I went to see the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today and I must say that I was disappointed. I was very excited after I read reviews of ‘darkest movie of the series’ etc. etc. but it didn’t live upto my expectations; it’s just pure hype on the part of Warner Bros. sell the movie. Far from it, somebody could say that this movie is the funniest/naughtiest of the series till now. The movie throughout gives the feeling as if it has been rushed through, because scenes that deserved some more time did not get it and thus lost the ‘punch’. Trust me, you’ll like the subtle Hogwartsian humor. Many parts of the book haven’t been shown, so all ye folks have been forewarned!
Also, all the talk of ‘blooming romance’ with Cho Chang isn’t discussed much. As far as I recollect, they come face-to-face only in three scenes.
The movie began on a promising note, assuring me that I’ll be able to enjoy munching the popcorn with this one. It almost gives the sense that it will indeed be scary. But it falls flat on its face after that. I sure did miss the Dursleys. The scene at the Quidditch World Cup is spectacular, Viktor Krum on screen et al, but that’s where this beautiful scene ends. We get shoved forward to see a panting Harry running from the mayhem everywhere, gasping all the time (something Daniel Radcliffe is very good at; in fact, that’s the only thing that Radcliffe does in all the Harry Potter movies, apart from blurting out the occasional spell or two). The Death Sign part is nice.
Fans of Platform 9 3/4 take your handkerchiefs along, coz it isn’t there. The scene when the Beauxbatons and Durmstrangs arrive is awesome. I won’t tell you the whole story from now, only the main parts. There are many funny (and naughty) scenes, like when Mad-Eye Moody turns Draco Malfoy into a rat and it goes inside Crabbe’s (Goyle’s?) crotch, Harry shirtless and Moaning Myrtle around, Harry and Rita Skeeter in the closet, the Yule Ball, etc.
In the first challenge, only Harry is shown fighting the dragons. The scenes are well-shot, but a bit melodramatic at times. Also, there’s a scene where Harry and Hermione hug each other just before the challenge. It may be a clue for the happenings in the seventh book (they are shown pretty cozy throughput the movie; more than Harry-Cho). Harry and Ron, who were not on speaking terms till now (because Ron was sore about not getting to participate), is now all too ready to take the credit for helping Harry win the challenge.
At the Yule Ball, Harry is completely embarrassed, earlier having been refused by Cho Chang (Radcliffe did that one WELL). Hermione Granger looks completely stunning in Yule Ball, with her Nicole Kidman-type dress.
Moving on to the second challenge, the underwater one. The computer animation at this point is commendable, thanks to the brilliant guys at Industrial Light and Magic. Harry again steals the show by displaying ‘moral fiber’, rescuing Fleur’s sister too, apart from Ron. The mermen have been well-animated.
In between comes the memories from the Pensieve, which I found the best part of the movie.
The third challenge has been hurried through to reach the Voldemort part. Frankly, I was utterly disappointed to see such a tame Voldemort; a bit more smoke, stretching the shots a bit longer would have done wonders to the script. When Harry escapes and comes back, Daniel Radcilffe’s display of grief is pretty unconvincing, almost as if the emotions have been forced out. The movie ends on a ‘sad note’, with some moving scenes where Dumbledore speaks about unity, good vs. evil, etc.
I think the problem with this movie was Mike Newell had to fit in just too many plots into a very short span of time while engaging viewers, but there wasn’t enough of time on his hand. Still, he shines forth doing justice to the book, sticking more to it than Alfonso Cuaron did with Azkaban. And don’t believe the ‘darkest movie’ trash – the only thing ‘dark’ is that it seems to be raining all the time and the lighting conditions seem poor. At this rate, by the time we reach the seventh movie, we’ll have to use night vision goggles coz there won’t be any other way to see the movie properly.
Altogether a good movie, a must watch.