Film and Plot Synopsis
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is the second installment in J.K. Rowling’s iconic Harry Potter series. The story follows the young wizard, Harry Potter, as he embarks on his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The film, directed by Chris Columbus, was released in 2002 and is based on the novel of the same name.
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‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ Movie Summary
As the school year commences, strange events unfold at Hogwarts, hinting at a dark and mysterious threat. Students and a cat are found petrified, and ominous messages appear on the walls, warning that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and that the heir of Salazar Slytherin will purify the school by eliminating Muggle-born students. The legendary rumor at the school is that Hogwarts founder, Salazar Slytherin, allegedly constructed a secret Chamber that contained a monster that only the heir can control. Tensions rise as the school is gripped by fear, and rumors circulate about the Chamber’s existence.
Harry discovers that he has a special connection to the events unfolding, as he can hear strange voices that no one else seems to perceive. With the help of a mysterious diary that shows him glimpses of the past, Harry learns about Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson), a former student who accused Hagrid of opening the Chamber fifty years earlier. Things get worse for Harry when he learns that he can speak to snakes, an ability that the heir is alleged to possess. Not long after, the entire school begins to believe that Harry is behind the attacks. Harry also encounters a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh). Lockhart is a bestselling celebrity author who has written several well-known books about the world of magic. However, Harry soon learns that Lockhart is a coward who is not very skilled at magic.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices. Professor Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris)
As the attacks escalate, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) becomes the next victim of the basilisk, a giant serpent controlled by the heir of Slytherin. The school is in chaos as rumors spread that Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the lovable Keeper of Keys and Grounds, is responsible for the attacks. Harry and Ron set out to uncover the truth behind the Chamber of Secrets and clear Hagrid’s name. Through a series of challenges and encounters with magical creatures, including the giant spider Aragog (Julian Glover), the friends piece together the puzzle. They discover that the entrance to the Chamber is in the bathroom where Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) resides. Guided by the diary, Harry enters the Chamber alone to face the basilisk and save Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Ron’s sister, who has been possessed by Tom Riddle’s memory.
In a climactic showdown, Harry confronts Tom Riddle, who reveals that he is Slytherin’s heir and a memory of Lord Voldemort’s younger self preserved in the diary. Riddle details his plans to use Ginny’s life force to return to power. Fawkes, Dumbledore’s loyal phoenix, arrives with the Sorting Hat, providing Harry with the Sword of Gryffindor. Fawkes pecks out the eyes of the basilisk while Harry uses the sword to defeat the giant snake. Harry is bitten by the poisonous serpent during the battle but uses the tooth of the basilisk to destroy the diary, vanquishing Tom Riddle’s memory. Harry is healed by magical tears from Fawkes before returning to the school with Ron, Ginny, and Professor Lockhart.
Harry is hailed as a hero, and Hagrid is released from Azkaban, where he was unjustly imprisoned. The school is saved, and the mysterious attacks cease. The film concludes with Dobby, who is revealed to be the house elf for the Malfoy family, being freed from servitude when Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), into presenting Dobby with a sock. Lucius moves to attack Harry who is protected by Dobby. Lucius vows that Harry will get what is coming to him someday before he leaves Hogwarts.