Genre: Adventure/Family/Fantasy/Thriller
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, Clemence Poesy, Robert Pattinson, Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Stanislav Ianevsky, Katie Leung
RunTime: 2 hrs 37 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.gobletoffire-asia.com/

Opening Day: 17 November 2005


In "HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE," the fourth film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter novel series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) must contend with being mysteriously selected to compete in the prestigious Triwizard Tournament, a thrilling international competition that pits him against older and more experienced students from Hogwarts and two rival European wizarding schools. Meanwhile, supporters of Harry's nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), send a shockwave of fear throughout the wizard community when their Dark Mark scorches the sky at the Quidditch World Cup, signaling Voldemort's return to power. But for Harry, this is not the only harrowing news causing him anxiety -- he still has yet to find a date for Hogwarts' Yule Ball dance.

Movie Review:

It’s not easy to be Harry Potter or should I say in this case, Daniel Radcliffe who plays the world’s most popular teen wizard. The latest instalment from the J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book series, “Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire” is set to blaze the sliver screen once again on November 17. And the original cast in addition heavyweights such as Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson who plays “He- who-must-not-be-named” and Mad-Eye Moody respectively raised the stakes higher this time round.

For those who are unfamiliar with the book and is too lazy to read the lengthy synopsis, to sum it all, Harry is due to take part in the much-anticipated Tri-wizard inter-school tournament much against his wishes. If this is insignificant, the mere mention of the evil Lord Voldemort’s name is enough to send jitters to the wizard world let alone the rise of him 13 years after he killed Harry’s parents.

It’s pretty amazing that screenwriter Steve Kloves (who has worked on the previous instalments as well) does a tremendous job of condensing the original 7oo over pages book into screen form. Despite running at 157 minutes, which is slightly shorter than “The Chamber of Secrets” by 4 minutes, in overall aspects, “The Goblet of Fire” is a stronger, mature installment of the Harry Potter series. A chunk of the subplots from the book are slashed from the screenplay and more meat is given to the developments of the characters. Much of the story revolves around the tri-wizard tournament and the increased adolescents’ blues of our three young leads. Kloves’s treatment of “The Philosopher Stone” and “The Chamber of Secrets” is a page-by-page translation from the books, not a bad move but considered dull by some. “The Prisoner of Azkaban” apparently stretched itself a little away from the book, a nice condensed story but ended up with many interesting tidbits excised. With “The Globet of Fire”, Kloves had fittingly drawn up a superior story that simultaneously live itself up as a movie of it’s own but still a steadfast translation of the book.

If Alfonso Cauron has breathed new life into the series with “The Prisoner of Azkaban” then Mike Newell has reincarnated the series. Touted as the first Brit to helm the series, Mike Newell who gave us the quirky comedy “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Mona Lisa Smile” seems to fully understand the essence of the protagonist’s struggle that he extracted wonderful performance out of Daniel Radcliffe (which is why I mentioned it’s not an easy role for him in the beginning of this review). Gone is the passive performance of Daniel, he has proven to be more of a professional actor as the series grows.

Rupert Grint on the other hand is born to play the fumbling Ron Weasly. Although his shaggy mop-hair deserved a trim or two, he still marveled with his comic timing and his uncertain love for Hermione Granger, played beautifully by Emma Watson who has grown to a young gracious lady. The supporting cast which includes Michael Gambon as the ever-popular Professor Dumbledore, Alan Rickman as the dreaded Snape, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva shines as usual given their limited screen time. Looking forward as the story expands, Gambon and Rickman will have more on their hands but let’s leave it as it is for now. Newcomers Robert Pattinson who plays the ill-fated Cedric Diggory and Clemence Poesy as Fleur Delacour put on a lasting performance worthy of the seasoned cast.

Gleeson’s portrayal of Mad-Eye Moody will have you rubbing your hands wishing for more given the character’s rich background and well, his twirling magical eye. As for “He- who-must-not-be-named”, no worries as there’s no spoiler here. I should say Fiennes’s performance is justifying enough as Rowling’s books description focused more on the character’s instinctive evil rather than his hideous deformed look.

Compared to the rather weak effects of the first two in the series, “The Goblet of Fire” surpassed the last with an outstanding visual display from the industry finest effects houses such as ILM and Framestone. From long shots to far shots of the Hogwarts castle and the submerged Durmstrang ship to the enthralling chase of Harry with the Horntail dragon in the first task. It’s a feast to the eyes. Academy nominated production designer Stuart Craig translated the vast imaginary of J.K. Rowling’s original source to extreme realism be it the underwater environment or the elaborate Yule Ball.

Patrick Doyle replaced John Williams in the music-scoring department however William’s original theme music is used from time to time in the movie. Doyle gave a more upbeat feel to the episode but fails to surpass or leave an impression to his predecessor’s superb music score.

“The Goblet of Fire” is a sinister affair, at times might be frightening to the young audience. But for adults who have followed the series from the start, it’s a jolt to the senses and proved to be a solid transition from the book form, it simply keeps you rooting for the next in line, “The Order of the Phoenix”.

Movie Rating:

("The Goblet of Fire" is a jolt to the senses and brings a whole new magical aura to the popular series)

Review by Linus Tee







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