Monday, December 04, 2006

Movie Review: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - Yuck!

Ok., you did not read it wrong. I saw the Harry Potter movie - Goblet of Fire at last. I did not hear great reviews and hence did not bother taking time to watch it and boy, was i right. Since there are way too many cribs, i shall try and summarize into 2 sections:

I think I like:

1. Casting of Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson. They are tucking themselves nicely into their roles. Lord Voldemort was terrific. Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory was perfect.

2. Nice Scene: Harry & Ron discuss their desperation about finding a partner for the ball dance and George fixes up with Angelina Johnson. Throughout the scene, there is Snape supervising their homework and everytime their voices raise - he strikes them in the head but otherwise does not cuss. The whole scene was just too funny.

3. Graphics: OK., some of them were really ludicrous but a few stood out. Eg: The taps scene was great, the first shot of the Quidditch WC stadium was good. The revival of Lord Voldemort & the priori incantatem spell scenes are good.

Hey., i am really stretching myself to find something positive in this movie

I did not like:

1. Deep breath, one two, three., once more: OK., i know that books to movies means that the story is compromised, but ye gods! the basic essence of the whole book is being butchered. Like, the theme in the book was to teach Harry a lesson that you cannot discount anyone when looking for help - even Neville Longbottom. The movie made a mis-mash of it all.

2. Spirit of the roles: Take off from the last point, you could change a few minor details for the movie - but how can you compromise on the basic tenants of the characters of the movie. Prof. Dumbledore through Book 6 is the most calming influence in Hogwarts; No issue seemed to rattle him. But if you were to look at the movie - you would come to an opinion that he was a sad old fart. Same with Prof. McGonnagall. She is authoritarian and never displays silly girly behavior as shown in the movie

An allied point: In Friends there is this episode where Joey is taught that good elocution in acting requires spitting on your colleague. What is the connection? Have you not noticed that anything other than a murmur, the actors usually shout in each other's face in the movie.

3. Cast: Apart from a few like Harry, Hermoinie, Snape and McGonnagall, the rest of the crew seems way out of place. Michael Gambon is completely unimpressive as Dumbledore, Rupert Grint is way too old & arkward looking for Ronald Weasley, Matthew Lewis as Neville is awkward, Stanislav Ianevski as Viktor Krum is not too inspiring. But the worst of all is that of Cho Chang - Katie Leung does not have the IT factor that creates butterflies in Harry's stomach. On the contrary, she looks too bland and ordinary that you are wondering why Harry is even remotely interested in her - when a great looking Hermione is right besides him.

BONUS: What is with the graphics? Can they not leave it subtle. The dragon scene is over-the-top, the insides of the WC stadium (right after the top shot!) is bad, the Dark Lord mark is more funny than bone-chilling, the underwater scene plain and the maze is bland. What happened to all the creatures in the maze? Why did you cut it out?

Overall, if you are a Harry Potter fan - you could well avoid the movie as a purist. From a 2 hour mindless entertainment perspective, i do recommend this movie.

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