Howdy folks, and welcome to part four of my Harry Potter review thingy. It took me a while to find the DVD again but I did and I’m glad I had to watch this again as it was even better than I remembered.
This one is my favourite.
Young Harry wakes up from a dream with his scar hurting [is that a euphemism?]. His dream shows an old man being killed after stumbling upon Voldemort and a former Dr Who. Was it a dream though? Anyhoo, Harry, the Weasleys, Hermione and Edward from Twilight head off to the Quidditch World Cup where they are set upon by Death Eaters, Voldemort’s followers, and witness the dark mark, which shows Voldemort is getting stronger.
Back at Hogwarts for a new year, the school has been chosen to host
the Triwizard tournament. This is a series of challenges taken on by the 3 wizards/witches chosen by the Goblet of Fire to compete. As a rule, an age line is set around the Goblet and nobody under 17 can apply. The three wizards chosen are Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts, aka Edward, Viktor Krum from the Durmstrang Institute, and Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. You won’t believe it though, the Goblet spits out a fourth name, and it’s our Harry. Confusion ensues as despite the competition only being for 3 people over the age of 17, a 14-year-old fourth member is chosen. Bound by the laws of the Goblet, Harry must compete. Will Harry survive the daunting challenges he must face? Will we find out who put his name in the Goblet? Will Voldemort return completely? And will Ron grow a pair and ask out Hermione?
I’m going to answer the first question there. Yes! We are on Film number 4 and are only halfway so that was a bit of a stupid question on my part. Sorry.
Goblet of Fire sees another change of direction. In comes Mike Newell of Four Weddings and Donnie Brasco fame and he, as the previous two directors had done, puts his own stamp on it without taking anything away from the story. He does a fantastic job of not glorifying Harry’s involvement in the tournament, and in fact manages to portray him as vulnerable and out of his depth. This is emphasised by the continual help he is given from yet another new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad Eye Moody.
What helps make this my favourite is that it is by far the funniest so far, the moment in the Great Hall when Harry takes a drink then sees Cho Chang smile at him is a moment of simple comedy that had me convulsing with laughter. So much so I had to rewind it and watch it again. I’m even giggling about it as I write this. Yet it still manages to be darker than the previous films. For example, it’s the first film that shows someone being killed (I think) and not just the old guy at the start. And the scene depicting the three unforgivable curses, is very uncomfortable.
What the Harry Potter films have that I like is a sense of realism. Bear with me on that comment. OK there may be all kinds of wizardy things, which I’m still holding out minor hope are real, but Harry is still just a 14 year old boy and, outwith the magical things, we see him face the same tribulations we all did, or roughly 50% of us did at that age.
Visually it takes a step up from the previous films in scenes such as showing Harry being chased by a dragon, and the underwater world we see in the second challenge.
As you know, because I told you, this is definitely my favourite HP film. In fact it’s probably one of my favourite films overall. If you get a chance to watch it, I’m sure you will agree.
I write this on Xmas Eve so to anyone who celebrates it, have a merry one!!!