Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
When Harry Potter's name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, he becomes a competitor in a grueling battle for glory among three wizarding schools—the Triwizard Tournament. But since Harry never submitted his name for the Tournament, who did? Now Harry must confront a deadly dragon, fierce water demons and an enchanted maze only to find himself in the cruel grasp of He Who Must Not Be Named.
One of the greatest successes of the series (a term that I think is more appropriate than Harry Potter's hackneyed and bombastic saga) is that it "grows" along with its potential readers. That is to say, a supposed model reader who with 10 years old read the first book in 1997, would read the last one with 20 years. And that tender infant that vibrated with the antics of Potter and his friends has grown up and has learned that in the world there is terrorism and war, love and sex, differences and injustices; therefore, one of the great merits of J. K. Rowling is that his series moves from the carelessness of childhood to increasingly mature and rugged issues.For the first time in the series, in GOF the fantastic universe expands, and new cultures appear, even if they are more picturesque groups than anything else, like the Durmstrangs school from Bulgaria (and that supposedly "comes from the north", from the north of where ?, please, someone bought a world atlas to J.K. Rowling), dressed like Russians and rough as hell, and the Beauxbatons school from France, more corny than imagine. However, the Death Eaters, acolytes of Lord Voldemort, whose acts of unusual violence sow terror among the magician community and demand the arrival of a new world order, make their appearance. Nor are there any classic features that play so much in each episode: the laurels are here for Alastor Moody; without forgetting the ultimate attraction, Lord Voldemort.The film is structured around the Triwizard Tournament and the three tests that compose it; three crazy tests that Harry Potter must face to show everyone that he is a guy capable of breaking the rules to achieve his goals; three tests whose filming, editing and editing leave much to be desired. While the former has its own, it gives the feeling that the fight against the dragon was for more emotions. The second one, was so-so. But the third ... suffers from emotion on all four sides, is an overwhelming relief. Fortunately, it is the scene that precedes the resurrection of Lord Voldemort. In a spooky and ornate decor (which seems to want to show off its status as a set) Lord Voldemort finally acquires corporeal consistency and the camera does not have to fall in love with its ugliness. This scene even gets one to forget the plubbed teenage intrigues that he has been forced to witness.
Please note I have included spoilers concerning the story of the book and film of the Goblet of Fire. If you have not read or seen either the book or film first, I would recommend doing so before reading this review. Now onto the review.Preface: Having just finished the finals to my undergraduate degree I decided to re-watch all the Harry Potter films together, and it was relaxing in front of these classic films that I noticed a problem. The Goblet of Fire follows the Prisoner of Azkaban, arguably the best of the films second only to the grand finale, and pales in comparison. Many of the complaints concerning the film focus on its closeness to the books, noticing that a great many details were dropped for time reasons. However, changing aspects of the story aren't always an issue; the third film omitted much of the backstory of Harry's father, and heavily condensed the emphasis on Hermione's impossible timetable that made the time-turner plot twist seem more sudden. The fourth film by comparison had severe pacing issues at its start, and leaves many book events introduced without conclusion, highlighting that its issue lay with how close it wanted to be to the book, which cased it to fall short. With this in mind, I'm suggesting that this film shows the problem a large book presents to a film adaptation; namely, the Goblet of Fire suffers from cutting large sections of the book, forcing pacing issues and reducing the impact of its story.Review Proper: The Goblet of Fire's pacing problem is tantalisingly clear from the very start, with a first act that hurtles forward. We are introduced to the villain, Barty Crouch Junior, in the first scene, and then the Quidditch World Cup, and then to a Death Eater riot that disrupts it, all within 12 minutes. The speed of which this occurs almost causes whiplash as I was left wandering why we were taken to the Quidditch World Cup if all we saw of it was the two teams flying towards each other before a quick cut. The riot afterwards similarly lasts a mere minute as we see a flash of chaos before Harry is quickly knocked out for the important plot point that follows. Hogwarts becomes the stage of the story after 15 minutes of story, a speed at definite odds with other films in the series, and instead highlights not the intriguing story to come but that interesting story points were dropped. The quick build up to the World Cup is squandered as the match is edited out, which only reminded me of its appearance in the book. The chaos of the riot cut short again only reminded me of its more sober and imposing pace devoted to it in the books. Details of the plot edited out for time reasons were abrasively visible, simply because the film mentioned these moments before hurtling past them, refusing to pause to take these moments in. A further moment that shows this is when Hermione recommends Harry tell Sirius about his dream on the train to Hogwarts; the film doesn't take the time to debate this and remind us with some pensive dialogue of Sirius' role in Harry's life. Instead we shift quickly to the next scene where other schools arrive at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Cut, moving uncomfortably between two barely connected story points. The cut is jarring, mismatched, and highlights that this film was juggling many ideas at its start, not knowing quite what to keep or what to omit.As the second act draws in we are introduced to the main crux of the plot itself - the Triwizard Cup Tournament. This is where the film settles down, having many character driven scenes as Harry is forced into the tournament and the dangers to his life mount in ever more dangerous tasks. This is where the film shines a bit more, because the film finds focus, keeping to the telling of the tournament, and regaling plot points and action set pieces important only to the telling of this tournament. We also are given hints towards the grand reveal of the tournament itself; Mad-Eye is fantastically played by Brendan Gleeson, who delivers a masterful act as the menacing but seemingly trusting Defence-Against-the-dark-arts teacher who is not who he seems. There is enough of Barty Junior to add weight to his reveal, and Voldemort's reveal is the true highlight of the film as it is the one time the film stops and takes in the gravity of story taking place.The second act onwards bears the marks of a good film. It is riveting, engaging, and the ending is superb emotionally and visually. However, the opening highlights an issue that prevents this from being a great film, which is story focus. The first act sets up the importance of Barty Crouch Junior to the story but omits most of Crouch Senior until his death and pensive appearance, omitting entirely the story of how he placed the imperius curse on his son to stop him re-joining Voldemort. Seemingly irrelevant material except until we consider that this "side plot" is central to the story. To explain what I mean, I refer primarily to the general story arcs of the book and particularly to what its story is about.So the Goblet of Fire focuses on two consecutive issues: the Triwizard tournament, and the return of Voldemort. The book is about the return of Voldemort, and this is demonstratively clear because the story concludes with Voldemort's return, for which the tournament is only the story's catalyst. The tournament ensures, by means of a timely portkey, that Harry arrives to bring about Voldemort's return, and thus the story is not about the tournament at all. Consequently, the story is instead really about the plot concerning Voldemort's return, and this can be stilled into one main mysterious question: who put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire? This question causes the story to progress as Harry is forced into the tournament against his will, leading eventually to Voldemort's return, and is made possible by Barty Crouch Junior. Crouch Junior is central to this story arc, and thus he needed to be fully fleshed out as a character, and his motivations made clear. This was established in the books with resounding depth by Rowling but lacks depth in the film because his story arc was distilled, and Crouch Junior was reduced to a "loyal servant of Voldemort".As such, the book is exceptional for providing two concurrent plot threads, one of which dominates the story (the tournament) despite being, effectively, a red herring deceiving us on what the story is about. The book overtly tells the story of the tournament but provides a constant stream of clues about Crouch's story arc that moves the true story forward. The film omits much of this, providing a mere 4 scenes for David Tennant, and thus focuses far too much on the tournament. This highlights a key issue in book adaptation, namely that details must be omitted to provide a coherent story within two and a half hours. However, the Goblet of Fire is an example of a film that struggled with this issue, and focused on the wrong areas, unbalancing the story and causing blaring pacing issues. Most of the set up for the story's cathartic reveal comes from the first act, with the Quidditch World Cup and Crouch's introduction, an event glossed over by the film in its haste to introduce us to the Triwizard Tournament. Conclusion: I have been perhaps unduly harsh against the Goblet of Fire, because at its heart it is a good story, and had to deal with a huge problem: how do you adapt a book that has potentially 5 hours' worth of cohesive film material in it? The answer the film presents is focus; emphasise the story points of one of the two main story arcs to provide a coherent narrative for the audience to follow for two hours. Where the Goblet of Fire fell short of being a great film was it simply, to my mind, focused on the lesser of the two stories. The Triwizard tournament is a distraction in the books from the more important mystery of who put Harry Potter's name in the Goblet of Fire, who Barty Crouch Junior was, and why did he want so desperately to bring about Voldemort's return. The film answered only the most basic of these questions, succumbing to the distraction the action of the tournament provided. The confused first act of the film demonstrates this issue; the first act of the book's story was dedicated to setting up Crouch Junior, establishing Crouch Senior's controlling character and introducing Winkie the house elf. With this cut down, the first act had little to stand on and wobbled.I'd like to conclude here by asserting that this shows not that the Goblet of Fire was a poor adaptation, but instead illustrates the danger long books pose to story telling in film. The solution the Goblet of Fire poses pulls the film short of being great. I feel with this Harry Potter film, Steve Kloves did not quite understand the book as well as he did Rowling's other works when writing the screenplay. That is not to say he failed, simply that he fell short, which is disappointing considering how great the Goblet of Fire book is.
I would like to say straight up front that I do not like the idea of teaching children how to do witchcraft, so I'd normally subtract a star, but the movie surprisingly took over that and was an astonishment! I know a lot of people compare this to the book, and I will not say which I liked better or which "clearly" wins over the other, but I will say that I was surprised at how good it was. Some parts that I wished to see on screen were left out (such as Colin Creevy and his brother accidentally changing the "POTTER STINKS" badges to "POTTER REALLY STINKS"), but I was surprised at some parts that were kept in, such as Fred and George Weasley crossing the age line around the Goblet of Fire, then being blasted out of the ring and becoming old, along with white hair and beards! Plenty of things were moved around, such as Snape threatening to use his truth potion on Harry so all his secrets would spill out of his mouth. (In the book, he said that while Harry was at the front of his class before the second task, while in the movie, he said that after the second task when Harry was passing through the hallway.) The way things happened in the book made more sense, but that doesn't mean they made no sense in the movie. Some parts, such as Ron having to dance with McGonagall, were added, and surprisingly well-done. I am NOT SAYING THE MOVIE WINS OVER THE BOOK, but one part did--Cedric Diggory's death. When he was returned to Hogwarts and people were screaming, Cedric's dad was freaking out when he saw Cedric had died, shouting, "That's my son!" which was not in the book. The words echoed in my ears and gave a heavy impact.The acting was fabulous. Though everyone did a great job, I'd probably have to say Emma Watson and Alan Rickman did the best. Emma Watson's acting as Hermione seemed organic and realistic, like she was actually Hermione. Not that Daniel Radcliffe or Rupert Grint were bad--again, everyone did a great job--but out of the three main student protagonists, she was the best. Though Snape didn't have a large role in this movie, Alan Rickman still emphasizes Snape's depth.The action was more exciting than ever, and the music seemed a bit odd at first, but it was likable. Some parts, such as the maze, made absolutely no sense; it seemed the only "problem" with the maze was its walls crashing in.With the acting and surprisingly good changes from the book, this movie was amazing. Even though teaching witchcraft is a horrible idea, if you ignore that and look at the phenomenal rest of the movie, it is 10/10 stars.
A young wizard finds himself competing in a hazardous tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares. When it comes to this particular Series i really can't call myself as a massive "fan" i always found Harry Potter an interesting concept but it really wasn't my kind of tea if i could call it that but if there's one thing that i love about the Franchise it's definitely 'The Goblet of Fire' now i haven't read the book or the books in general but from what i have in my hands at this moment? This 4th installment is really my favorite of the entire series it packs great humor, suspense, adventure and of course drama. Who can forget that hilarious scene where the late Alan Rickman started smacking Harry's and Ron's heads so they could stop talking? Or that amazing scene where Harry goes against a Dragon? Or the terrific first look at Voldemort played by the excellent Ralph Fiennes. My favorite part was always the Maze it just had all this darkness surrounding it alongside the teamwork of Harry and Cedric trying to stay alive also speaking of Cedric does anyone else think that this is the most underrated character of the Harry Potter Saga? Cedric Diggory is a lovable, kind, brave and fearless character and honestly he is my favorite part of the film and Robert Pattinson should get more credit for his work in this movie from time to time just saying. The final confrontation between Harry Potter and Voldemort where Cedric asks Harry to take back his body and Lily and James Potter show up to inspire their son always brings a tear to my eye and of course Jeff Rawle's dramatic performance in the end completely kills my emotions. This isn't just a funny little film it's gigantic and pretty different from the previous 3 movies it's darker but also more serious, it has suspense but it also has a good story to tell. The direction of Mike Newell is superb and the cgi look fantastic and pretty damn believable. The actors do an even much better job this time around and there's also some pretty inspiring quotes mostly from Dumbledore in the very end where he talks about Cedric and it pretty much sums up my thoughts about the character you see Cedric wasn't just brave but he was a witness of Voldemort's cruelty he basically became a symbol of hope to not give up to fight for something or someone maybe? In fact i would love to see a stand alone Cedric Diggory film one time in the near future like his full story perhaps? Overall there isn't much to say here and personally i don't have any problems with the movie and even when it's slow it tries to make the viewer understand and be patient about what he is going to see and i wish that more people saw what i saw in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) because for me it's not just a great film as a fantasy film it's great as a comedy, as an adventure and of course as a drama that is handled very well thanks to it's amazing cast of talented actors that know exactly when to make you laugh or cry something that later sequels of the Series didn't achieve quite well as this one i'm afraid. (10/10)