanatic like a lot of the people who paid even more for the floor seats, but they’re enjoyable films, John Williams is a legendary composer, and I like listening to Orchestras. Also the Echo Arena sells Crabbies Fruits in those plastic bottles that make them taste better and that’s always an added bonus. This might actually have been the deciding factor in going to see the 2nd one I’m not really sure. Anyway there was something not quite right about the first film and I thought possibly it was just where I was sat. It was still good, just not quite as good as I expected. So the second one comes around and obviously having been to the first one I thought I might as well go and see this one but have more central seating, and as much as they were still £50 (extortionate) I went ahead and bought them.
This isn’t like one of my usual film reviews anyway I’m not going to explain the plot of Harry Potter to you, if you don’t know it by now you probably don’t want to. I’m reviewing it as a show as opposed to a film. It’s a big arena, the tickets are pricey, it’s supposed to be spectacular, it’s supposed to blow your mind, but it just doesn’t. It’s underwhelming and disappointing, and as much as I had better seats, I went with my girlfriend instead of my friend and we had a lovely evening, the show is just so average. I’ve seen the film before, I’d probably go so far as to say I watch it annually, but it never costs me £50, there’s never any distractions, and the soundtrack is just as prominent watching it at home as it is with this set-up. That sadly is where this ‘experience’ massively lacks.
It’s supposed to be a show with a live Orchestra, yet the Orchestra are so in the background that they’re forgettable. There were only 3 parts of the film I actually felt like I was listening to live music; the start, the quidditch match, and the end. Even then the end was the most infuriating part of the entire thing.
In the event’s defense this part is not their fault, but arguably, the best part of the film musically is the end credits. There’s no dialogue interference and it’s a great piece of music, yet what happens in this city with one of the greatest and most iconic musical histories in the World, half the arena leaves. I was all excited for the end, the clapping for the end of the film had finished and the Orchestra were ready. Or where they? I couldn’t see them, because a horde of fucking morons were walking in front of me to leave. But maybe it wouldn’t be too awful because I’d still be able to hear them. Oh yeah I couldn’t, because the horde of fucking morons sounded like chatty elephants with clogs on. It topped off the event for me and made me sure that I definitely won’t be going to see the 3rd installment which I’m sure will be coming around to steal money from everyone next year.
In all seriousness about the cost, I’ve exaggerated the annoyance of it and I understand how much it costs for an entire Orchestra to be travelling around the country, but I went to see Hans Zimmer with his Orchestra in the same arena for only £5 more, and so I have to compare it to that. People left Hans Zimmer in tears because his music and his show was that powerful and that emotional. John Williams’ music can do the same thing, okay maybe people shouldn’t be crying at Harry Potter but that’s not the point, the Orchestra here added nothing, they were irrelevant, and that’s what was so disappointing about this because you leave feeling like it could have been so much better.