Saturday, November 19, 2005

Review of the Fourth Movie

I walked into the theater with low expectations. I wasn't a fan of Cuaron's style, and I knew the Goblet of Fire director planned to follow movie's three lead. I didn't want another fake artsy movie and I didn't want a 2 1/2 hour show that couldn't fit in the necessary key details. By the time the movie was half-way through, all my worries had been put aside. Sure, the acting wasn't great, but the intensity was there and so was the old Hogwarts joy. I left the theater feeling both somber and excited, feelings that the novel had originally left me with. In short, Goblet of Fire was beyond my wild expectations. The director was brilliant, the graphics were well made, the soundtrack was aweome, and some actors gave a superb job.

I can't put my finger on any one thing that made me love the show. I just know I enjoyed it. Rupert Grint did an amazing job as Ron and the Weasley twins added just enough humor to keep the movie light hearted. The movie was, however, the darkest yet. This is fitting since book four really was a dark book. But where the novel felt over structured, the movie flowed effortlessly from scene to scene.

I can't say I like Emma Watson's acting in this one, but she wasn't necessarily bad either. There were moments she was exceptional and then there were moments her acting was so far over the top it had left the atmosphere. I still don't like that they made Hermione pretty as early as movie two because it cheapens the moment when she is supposed to shine, the moment when Ron doesn't even recognize her because she has emerged from her shell. The book pulled this off wonderfully, but the movie just couldn't capture it with all the previous changes that had been made.

By far the worst part of this movie was Dumbledore. The Dumbledore I read in the books was an infinitely patient man with wisdom beyond human comprehension, and a loving tenderness that could make anyone feel at ease. Yes, he had his stern moments, but above all he is as a father figure to Harry and a deeply caring man. The Dumbledore in the movies seems far too stressed out and angry to be the same man. What happend to that gentle, knowing look that always brought hope into Harry's life? I miss the Dumbledore that had mastered that look.

I also liked that the director didn't work too hard to keep everything a mystery. Most fans coming to see the show have read the books, they know where things are going. Understanding this, the director simply switches the focus from a mystery to the trials and affairs of teenagehood. From Ron's beautifully acted rows with Harry, to the dance, and all the jovial events, this movie captured the Harry Potter universe in a way Cuaron never could. Yes, things are dark but there is still hope and there is still joy.

I was skeptical about going to see Goblet of Fire. Afraid of what mutations might be uncovered before my eyes, but I was pleasantly surprised. The ending left me nearly in tears. As the climax reached a chilling peak, Daniel Radcliffe decided to act and to act well. His emotion is honest and it plays out well for the audience. I also love that the movies ending does not pretend that everything is happy or that all is back to normal. Instead, it remains true to the painful reality of what has happened and how everything will change.