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Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire

by Archives November 23, 2005

Grade: A

Fans who follow the Harry Potter series will not be disappointed by the most recent installment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This movie takes viewers through the fourth year of the famous wizards’ education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The dark mark is set off at the Quidditch World Cup and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) sees the wizard who does it, but can’t identify him. The Death Eaters are gaining power and it is sure that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) will soon return. Harry’s ominous dreams of the Dark Lord leave him unsure of whom to trust. Adding to the uncertainty of his ties to Lord Voldemort, Harry’s name has been mysteriously entered into the dangerous Tri-Wizard Tournament. Worse, he is chosen as one of the champions to compete, though he’s three years too young. The challenges he faces throughout the tournament, and the school year, leave no room for youthful exploits. Again he stares death in the face and, thankfully, survives. But cheating Voldemort doesn’t come without its consequences, as the scarred wizard already knows.

Anyone who has read the book knows that this chapter of the story is darker than any before, and once again young Harry loses more of his childhood innocence. The return of evil Lord Voldemort at the beginning sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

The characters are more developed and the young actors only get better with age. Daniel Radcliffe delves into Harry’s minute nuances and captures his youthful determination as well as his softer childish simplicity. Rupert Grint’s character Ron is also older and more complex. Emma Watson’s Hermione is a real “young lady,” with depth and emotion. Not only have their characters grown, but the actors have as well, bringing an intensity and enthusiasm that only adolescents can properly convey. They aren’t just characters on a screen but like younger brothers and sisters that you can’t protect from the big bad world anymore.

Similar to the book, the characters are all more involved with sub-plots involving the visiting wizard schools of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. The addition of new characters like Viktor Krum (Stanislav Lanevski), Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy), Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson) Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson), and many more, along with the well-known regulars, creates a multi-faceted storyline with sub-plots that are all crucial to the central story. Harry’s love-interest, Cho Chang (Katie Leung), brings another dimension to Harry’s character. Not only is he facing death at every corner, but trying to deal with being a teenager at the same time. Life has never been easy for Harry Potter, and it’s sure to only get more complicated as he ages.

Serious fans will not be disappointed, but there are still whole sections of the book that are left out of the movie. There was certainly no other way to do it without making it five hours long. But sadly, the movie is missing a lot of the book. It leaves fans wondering what they will do in later movies when important pieces of the plot will not have been included in the earlier ones. For instance, the existence of the house elves at Hogwarts and Hermione’s S.P.E.W. have been cut. There is no quidditch after the world cup, which is one part that is also extremely different from the book. Despite the changes, the story is still very true to the book, but it is more of a compliment to it than a replica of it. The movie stands alone, but if you haven’t read the book, you might want to, since you are expected to know the background and some of the subtler history, which is not explained.

The special effects are incredible throughout, especially the Hungarian Horn Tail dragon, and the scene where Voldemort returns and duals with Harry. The violence is only a concern if you plan on taking a child with you: It’s rated PG-13 for a reason. The tasks performed in the tournament could be scary for a kid, as well as the final scene in the cemetery. The end product is incredible and will leave fans begging for the next installment.

Overall, whether you’ve read the books, seen the other movies, or not, this is a great, action packed, magic-filled movie that is sure to entertain.

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