Sunday, November 20, 2005

HP and the Goblet of Fire


Goblet
Originally uploaded by Waldie's World.
Well, I must say they did it well. Not that I was worried, mind you- even with my worst complaints of any of the previous three, I never disliked any of them. AND in fact, the one with which I had the biggest problem was actually also my favorite thus far (Prisoner of Azkaban, if you are wondering). But this one, I am afraid, bumps #3 from its spot, because honestly, the cast itself continually gets better, and thus the movies get better.

Not that this one is without its flaws. I will keep the details to a minimum for the sake of anyone who has yet to see the movie, but here are a few comments: There are a few loopholes. There are some simplifications to the complex plot which place certain characters in situations in which they were not present in the book. This works fine to move the plot along and quickly introduce some important characters, but due to these changes, there are some plot holes and a few scenes that exist without any proper context or explanation. That being said, all the plot holes stem from one major change, and luckily these loopholes do not detract from the overall story. For such a complex book, they adapted it remarkably well.

What I really want to mention- though again without much detail- is surely one of the most anticipated and debatable points of the movie: the film’s portrayal of Voldemort. I have heard several opinions from people who were a bit disappointed with his appearance, but I will say without hesitation that he is EXACTLY what I hoped he would be. My fear was that he was going to look TOO “snakey” and lose his “humanity” completely, but the make-up strikes just the right balance. Scary, wicked, and monstrous, but without being TOO much of a “monster” as to make him unbelievable. (And yes, I know it’s a movie about wizards, so it can’t be all that believable to start with.)

What is scary about Voldemort throughout the whole series is not that he looks scary – it’s that he is evil through and through, and whatever transformation he has undergone is more internal than external. He might look a little freaky, but its what’s on the inside that you should fear. That’s what is scary about Voldemort. So yes- he looks creepy as hell, but not so freaky that you lose the focus on the evil soul inside the man. Make-up aside, Ralph Fiennes gives Voldemort the perfect aura of aristocratic malevolence. It wouldn’t have worked without an actor who couldn’t exude such an understated but overwhelming evil.

That’s all I’ll say. Go see it. It’s great fun.

5 comments:

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

Two thoughts.

First, did you feel like they kind of rushed through the whole graveyard scene?

Second, I'm wondering when the movies are gonna start getting down and dirty with Snape. He's got to progress pretty far from where he is in the film version of GOF to where we know he'll be in HBP.

baldman76 said...

Two responses:

1. Yes, it felt a little rushed. It did what it had to do, but Ralph Fiennes did such a good job as Voldemort that I would have loved to have seen more. So yes, a little more Wormtail, a little more interaction with the Death Eaters, and a little more build-up to the climactic duel would have been nice. But what was there was well done.

2. Yes, I've always been disappointed with how little Snape has been used. However, I don't think his character really starts to take on any serious importance to the overall story arc of the series until Book 5. He's been important, yes, but its not until book 5 that you really see him and Sirius going at each other and you really start to learn his background as a Death Eater and such. I could be wrong. It's been a while since I read the earlier books. But I think they can still bring him up to speed. They've GOT to.

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

Yes, the interaction with the deatheaters, especially the comment "he who shall not . . ." makes about one that didn't return figure prominently in the future of of the series.

And the duel just didn't do it for me. Not enough buildup, not enough trauma. This movies ends with the three friends all smiling and laughing with each other. In the book, its a very different ending, and we begin to see Harry's angst which also proves to be important in the long run.

baldman76 said...

Yet again. I agree. Happy endings are nice when appropriate, but I do seem to remember Harry and Dumbledore being really shaken up at the end of this book. And much more crying. So yes, it should have ended darker. But there are differences between the audiences of the books AND the movies, and those that just see the movies. Movie-goers want a resolution, and smiles at the end seem to work for that. All is well again.

I remember listening to someone at the end of Fellowship of the Ring bitching because it didn't "end." Oh well. Us people that read are evidently a bit smarter. And I can say that guilt-free because those people that don't read books are also not going to bother to read this far into my blog!

Jeff Pioquinto,SJ said...

it was a good movie. nice blog. thanks