Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire (2005)

Before the beginning of Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts, he has been enjoying a joyful summer vacation with his friends. They get tickets to go to the Quidditch World Cup Final, which all have been extremely excited to see. However, after the match, the excitement is cut short and turned into chaos as a group of Death Eaters sets fire to the visitors' tents and casts Voldemort's symbol for death, the Dark Mark, into the sky. This puts the Wizarding world into a panic-stricken state because people fear that the Dark Lord has returned for good.

Despite the incident at the World Cup, students are able to return to Hogwarts. Once they arrive to Hogwarts, they find out that it will play host to the Triwizard Tournament, which is a magical tournament  that takes place between Hogwarts and two other well-known schools of magic: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. In order to enter the contest, the contestants must be above 17 years old and they must enter their name into the Goblet of Fire, which chooses three students, one from each school, who will compete in the tournament. On the night of the selection, however, the Goblet ends up spitting out four instead of three names, the fourth being Harry Potter. It is suspected, at first, that Harry somehow was able to hoodwink the Goblet into being selected, but it becomes obvious that he was not the one who entered his name. Thus, Harry is forced to compete in the tournament because the magic of the Goblet of Fire's selection cannot be reversed. Who entered his name? What will be the outcome of the tournament?

This is in my top three of my favorite books in the series, so I was expecting a lot out of this film. I love the film, but it definitely left out a lot. In the book, Harry worked very hard at learning and practicing spells in order to do well in the tournament. It would have been nice to have seen that. Also, Barty Crouch Jr.'s backstory was much more interesting in the book. I wish that they would have gone in that direction with that character. The film felt a bit rushed, especially between the second and third tasks.

I did like the darker tone that this film had. The return of Voldemort is one of the best scenes ever. It's disgusting and it's frightening. You can't help but feel terrible for Harry, Cedric, and Cedric's father at the end.


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