Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Saturday. At this stage everyone knows the basic premise of the franchise, and anyone reading this blog probably has at the very least a fair idea about what will be in this movie. Still I wont post any spoilers, beyond what people will have seen in the trailers.

The look and atmosphere of this movie is a lot darker. It's no kids Christmas movie and from the very beginning its a 12PG movie. Some idiot brought a young kid to this and after 2 hours the kid burst out crying and screamed his way out of the cinema.

The book is very long so of course many things don't make it onto the screen. Even so there is not much fat in this movie, there is no introduction of the characters. The movie jumps straight into the action and from the start you know this is a darker movie. Hogwarts is darker, more brooding and in my opinion more claustrophobic. The challenges faced by Harry are more grown up. Not just dragons and merpeople, mazes and dark wizards but teenage girls and school dances. In fact most of the comedy revolves around the romantic challenges of the main characters, even Hagrid has to comb his hair and make a good impression.

The star of the movie is Brendan Gleeson. Most of the other Hogwarts teachers have smaller roles in this movie than in the previous ones, too many other things have to be dealt with. Some of them get little more than two or three speaking scenes. Gleeson however is central to the story and plays the new defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Mad Eye Moody. In my imagination while reading the book I saw the Mad Eye part of Moody to be the dominant feature. With Brendan Gleeson its the Moody and he plays the character in a much better way than the one I imagined. (BTW, I see from IMDB that he is filming Beowulf, that could be cool)

I think this is probably the best of the four movies. The first one has more magic as a family Christmas movie, and I think Richard Harris will always be the real Dumbledore, but this movie is better made, more ambitious and more interesting. It is definitely better than the last movie. In fact its probably the best movie I've seen in a while.

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